Monday, October 10, 2011

Found! The man who bought Houdini's Voisin

Donald Stevenson
Magician and Master Locksmith Mick Hanzlik, author of Looking Into The Mirror, has teamed with Jon Becker in the continued search for Houdini's Voisin biplane, and today Mick sends over something pretty exciting!

No, he didn't find the plane, but he did find photographes of the man who bought the plane from Houdini in 1913, Donald Stevenson.

Until now, there were no known photos of Stevenson, a magician and engineer who worked alongside Chung Ling Soo building model planes in the great magician's workshop. In the color photo below you can see one of those model planes.

In 1913 Houdini offered Stevenson his historic Voisin if Stevenson would pay off the storage fees. The letter Houdini wrote allowing Stevenson to claim the plane can see seen in Milbourne Christopher's Houdini A Pictorial Life (page 73). Where the Voisin went after that...well, that's the next mystery.

Thank you Mick for sharing these terrific images!



  1. If the guy had family we should be able to find them. Perhaps there is info they would have as to where the plane went after 1913. Perhaps it's sitting in a museum in Austrailia somewhere on display or still crated? Do we know how many voslin bi planes are still in existence?

  2. Ah, he does! It was in my previous story I mentioned that his grandson, Andrew Stevenson, left a comment on my old blog. Jon and Mick have been trying to get a hold of him. If you're reading this, Mr. Stevenson, contact Jon at

  3. I just read online that a Voisin biplane was flown in NY back in the teens and then stored in the raftors of a factory until rediscovered 62 years later and restored. Its now in a air museum. Would it be amazing if a similar story unfolded regarding Houdinis plane?

  4. Actually they're not the only known shots uncovered until now; I discovered some a couple of years ago and have been using them in my talk about Houdini and the Voisin which I've done several times in the UK, including recently at The Magic Circle.
    I met with Andrew Stevenson (Donald's grandson), and also his daughter. After much investigation, we still have not determined the fate of the Voisin, however I am not in contact with Mick Hanzlick and we have a few avenues to pursue - will report back.
    Paul Zenon

  5. Oh, that's great. Thank you, Paul.

  6. I created the mission to find Houdini's Voisin in 1907, offering a bottle of Houdini wine for whoever located it. I intend to recreate the mission website and provide the most likely answer soon.
    Rob Mackay

    1. I love it! Please let me know when the website is live and I will share here on the blog. Let's find this sucker! Contact.