Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Collins and Mackenberg materialize on eBay

A 1944 "spirit photo" credited as being the elusive Jim Collins (Houdini's chief assistant and engineer) and Rose Mackenberg (one of Houdini's undercover spiritualist agents) has sold on eBay for an impressive $327. This is the best, most detailed photo of Collins I've ever seen, and it's the only photo of Rose that I've seen. The pic is an original Gelatin Silver print, 9 1/2 X 7 1/2 inches, and appears to have come from a newspaper file.

Thanks to Kevin Connolly at Houdini Himself for the tip.


  1. James Collins was my husband's grandfather. We would love to know what happened to Jim after Houdini died as he never returned to England to his wife and children. Anyone out there know anything??

    1. Really? Wow. I'm so glad you found this site. Welcome!

      I believe Collins continued to work with Houdini's brother, Hardeen, into the 1940s. From there, I'm not sure what happend to him. He's always been a bit of a mystery man.

      A while back Dave Dorsett was doing to some research into Collins and he said he thought he ended his life in Philadelphia is buried in New York. He also said his widow might have moved there. But I'm not sure if he was ever able to corroborate this information.

  2. Hi John, thanks for replying. No, Sarah his wife never left England. There was talk of him remarrying in the States but he never divorced Sarah as far as we know - interesting!!!

    1. Interesting indeed! I'll keep a watch for any fresh info for you. You can also email me via the Contact page above.


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