Saturday, May 14, 2011

Soo's Unmasking

Recently I was browsing Ask Alexander -- The Conjuring Arts Research Center's amazing search engine, which just passed the two million page milestone -- and I came across this interesting nugget buried in a 1953 edition of The Magic Circular.

The Magic Circular, 1953

So there exists a copy of The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin signed by Houdini to Chung Ling Soo? Nice! I wonder if this is still treasured by the Bothwell-Maye family, or if it has changed hands and now resides in one of the big Houdini or magic collections? Let the search begin.

Chung Ling Soo was actually an American conjurer named William Ellsworth Robinson. Famous in his day, he become more so after dying onstage doing the bullet catch (a trick Houdini now appears to have done in his early career). Another Soo/Houdini mystery is whether Robinson acquired Houdini's Voisin bi-plane following his historic first flight in Australia. We took a look at that question HERE.

Jim Steinmeyer tackled the mystery of Chung Ling Soo in his 2005 book The Glorious Deception.

1 comment:

  1. That poster is brilliant. Is it for one of his performances? Because if so he might just have pipped HH in the self-promotion stakes.