PAPERS OF THE BALASIC FAMILY
Collection Dates: 1890s -- 1920s
1 linear ft.
This document describes a collection of materials held
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Posted to Internet: March 2003
Acquisition Note: This collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by Mark Balasi, grandson of the Balasics.
Access and Restrictions: This collection
is open for research.
This collection is open for research.
Film/Video: Head-to-head stunt
Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.
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Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.Biographical Note
The Balasic name is Croatian in origin. Karlu Balasic was probably born in the late 1840s. He was an entertainer who performed on the continent. His wife's name was Maria Dogmar. They had a son, Victor, in Pozega, Croatia, in 1869. Victor married Paula Enders in Hungary in 1894. They had three children: Maria, who suffered from cerebral palsy and was confined to a sanitarium during her lifetime; and two sons, Alfred and Victor, who joined the act. Their act was a combination of vaudeville and acrobatics. They went under various names at different points in their career. In the late 1890s and early 1900s the family was managing their own circus traveling all over Europe.
They were in St. Petersburg performingat the Narodi-Dom in 1914 when war broke out. They were interned by the Czar's government and sent to Siberia. They spent five months there before escaping and making their way to Denmark, where they immediately began performing again.
During 1917 -- 1918 the act was suspended, presumably because the men were serving in the Austro-Hungarian army. In August 1923, Victor, Sr., Paula, Alfred, Victor, Jr., Maria Holz, and another woman sailed from Sweden to the United States to do a nineteen week tour. They signed further contracts and stayed in the US in 1924. Alfred married Marie Holz and they had a son, Alfred. In 1925, Victor retired to Chicago, where he and Paula bought and managed several rooming houses.
Alfred, Maria, and Victor, Jr. carried on as the Balasi Trio. They performed in several combinations and under various names for the next several years. Alfred and Maria retired in 1930 and Victor retired a few years later.
Victor, Sr. died in 1931; Victor, Jr. died in 1943; Maria and Paula died in 1956; Maria Holz died in 1963; and Alfred died in 1967.
Taken from the Introduction
to the scrapbook written by Mark Balasi.
Scope and Content
This collection consists of a photocopy of the scrapbook of the Balasic family; originals of sixty some contracts; originals, many hand-written, of the music used in their performances and photocopies of these sheets bound in a book; and a video casette of a 1925 performance of their head-to-head stunt.
history 1910 -- 1929
Documented performance history 1910 -- 1929