Monday, June 11, 2012

Genii & Houdini: October 1942

Continuing our look back at the history of Houdini on the cover of Genii, The Conjurors' Magazine, here we have Vol. 7, No. 2 from October 1942. This time the cover art -- "prepared under the personal direction of Edward Saint, Houdini Archivist" -- commemorates Houdini's historic first flight in Australia. Perhaps in a reference to the War effort, editor William Larsen writes, "With Australia the scene of so much aerial activity today, we consider the cover drawing most appropriate to the times."

The issue contains 8 pages of Australian newspaper clippings about Houdini's historic flight in 1910. It also features Bessie's final memorial page, and a reproduction of a "Trick idea in Houdini's handwriting, written June 9, 1926."

This issue is also notable in that it contains the obituary of Jacob Hyman, Houdini's first performing partner, written by Edward Saint. It also has an article by his brother, Joe Hyman, titled "Strange Coincidence". In it Joe talks about how his bust of Houdini mysteriously fell and broke shortly after Houdini's death, while an identical bust belonging to Houdini's English agent Harry Day also broke days later.

In his intro to this issue, Larsen writes, "Each year Genii dedicates its October number to the Houdinis: Harry and Beatrice. This marks the seventh year that we have done so. The doing of it gives us pleasure and us proud."

But changes were to come...

Coming next: October 1943


  1. "This marks the seventh year that we have done so."

    Is that true? (Seems like Genii missed in 1937.)

    1. There wasn't a Houdini cover in '37 (it was John Mulholland), but it still might have contained a "Houdini tribute" of some kind. I don't have that issue. I'll have a look at it next time I'm at the Castle library.

    2. Actually, according to MagicPedia, there doesn't appear to be anything on Houdini specifically. But maybe Larsen's editorial talks about HH.

    3. Maybe he counts the issue with Ed Saint on the cover as that years tribute.

    4. Could be. I do have that issue. Maybe I should have taken a look at that, considered adding it to this series.

    5. So I had a look at the Oct '37 issue (with Mulholland cover) and the only thing in there was a HH memorial page/ad from Bess. And the Nov Saint issue didn't really contain anything that could be seen as a HH tribute. So, yes, they did skip 1937.