Friday, March 15, 2019

Houdini's London address and phone

Our friend Perry Reed has made an interesting discovery in this Getty Images clip showing an early London BT telephone directory. At the end you can see a listing for "HOUDINI, Harry, Handcuff King" with the phone number "Gerrand 1312" and the address "84 Bedford et mans." This was Houdini's London apartment, but exactly when he occupied it, I'm not sure. Unfortunately, this clip does not reveal the date of the directory.


Thank you Perry!

UPDATE: The good folks at The Manchester Society for Magic & Magicians @OrderOfTheMagi Twitter have shown me that many British telephone directories are available on Ancestry.com, including this one! The year is 1911, which is later than I always assumed for this residence. But it makes sense as Houdini was equally dividing his time between Europe and America right up to 1914.

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4 comments:

  1. Very cool. And Bedford Court Mansions was and is a pretty classy address.

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  2. Given the Handcuff King title next to his name, I would guess he had the apartment until he returned to America in 1905. That was the 5 year stretch where he stayed in Europe. Not sure why he would want keep it after returning to the U.S. and purchasing 278.

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    Replies
    1. Check out my update. I was thinking the same thing, but it turns out this is 1911! So much later than I thought. But he was dividing his time equally between America and Europe right up to 1914, so it makes sense he'd have a home in both. There are many accounts him at the popular 11 Kepple Street boarding house in the earlier years, so I suspect he got this after 278. Maybe on his return in 1908, or maybe in 1911 when this listing appears to start.

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    2. And he still kept the Handcuff King title by 1911. Nostalgic? Old habits die hard.

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