Wednesday, January 3, 2018

BONUS: Houdini in 1918 a chronology

Today I'm sharing a special bonus post to go with my look back at Houdini in 1918. Below is a link to a standalone page in which you can view the year laid out chronologically, showing exactly where Houdini was week by week.

Some of you might recognize this as an updated version of what Frank Koval first assembled back in the 1990s, which indeed it is. For several years I have been adding, updating, and in some cases correcting Koval's work for my own research purposes. I've reached a point where I believe I can now offer a much improved and expanded Houdini chronology.

My only entry at the moment is 1918. If this is something people would like to see continued online, then consider this a preview of what's to come. I've also left comments active on the page so anyone can offer updates and feedback. Enjoy!

14 comments:

  1. Excellent. Koval diaries are difficult to find hence this is much appreciated.

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    1. And if you look at 1918 in Koval you'll see there really isn't much beyond the 19 weeks of Cheer Up. I really believe I've expanded on what he did to a point in which it's a new work. I wouldn't post it otherwise.

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  2. I'd like to see a chronology page for each of the other years you've written up so far. This one fantastic and all combined would eventually make Koval's diaries outdated.

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    1. That's the potential plan. Thing is, it's much more than just filling in Koval's blanks. I've found if I want to share this in an authoritative way, I have to confirm all of Koval's entries because I've found mistakes. Koval was doing this pre-internet, and we now have such better resources to cross check. I also don't think he understood the idea of Vaudeville split weeks, and he oddly omits Sundays from his weeks. So there's work to be done. But it's fun work. :)

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  3. Great work John. I have all Koval's diaries and knew Frank Koval. I also knew that there were many gaps in the entries and much more information to find. A complete chronology of Houdini's life would be fantastic but I appreciate a huge undertaking!

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    1. Thank you, Roger. Means a lot to me to hear from someone who knew Frank that this would be something appreciated. One can only imagine how much Frank would have accomplished with modern technology. It was phenomenal what he accomplished by just visiting libraries, etc.

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  4. I've now worked in a method of sourcing each entry on the page.

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  5. So I've been working away on the full chronology and I'm looking to launch my first batch of years as soon as next week. Newspapers.com is like crack to me! I'm making so many small but fascinating discoveries along the way.

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  6. That is great news, John! I had read years ago that someone was working on upgrading the Koval Diaries, but you have stepped up to the plate. I can't think of a better person for this task.

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    1. Back in 2000 George Ford was looking to do an updated version. He asked me to help. But I don't know what happened to George. He had one of the first Houdini websites.

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    2. I remember an HH website back then called Houdiniana. It was my go to website for HH material until you rolled in. Your blog was much better. Then the Houdiniana website vanished.

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    3. Yes, Houdiniana was George, and was the go to site.

      Speaking of old Houdini websites, I amazed to see Houdini Tribute is still online, although it hasn't updated since 2007. It also started in 1998.

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  7. Houdini Tribute was by Robert(Bob)King from the Rochester, NY area, I believe. When he died the site was dropped. His family, or someone, has put it up again. Several times we tried to contact the family, when it was down, to host the site at no cost to them, but never heard back.

    The Houdini Museum, Scranton, PA
    The Only Buildingin the World Dedicated to Houdini

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    1. Oh, I didn't know that he had passed. I'm sorry. Nice that the site is still up. Now it's a tribute to Bob as well as Houdini.

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