Thursday, March 7, 2013

Another day, another unseen Houdini photo

I've said this many times, but it blows my mind how after 35+ years of obsessive Houdini collecting and research I continue to see new photos of him almost every month. How many photos of this man exist!? Last month we saw an unpublished photo of Houdini in the Lawsons auction. Now just seven days into March we have another.

This shot is from a large collection of press photos currently on eBay. It shows Houdini and Bess seated across a seance table. I've seen other pics from this same session in which Houdini demonstrates methods used by fraudulent spiritualists, but never this particular one. Bess is writing on a note pad and Houdini is looking intently contemplative. Perhaps Bess is "automatic writing" her husband's thoughts?

With high tech instrumentation here at WAH HQ, I've actually been able to read the pad. It says: "Don't think about Charmain. Don't think about Charmain"...

Normally my policy here is to not write about eBay auctions until after they are over. But with a starting price of $688.88, this isn't exactly a bargain to let fly under the radar for some lucky buyer.

Other photos in the lot are of Herbert Hoover, Rock Hudson, Howard Hughes, Mae Clarke, Lena Horn, Ozzie & Harriet, Jesse Jackson, Arnold Palmer, and more. But it's the photo of Houdini (and Bess) they used to showcase the auction.


  1. Does that photo look like it was taken in autumn 1926?!

  2. Thanks John for posting this neat photo and for giving me a new surprise each month! Harry looks like he's daydreaming a bit while Bess is writing. Like he's thinking about something.

    I would date this photo 1924 or 1925, maybe 1926.

  3. There is/was another new photo of Houdini on ebay. Its another photo of Jack Dempsey, Lt weight champion Benny Leonard and HH. There was one that everyone has seen of Dempsey pretending to punch Houdidni. This one was from the same day but this time Leonard and Dempsey are sparring. What struck me about this photo was Leonard was 5'6 tall and it looks as if HH is smaller/shorter.