- Houdini's Movies
- Les merveilleux exploits de Houdini à Paris (1909)
- The Master Mystery (1918)
- The Grim Game (1919)
- Terror Island (1920)
- The Man From Beyond (1922)
- Haldane of the Secret Service (1923)
- Velvet Fingers (1925-26)
- Medium Well Done (1937)
- Religious Racketeers (1938)
- Houdini Picture Corp.
- Film Developing Corp.
- Filming locations
- Unmade Movies
- Deconstructing Houdini '53
- Beatrice Houdini
- Theo Hardeen
- Cecelia Weiss
- Mayer Samuel Weiss
- Jim Collins
- Franz Kukol
- Martin Beck
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- J. Gordon Whitehead
- Edward Saint
- Jacob Hyman
- Leopold Weiss
- Carrie Gladys Weiss
- Bernard M.L. Ernst
- Charmian London
- Jess Willard
- H.P. Lovecraft
- Sherlock Holmes
- Other magicians
- Full Bibliography
- By Houdini
- For Kids
- Wild About Harry Bookshelf
- Houdini His Life Story (1928)
- Houdini The Man Who Walked Through Walls (1959)
- Houdini The Untold Story (1969)
- The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini (1993)
- Houdini!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss (1997)
- The Secret Life of Houdini (2006)
- The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini (2012)
- The Witch of Lime Street (2015)
- The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini (2019)
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Friday, October 30, 2020
No Prison Could Hold Him! Plus, The Guy Was Pretty Good With A Deck Of Cards!
This week's Magic Collectors' Corner features a return to the discussion of one of the biggest names in magic's history... HARRY HOUDINI! This will be our third time talking with experts about the world's greatest escape artist and undeniably one of the most iconic names in magic! Plus, we'll visit a portion of the Houdini collection as owned and cared for by Fred Pittella. Additionally, we're going to play more magic history-themed games, ask Adele Friel Rhindress some questions about life on the road with the Blackstone show, learn some magical trivia, share more about past topics when we Escape From The Mailbag, and we'll even have a few special surprises!
Thursday, October 29, 2020
YOU can attend the largest online seance ever held this Saturday October 31st on Zoom!FREE!Please attend the first virtual seance to try to communicate with Harry Houdini on the 94th Anniversary of his death. It will be conducted Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 1:26 PM (EST) by Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz the owners and curators of the Harry Houdini Museum in Scranton, PA.Sign in at 1:00 PM EST for a discussion and explanation of this event. The actual Seance will take place at 1:26 PM, the exact time of Houdini's death 94 years ago on October 31, 1926.Come Join The Houdini SeanceMeeting ID: 816 7803 6794Passcode: 642907
TEN YEAR UPDATE: Houdini Art and Magic ran at the Jewish Museum of New York from October 29, 2010 to March 27, 2011. It then traveled to the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles from April 28 to September 4, 2011; the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco from October 2, 2011 to January 16, 2012; and then wrapped up at at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison, Wisconsin from from February 11 to May 13, 2012.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Monday, October 26, 2020
|An original King of Cards and the 1941 rediscovery.|
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Friday, October 23, 2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020
ILLUSIONISTS DAVID COPPERFIELD AND HARRY HOUDINI TO BE INDUCTED INTO NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY’S ONLY IN AMERICA® HALL OF FAMECopperfield Will Accept the Honor from His International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts Which Houses the Largest Collection of Houdini Artifacts in the World
The Philadelphia Museum’s Virtual Gala Will Take Place on December 12, 2020
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (October 22, 2020) – The National Museum of American Jewish History announced today that the two most famous illusionists of all time, Harry Houdini and David Copperfield, will be simultaneously inducted into its Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame during the Museum’s annual gala—a virtual event scheduled for Saturday, December 12, 2020.
An honor bestowed to just 21 prior inductees, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Steven Spielberg, Barbara Streisand, Emma Lazarus, and Irving Berlin, the award recognizes the achievements and contributions of American Jews who share and exemplify the ideals of the stories explored in the Museum.
“We are thrilled and grateful to be able to induct Harry Houdini and David Copperfield into Only in America at the same time,” said NMAJH Trustee and Gala Chair, Sharon Tobin Kestenbaum. “The kinds of ‘Only in America’ stories we explore in the Museum are in great part about the legacies created for future generations. With this event, we are able to celebrate a cross-generational story. From immigrant Harry Houdini to first-generation American David Copperfield, this event clearly demonstrates what’s possible when individuals are simply given the chance to be great.”
Both magicians share a passion for the history of magic. “David Copperfield cares deeply about the history of his craft—his desire to know and preserve that history is something that resonates strongly with us as a history Museum,” added NMAJH CEO, Dr. Misha Galperin. “Museums and magic actually have a lot in common—they are about storytelling at their core, and are designed to intrigue, inspire, and spark wonder.”
Copperfield will accept the honor from his International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada which houses the world’s largest collection of historically significant magic memorabilia, posters, books, props, artifacts, and is home to the largest collection of Houdini artifacts including his Water Torture Cell, Metamorphosis Trunk, as well as the only known recording of Houdini’s voice—preserved on the original Edison wax cylinders.
To date, David Copperfield has earned 21 Emmy Awards, 11 Guinness World Records, is a recipient of the Living Legend honor by The Library of Congress, and has sold more tickets than any solo performer in history. Born David Seth Kotkin in New Jersey, his mother came from Israel and his father’s parents were born in Russia. Copperfield was invited to join the Society of American Magicians at just 12 years old—its youngest member ever. One of David’s proudest achievements is Project Magic, a program that uses magic as therapy in 1,000 hospitals in 30 countries worldwide. This medically certified program motivates patients to regain their dexterity, coordination, and cognitive skills by learning simple magic and sleight of hand.
During the virtual event, Copperfield will himself induct Harry Houdini. Born Erik Weisz in Hungary in 1874, Houdini came to America when he was just four years old. He toiled at odd jobs as a young man and son of a Rabbi who struggled to make ends meet for his family before becoming the legendary illusionist we know today, touring across America and Europe and drawing audiences of thousands. He had little in the way of formal education and self-educated himself on the history of magic, amassing a large collection, and confronting the scams of his day with historical evidence. His death-defying feats and daring work as an escape-artist set him apart from all other performers of his time. He continues to inspire generations of magicians.
Last fall, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the 21st inductee into Only in America. She joined an iconic group of living and posthumous inductees which includes Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Louis Brandeis, Albert Einstein, Gertrude Elion, Mordecai Kaplan, Sandy Koufax, Estée Lauder, Emma Lazarus, Isaac Leeser, Golda Meir, Julius Rosenwald, Jonas Salk, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Rose Schneiderman, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Henrietta Szold, and Isaac Mayer Wise.
The award recognizes the achievements and contributions of American Jews who have significantly impacted American society and culture, often despite facing antisemitism and prejudice. The inductees embody hard work and aspiration, courage and imagination, leadership and service. Located on the first floor of the Museum, the Ed Snider Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame brings these stories to life through a combination of original artifacts, original films, and multimedia elements.
Tickets will go on sale later this month. The event is open to the public and will be a can’t-miss experience for anyone who loves the awe-inspiring wonder of magic. All are welcome to partake in a night of surprise and amazement at this once-in-a-lifetime event honoring the legacy of Harry Houdini and living legend, David Copperfield. Sponsorships with exclusive benefits available.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Randi was born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge on August 7, 1928 in Toronto, Canada. He took up magic after seeing Harry Blackstone Sr. He eventually entered the field of escapology as "The Amazing Randi", performing numerous escapes from jails, safes, and Houdini's Milk Can. On February 7, 1956, he recreated Houdini's Shelton Pool Test, remaining in his sealed casket for 104 minutes. He also escaped from a straitjacket while suspended over Niagara Falls. William Gresham dedicated his 1959 biography Houdini The Man Who Walked Through Walls to Randi.
Randi continued to follow in Houdini's footsteps as he devoted his later life to exposing frauds, famously bringing down Uri Geller on The Tonight Show and faith healer Peter Popoff. He also sponsored the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge for evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event under test conditions. It was never claimed.
Randi authored ten books, among them the 1977 work Houdini His Life and Art with Bert Randolph Sugar. He also famously appeared on the TV sitcom Happy Days doing the Milk Can escape (well, helping "Fonzie" do the Milk Can). He appeared in numerous Houdini documentaries, including the very first, The Truth About Houdini, 1970. In 2014 a feature documentary was made of his life called An Honest Liar.
I had the pleasure of meeting Randi at two Magic Castle events, but I'm sorry I never got to know him personally. Growing up he was one of my magic heroes and remained so my entire life. I've often thought Randi is the model of what Houdini's would have become has he lived longer; a mentor to magicians, a champion of skepticism, and as close to a real-life wizard as one can get. I don't think the story of magic can be told without The Amazing Randi.
Chris Distefano and Yannis Pappas of course discuss the dope tricks that Houdini performed, specifically his life-threatening ones that make no mistake were freaken WILD!!! Harry Houdini is a screwed in SQUEAK from Hungary that moved to The best city in the world, New York City!! He traveled the world doing tricks such as The Metamorphosis, Water Torture Cell, or the Milk Can Escape. He was no stranger to escaping locked handcuffs or jail cells, Cuzzie was talented!
Monday, October 19, 2020
"In 1970(!), going thru the latest copy of The Linking Ring, I saw an ad by an George W. Hippisley, selling magic items, mostly Blackstone memorabilia and props. What caught my eye was that it included Houdini items as well. Back then, I was very fascinated with Houdini and escapes and sent my 50 cents for his list."
|Click to enlarge.|
"The list was an amazing array of items, most/all previously owned by Harry Blackstone, Sr. I quickly scanned the Houdini items and eventually ordered: A spirit trumpet that was from Houdini. A small flashlight HH used to expose mediums in their dark seance rooms. A piece of paper with HH correct birthplace/birthday written by Blackstone on it. A small clipping from The Billboard Magazine regarding Houdini and Blackstone each claiming to have first performed the overboard packing case escape. AND, a typed and signed letter by Houdini, bad-mouthing Blackstone. (so what else is new?) I cannot recall if I didn’t order other items because they were already sold or because of my limited funds. I probably talked to Hippisley regarding what was available so I could be sure to get it."
July 14, 1970
Dear Mr. Domingo:
In 1936 I approached Mrs. Beatrice Houdini for some token from her late husband's effects. A letter came back requesting information about my connection with magic and magicians. This letter has since been lost.However, I answered the letter and some time later a package and an envelope came from Edward Saint, Mrs. Houdini's manager. In the package were the trumpet, the flashlight, and the cuts as listed in my listings for sale.In the envelope with the Houdini challenges and the movie stills and lobby photos. These were folded which wasn't a fortunate thing. I believe this envelope I enclosed with the items you purchased from me.That is how I came to have these items. There was no further word explanation about them. I wrote in return of the receipt and thanked both Mrs. Houdini and Mr. Saint for them. There was no reply.Sincerely yours,George W. Hippisley
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Saturday, October 17, 2020
With every nerve keyed up and his reflexes answering his keen brain, he swayed backward and forward, rolled from side to side until his shoulder blades were thrown completely out of joint. The pain was intense, but he summoned every ounce of strength at his command and finally succeeded in getting one of the arms free by gradually working his body toward a settee, where, with his elbow on the seat, he pushed his disjointed arm over his head.
Agony was written all over his face as at last with a final effort he extricated his arms and was in a position to loosen the straps which bound them, with his teeth.
Nor was his labor over now. The canvas jacket cut into his flesh and the buckles bruised his muscles. His body ached with weariness, yet he clung to his task. Like a thing incarnate he toiled as he realize the danger that in confronted Eva.
Two women walked along the pathway between the crowded headstones, the wind blowing the autumn leaves about their feet, rain dripping from the trees, a damp chill adding to the gloom. One of the women was Bess Houdini, older now, but still Bess. Sadness had touched, but not crushed her. She wore a cloth coat bundled about her, a scarf knotted firmly at her neck, a hat and gloves, and in her hand she carried a small cluster of roses, out of place here, because this was an Orthodox Jewish cemetery where the a customary offering is a pebble. But Harry Houdini was no ordinary tenant, and even after his death he was treated as a headliner; whatever he wanted backstage was okay with the management.
|The Great Houdinis UK paperback.|
He held on tightly to his breath. Years of practice and conditioning has expanded his lung capacity until he go without breathing for three minutes or more. Cold water leeched the heat from his bones, yet the chill had little effect on him. He routinely bathed and tubs of ice water to inure his body against the shock of sudden immersion. Indeed, he had become accustom to a cold bath every morning and seldom enjoyed going without one. Sydney Harbor was not exactly warm this afternoon, but he had attempted this stunt in far cooler waters. Detroit, back in November of '07... now that had been cold.
Not to be nit-picky, but the "Detroit stunt" was actually 1906. But, hey, we don't read novelizations for the facts. These are for fun.
- "This book is full of lies" - Houdini His Life Story
- The secrets of The Secrets of Houdini - The Secrets of Houdini
- "Had Houdini lived he would have written this book" - Houdini's Escapes and Magic
- The gateway biography - The Great Houdini
- An alternative gateway - Houdini Master of Escape
- The first great Houdini biography - Houdini The Man Who Walked Through Walls
- The perennial - Houdini on Magic
- The textbook - Houdini The Untold Story
- The Fantastic Four - The Original Houdini Scrapbook, Houdini His Art and Magic, Houdini A Pictorial Life, Houdini His Legend and His Magic
- The best forgotten Houdini book - Houdini's Fabulous Magic
- The Brandon book - The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini
- The imposter - The Great Balsamo
Friday, October 16, 2020
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Wednesday, October 14, 2020