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But there's something more here. This photo actually debunks a major myth. Check out Edward Saint at the slot machine in the background. Not only is it cool to see him holding a cigarette, but look at that big smile on his face. Well, that shouldn't be!
According to The Secret Life of Houdini (page 555), Ed Saint suffered from "nerve paralysis of certain facial muscles" making it "impossible for him to smile." Saint actually took advantage of this condition and performed during his carney days as "The International Smileless Man", in which he would offer audience members $1000 if they could get him to crack a smile.
Well, either that isn't Saint back there (and it sure looks like him to me), or he's put one over on us all. But now he's busted.
By the way, Patrick Culliton can't recall where he got this photocopy, and several other candid shots of Bess and Saint around town (a second shows Saint smiling), so he warned me that it might not be okay to post this. If you are the owner of the original and want me to take this down, just shoot me an email and it will vanish like magic.
Or, better yet, let us know where this was taken and who these men might be. It's a pretty cool, revealing shot, and I think a great way to conclude The Culliton Papers.
UPDATE: Mystery solved. This photo is part of the Richards Studio Collection in the Tacoma Public Library and the caption reads in part: "Beatrice Houdini, widow of the famous magician Harry Houdini, tries her luck with the slot machines while attending a party at Ray Gamble's 'Elephant House' during a visit to Tacoma in July, 1941."