Saturday, March 31, 2018

A new candidate for Houdini's last photo

Over the years there have been several photos that claim to be the last taken of Houdini. Now here's another!

The best known "last photo" appears on page 179 of NOTES to Houdini!!! by Ken Silverman. It shows Houdini flagging the start of an auto race in Worcester, MA. The caption here says this was taken in New York City, which puts it before Worcester and would seem to preclude it from being the last photo. However, Houdini did lecture at a police headquarters in Montreal on the morning of October 19 (before his McGill lecture), so maybe this is actually a photo from that?

I found this after David Charvet shared an intriguing tip from someone on Facebook that the Detroit News ran what it claimed to be the "last photo" in a Rotogravure insert sometime in the 1930s. This isn't from the Rotogravure. This was part of syndicated article by Rose Mackenberg in 1929. But Rose would be in a position to know what Houdini's last photo was, so I think this is viable candidate. If nothing else, it's likely the last photo of Houdini and Jim Collins together.


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