Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mrs. Houdini on making coffee

We know Houdini and Hardeen did advertising (notably for Zam-Buk). But did you know that Bess also entered the advertising arena? Here's an ad for Hills Bros Coffee from The Evening Herald, October 25, 1940, with some helpful hints from the "Queen of Magic" on how to prepare your java.

By the way, the Houdini handcuff board behind Bess was one of the displays she and Ed Saint made for the Final Houdini Seance. That particular board contains the Russian Manacle and survives to this day. It was recently displayed at an S.A.M. exhibit in Whittier.

Clipping source: Newspapers.com.



  1. As both a coffee-fanatic and a Houdini-fanatic, I feel compelled to note that Bess is not explicitly endorsing Hills Bros. by name, which would never qualify as the "good coffee" she advocates. (I know, this is bending over backwards, a Houdini thing.) I like to think, in the absence of evidence to the contrary (and please don't present any!) that Harry and Bess did like I do - roast their own beans.

  2. I bet she had a hand cranked grinder in the kitchen at 278 to grind their coffee beans. It's generally known that your coffee will taste fresher when the beans are ground right before brewing. And never use a percolator to make your coffee!

    To steer clear of the rationing and shortages, Houdini packed coffee, tea, and cocoa with him from the States on his tour of Britain in the early 1920s.