- Houdini's Life
- The Chinese Water Torture Cell (all posts)
- The Chinese Water Torture Cell at 100
- Siberian Transport Van
- Sea Monster Escape
- Mirror Handcuff Challenge
- Washington D.C. jail break
- Belle Isle Bridge jump
- Weed Chain Tire Grip challenge
- Suspended Straitjacket
- Scotland Yard
- Milk Can
- Double Fold Milk Can
- Overboard Box
- Buried Alive
- The Shelton Pool Test
- Merveilleux Exploits du Célébre Houdini à Paris (1909)
- The Master Mystery (1918)
- The Grim Game (1919)
- Terror Island (1920)
- The Man From Beyond (1922)
- Haldane of the Secret Service (1923)
- Velvet Fingers (1926)
- Medium Well Done (1936)
- Religious Racketeers (1938)
- Houdini (1953)
- The Great Houdinis (1976)
- Young Harry Houdini (1987)
- A Night at The Magic Castle (1988)
- FairyTale: A True Story (1997)
- Houdini (1998)
- Death Defying Acts (2008)
- Houdini Miniseries (2014)
- Houdini & Doyle (2016)
- Unmade Movies
- Filming locations
- Full Bibliography
- For Kids
- Houdini His Life Story (1928)
- The Secrets of Houdini (1931)
- Houdini's Escapes and Magic (1932)
- The Great Houdini (1950)
- Houdini The Man Who Walked Through Walls (1959)
- Houdini Master of Escape (1960)
- Houdini's Fabulous Magic (1961)
- Houdini The Untold Story (1969)
- "The Fantastic Four" (1976-77)
- The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini (1993)
- Houdini!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss (1997)
- The Secret Life of Houdini (2006)
- Houdini and Conan Doyle (2011)
- The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini (2012)
- The Witch of Lime Street (2015)
- Houdini interviewed by Louella Parsons (1918)
- Marie Rahner Hinson (Bess Houdini's sister)
- Karen Mann (Daughter of Jack Price)
- Anna Thurlow (Great granddaughter of Margery)
- Dorothy Young (Houdini assistant)
- Theo. Hardeen (radio interview)
- Rick Schmidlin (Grim Game restorationist)
- Michael Weston (Houdini & Doyle)
- Roger Dreyer (Houdini Museum of New York)
- Los Angeles Conference on Magic History (2015)
- Official Houdini Seance, San Francisco (2015)
- Houdini Historical Roast (2015)
- Midwest Magic History Weekend, Marshall (2015)
- The Grim Game premiere in Hollywood (2015)
- Houdini at Hollywood Heritage (2014)
- Official Houdini Seance, Fort Worth (2012)
- Magic Collectors Weekend, Chicago (2011)
- Tony Curtis at The Magic Castle (2009)
Thursday, June 20, 2002
The Harry Houdini stamp will be dedicated at a 10 a.m. first day of issue ceremony held in conjunction with the SAM (Society of American Magicians) 2002 Centennial Convention from July 3-6 at the Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas.
David Copperfield, hailed as "the greatest illusionist of our time," will join David Solomon, vice president, Area Operations, New York Metro, Postal Service, in the dedication of the stamp.
The Houdini stamp will be available at the ceremony and at New York post offices starting July 3. It will be available at post offices across the country beginning July 5.
Although registration is required to attend SAM 2002, the stamp ceremony will be free and open to the public. Doors will open at 9:45 a.m., and the ceremony will take place in the Grand Ballroom. The public is also invited to attend a special lecture by Marie Blood titled "Uncle Harry and Me." Blood is the niece of Harry Houdini.
The 2002 issuance of the stamp coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Society of American Magicians. Houdini served as president of the society from 1917 until his death on Halloween, Oct. 31, 1926.
"Harry Houdini is considered one of the great magicians of our time," said Tony Curtis, who participated in the unveiling of the Harry Houdini stamp design in Las Vegas on Oct. 29, 2001. "I was privileged to play him on the screen and tried, when I made the movie, to instill all the subtleties and genius of the man."
Houdini's name was Ehrich Weiss until he changed it in the early 1890s as a tribute to the famous French illusionist, Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin. He began performing escape tricks on vaudeville stages in the spring of 1899, and by the following spring he had become a star known as the King of Handcuffs. Houdini astonished audiences with his daring escapes, not only from handcuffs but from straitjackets, ropes, chains, jail cells, and trunks submerged in water.
Beginning in 1915, Houdini thrilled huge crowds with his suspended straitjacket escape. In this "outside stunt" Houdini was bound in a straitjacket and a rope was tied around his ankles. He was then hoisted high above the crowd and suspended from a beam that projected from a window in a tall building. In a 1916 performance in Washington, D.C., an estimated 15,000 spectators watched Houdini free himself from this terrifying predicament.
In his later years Houdini crusaded against spiritualism and worked to expose fraudulent mediums who claimed to be able to contact the spirit world. Houdini, who believed that these people preyed on grieving families, used his knowledge as an illusionist to reveal their methods. Ironically, Houdini died on Halloween, Oct. 31, 1926. He was one of the best-known performers of the early 20th century, and his name remains synonymous with magic and escape today.
The portrait on the Harry Houdini stamp, which depicts a confident, self-assured man at the height of his career, was taken from a 1911 lithographed poster in the collection of Gary H. Mandelblatt. Designed by Richard Sheaff of Scottsdale, Ariz., the stamp contains a hidden image that-when viewed through the official U.S. Postal Service Stamp Decoder-appears to wrap Houdini in chains.
Current U.S. stamps, as well as a free comprehensive catalog, are available toll free by calling 1 800 STAMP-24. In addition, a selection of stamps and other philatelic items are available in the Postal Store at www.usps.com.
Issue: Harry Houdini
Item Number: 452100
Denomination & Type of Issue: 37-cent commemorative
Format: Pane of 20 (1 design)
Issue Date & City: July 3, 2002, New York, NY 10199
Existing Art: Collection, Gary H. Mandelblatt
Designer: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ
Art Director: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ
Typographer: Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, AZ
Modeler: Joseph Sheeran
Manufacturing Process: Offset with Scrambled Indicia
Printer: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Printed at: Williamsville, NY
This post first appeared on Houdini Lives.