An old house that was demolished in the US recently has revealed some hidden historical fancy dress secrets to its owner and contractors.

Albert Brooks, 87, had moved out of his house on Columbus Avenue in New Jersey and it had been set aside to be taken own in order to make room for more modern developments, reports.

However, as contractors removed an interior wall in the oldest part of the house, they discovered a host of photographs believed to have been taken between 1900 and 1910.

They show men and women in burlesque fancy dress which local historians say provides a rare glimpse into the world of stage performers in the early 20th century.

"I was just amazed. I had no idea the pictures were there," Mr Brooks commented.

Vaudeville was a style of entertainment predominant in the US at that time and developed from saloons, British pantomimes and other shows.

The Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges all went on to TV success after starting out in vaudeville.