I'm working hard on the next installment about my visit to the Harry Ransom Center and planning to share it next week. In the meantime, here's a taste of things to come. I included this as part of my special part 2 preview for patrons, but it drew enough interest that I decided to break it out into its own post.
Among the papers in the Ransom Center are documents related to Houdini's finances. Here is Houdini's––or rather, Ehrich Weiss'––balance sheet for 1911. This shows his total income for that year was $117,851.27. According to the CPI Inflation Calculator, this is equivalent to $3,675,421.35 in 2022. And this is before there was such a thing as income tax. Not too shabby, Ehrich!
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I'm curious what kind of "House Maintenance" cost $7,912.13 ($246,667.73 today). I know at some point Houdini added a new heating system to 278. Maybe this is that?
If you're curious about the names at the bottom of the expense column: W.G. Weiss is Houdini's brother, Bill; Mrs. Cecelia Weiss is his mother; Miss Carrie Weiss is his sister; and Mrs. Rahner is Bess's mother.
Stay tuned for "More Treasures of the Harry Ransom Center."