Friday, February 18, 2022

Houdini part of WGY exhibition in Schenectady

The famous shot of Houdini giving a radio address over WGY is one of 50 photographs selected for an exhibition marking the station's centennial at the Museums of Innovation and Science (miSci) in Schenectady, New York. The exhibition will be on view through May 8, 2022.

WGY: Radio’s Laboratory Celebrates Its Centennial
presents more than fifty rare and historical photographs, ranging in date from the early 1920s to 1980, documenting the history of WGY, a groundbreaking radio station founded in 1922 and still operating today in the New York Capital Region.

WGY is the tenth oldest commercial radio station in the United States, the creator of the first broadcast drama, and a pioneer in the use of sound effects. It was the first affiliate of the NBC national network and regularly featured top national entertainers. WGY was also one of the stations that helped to unite the country during World War II by providing important news to the entire nation.

Photographs on view include an October 1926 image of Harry Houdini appearing on WGY to promote a performance in Albany, one of his last before his death a few weeks later on Halloween; and a 1929 image of the famous aviator Amelia Earhart, who visited the WGY studio to give a talk and read letters to Admiral Richard Byrd’s Antarctic Expedition.

One small correction to the official description above. This was a split week for the "3 Shows in One". Houdini had just come from Albany and was actually promoting his appearance at Schenectady's own Van Curler Theater when he made this broadcast on October 14, 1926.

For more information visit the miSci website.


  1. The last photo of Harry? He would be dead in just 17 days.

    1. We've been down that road. It's close, but not the last.

    2. And what a road!!! That last newspaper photo looks terrible. You can barely make it out. I disqualify it on its muddiness. I'll continue to embrace this radio broadcast photo. It's as if Harry is saying as he looks in the camera: "This is it, get your last look at me."