Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Houdini looking dapper

Here's an unpublished Houdini photo to make one weak in the knees. It's said that off stage Houdini was a famously sloppy dresser, and there are plenty of photos that bare that out. But here he's looking downright dapper! (Although it appears he still missed a couple buttons.)

According to the auction archival website Worthpoint (where I found this image), this photo was sold by Leland Little Auction & Estates Sale Ltd. in August 2006. The auction listing says it's circa 1915, but I'd put this as circa 1922.

By the way, if you are the owner of this photo and you'd rather it not be spread online, just give a shout and I will zap this post. But I just couldn't resist sharing this uncharacteristically composed photo of Houdini. #notaslob



  1. I think HH shifted fashion gears when he wasn't performing or making appearances. Without the obligation of formality, he seemed to have preferred the sloppy look and not worry about tucking his shirt in or shaving.

  2. Ken Silverman said it well in the PBS Houdini doc in that his apparent sloppiness was just a reflection of his total preoccupation with whatever he was doing at that time.

  3. Yes, unusually fine and dandy! (Amazing escapes are a down-and-dirty business, while exposing fake spiritualists -- not so much!)

  4. Hi John first time I'm commenting on your wonderful blog....the background looks as though Houdini may be on a ship unless of course this is a backdrop. Was he on one at this time?

    1. Hi Andrea. Thank you for commenting.

      You know, that's an excellent observation. Houdini's last ocean crossing was 1920, and this could be him at that time (although he looks a touch older to me). There are also pics of him aboard a ship with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which are later (perhaps greeting or seeing the Doyles off during their own crossings), but he's not wearing vest in those. But, yeah, this could be a ship.