Monday, April 13, 2015

LINK: Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner, a.k.a. Mrs. Bess Houdini

With all The Grim Game excitement, Bess has not been getting the attention that she normally gets around here. So today I'm happy to correct that by linking to an excellent post by Gena Philibert-Ortega at the Genealogy Bank Blog. It's all about Bess and it builds a nice profile of her using some unique newspaper clippings and quotes. Click on the headline to read.

"Mrs. Houdini admits that while it is the magician’s business to mystify an audience it is the wife’s business to mystify the magician to the extent of convincing him that she understands his tricks whether she does or not."


  1. That looks like the plate glass box Houdini escaped from many years prior. If it is, it's amazing that it hadn't broken while in storage.

    Was Bess saying a magician's wife should pretend to know how his tricks work even if she doesn't? Soon after he constructed it, HH tried out the Milk Can for Bess to see if she could fathom the secret. He reported in his diary that he offered her ten bucks if she could figure it out, and she couldn't.

    1. The glass box survived and was actually in the Niagara Falls museum for a time. But I don't think it survived that. I was reported as being cracked when it was there.

  2. Not much survived from the Niagara Falls museum. A museum is supposed to preserve artifacts, not destroy them.