Monday, May 18, 2015

The Houdini Correspondence File

Magician and collector Wayne Wissner has a new publication called, The Houdini Correspondence File. Wayne has made 10 copies available on eBay TODAY. Below is the cover and description:

About two years ago I discovered a small stach of original Houdini corresponcence that hasn't been looked at in almost 70 years. I culled several of these letters, most from 1926, the year that Houdini passed away. These are now the basis for this 30 page publication. References to Dunninger, Carter, Thurston, Hardeen and many others. Should make a great read as well as a wonderful research tool. Please do let me know if you wish it signed and thanks for looking! The cost is $25.00 postpaid.

Wayne previously released a 22-page collection of correspondences between Houdini and Robert Gysel called, Houdini & Gysel.

And in case you are wondering, that is Houdini with his Terror Island leading lady Lila Lee on the cover.

UPDATE: Check out this interesting revelation from this (now sold out) book: Did a contract clause kill Houdini?


  1. Ordered mine yesterday along with his document on Houdini and Gysel. Looking forward to reading these.

  2. Got it. Read it. There is lots of gold here! The possibility that Houdini was going to put the USD back into the show in Montreal. A possibility that he would cancel his tour after Detroit. The letter to Dunninger re the Cutting a Girl in Eight illusion. A letter that shows all his movie corps are still in existence in 1926. Great stuff!

  3. Man, HH sliced that Cutting illusion into bits: cheap paint that was still sticky, and parts of it were Woolworth material. That's like comparing a part to something out of Walmart. Interesting that he didn't tell Dunninger that he wanted his money back for such shoddy work. Probably because HH valued his friendship and decided to keep it and upgrade the illusion as mentioned in the letter.

    1. Even though it was shoddy construction, I think Houdini could see that it was still a pretty good trick. I'm sure he tuned it over to Collins who had it up to Houdini standards in no time.

  4. Crazy that HH wanted to put the USD back into rotation! The letter was from the Shubert-Princess Theater in Montreal to the manager of the Garrick Theater in Detroit. HH had broken his ankle on the 11th and on the 19th he wrote a letter to the Detroit theater manager giving him instructions on how to heat up the water for the USD.

    I wonder what HH had up his sleeve? Some kind of protective rubber padding for his bad ankle?