Friday, September 13, 2013

Announcing the Hinson Endowment


I have something very exciting to announce today. On this blog I've periodically been able share some rare images and items from the private collections of major Houdini collectors, including: Arthur Moses, Jon Oliver, Anna Thurlow, Patrick Culliton, Kevin Connolly, and the mysterious MSW. I've also been fortunate to receive many items from individual readers and fans. I only have a limited amount of Houdini treasures myself, so I'm thankful that so many have contributed to our little temple of Houdini study.

Now I've received what can only be called a major endowment of material that will power this blog for years. That's because John C. Hinson, the great nephew of Harry and Bess Houdini, has generously provided me with nearly 400 slides of Houdini photos, documents, and personal items from his private collection. These are treasures passed down to the Hinson family from Bess Houdini herself, and in this largely untapped cache are many unpublished photos of Harry and Bess. You got a taste of that in our BONUS interview with John's grandmother, Marie. Now John has given me permission to share as many of these images as I like here at WILD ABOUT HARRY. Oh baby...

The only catch is I need to convert these slides to digital photos. The good news is, thanks to all you who have used my Amazon links and/or clicked the occasional Google ad, I have a war chest of funds that makes this doable. So our shared passion has nicely come together in a magic moment and we are all about to be rewarded with Houdini riches!

Next week I will post the first image from the Hinson Endowment. I'm calling it the "Greatest signed Houdini photo EVER"...because it is. Then in October (depending on how quickly I can get the slides transferred) I will launch a new series called UNPUBLISHED HOUDINI. Here I will share a new never-before-seen photo of Houdini every week for the rest of 2013. I will also periodically pull from the endowment to do posts about specific items or illustrate relevant posts. As I said, this will power us for some time to come.

So please join me in thanking John C. Hinson for this generous gift from the other side of the Houdini family. Now let's go WILD!

October 1st - Unpublished Houdini

24 comments:

  1. Fantastic! Looking forward to seeing what's there.

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  2. oh goodness! So SO so exciting! Yay! :) :) :)

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  3. What great news -- for you and for us!

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  4. WOW! What a great thing and the right person to do this with. Congratulations.
    Dick & Dorothy
    Houdini Museum
    Scranton, PA

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  5. AWESOME NEWS! Congrats on receiving this generous collection from Mr. Hinson. Looking forward to many more moons of Houdini goodness coming our way! :)

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  6. Wow. Thank you to both of you. Fantastic. Brilliant. :-)
    Cheers
    Narinder

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  7. Wow. Thank you to both of you. Fantastic. Brilliant. :-)
    Cheers
    Narinder

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  8. Yes!!! John, that's fantastic! And John Hinson, if you're reading these comments, thank you so much for your uncommon generosity and for supporting the distribution of free content on the Web. That's what it's all about. And John is the perfect man to bring these treasures to light.

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  9. What a treasure trove! Can't wait....

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  10. John Hinson- great nephew of Bess and harry HoudiniSeptember 13, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    On more piece of the puzzle has been filled, I am glad to share my collection with you all. I hope you like what you see. Each picture has a story. sit back enjoy

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    1. Indeed. Each picture does have a story. The trick with some will be to figure out that story. We are going to have some FUN. :)

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  11. Yes, exactly what Tom said. Thanks!

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  12. We all plan to sit back and enjoy each story. Thanks!

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  13. Thanks everyone and, yes, this is super exciting for us all! However, I still need to get these slides digitized. I tried a do-it-yourself device that I bought from Amazon, but the results were unacceptable. So I'm going to need to ship them off to a service, probably ScanCafe, unless someone can recommend someone better (or a physical location in Los Angeles were I can bring them). I'm about to do my final selection. Pairing down 400 slides to a select 80 hasn't been easy.

    But John has also provided me with some scans, so there's stuff I can share while we wait for the slides. I just couldn't hold back on this news any longer!

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  14. Hey John--we want to see all 400 slides--the good, the bad, and the ugly!

    Many thanks to Mr. Hinson for his generosity. On with the show...

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  15. Thank goodness for people like John Hinson. There are some out there who treat their collections like they are magic secrets not to be shared with the "public." The fact that John is willing to share his family collection with us like this, and that he has a place to do it, is really huge.

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  16. I agree. Those who believe they have "one up" on the rest of us by not sharing their information have forgotten that they themselves understand much about Houdini because of the generosity Houdini scholars and collectors.

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    1. But I'm also impressed by how many collectors out there ARE willing to share, they just don't have a good (trusted?) platform to do so. I'm thrilled and honored that some of these good people have discovered my blog and have entrusted me to give their collectibles the proper presentation (and maybe some context). Arthur Moses, Jon Oliver, Anna Thurlow, Patrick Culliton, Kevin Connolly, and MSW have all giving us gold! What an amazing year this has been.

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  17. First goodie tomorrow (9/16): Greatest signed Houdini photo EVER.

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  18. John Hinson great nephew of Bess and Harry HoudiniSeptember 16, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Thank you for all the kind words you are saying, there a still lot to learn about Houdini, he been gone for 87 years. I love to share my collection with you all. I hope to learn a lot more or my collection. You will not br disappointed.

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  19. I have seen these pictures up close and personal. Being a friend of Johns back in the late 80's I used to visit his upstairs attic all the time looking through everything almost every day.

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  20. I have personally seen all these pictures up close and in my very own hands back in the late 80's and early 90's when I would visit John and his family almost every day. I would immediately go to the attic with John and we would look through everything. I even escaped from a actual pair of Houdini cuffs which was written about in a MUM magazine back in '89. I don't remember what issue but it has Thurston on the cover. John and I were great friends but lost contact when I moved to NYC

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  21. DPS Dave slides to digital conversion services uses the best digital technology to convert dull, faded and worn out old photo slides to their brand new digital avatar. Old Photo slides fade out easily and lie at the risk of being easily damaged by rough handling along with the elements of nature. Their conversion to digital form preserves the color, brightness and the quality of the image besides saving the owner of hassles associated with slides wearing out with time.

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