Thursday, March 25, 2021

Blackstone produces a Houdini birthplace puzzle

Our friend Diego Domingo shares this curiosity from his collection to mark Houdini's 147th birthday yesterday. This is a label marked on the front "Blackstone Show 1956." Written on the back in Harry Blackstone Sr.'s handwriting is the following:

For starters, this was written before it was generally known that Houdini wasn't born in the United States. Also, that doesn't say Budapest! To my eye, that says Beregszasz, which until 1919 was part of Hungary and today is known as Berehove and is part of Ukraine. The city was home to a large Jewish community which you can read more about HERE.

So was Blackstone misinformed? Or does he know something we don't? If you have any ideas, feel free to share in the comments.

Thanks Diego (and Harry Sr.).


  1. While this was among the items I purchased from George Hippisley, along with Houdni's flashlight & spirit trumpet, former Blackstone Show assistant, Adele Friel Rhindress, also confirmed that's Harry Sr.s handwriting. Interesting this was 3 years before William Lindsay Gresham's book came out, (1959) that was the first bio to note his true birth country.

  2. While others knew correct birthplace/date, before Gresham published it, it's interesting how sometimes borders, citizenships, names of cities/towns/countries change due to wars, revolts, politics, etc.