Monday, July 17, 2023

The mother scrapbook and a year of discovery

Today is the 110th anniversary of the death of Houdini's mother Cecelia Weiss. It's also the one year anniversary of a remarkable experience I had with what's called "the mother scrapbook."

The great John Gaughan owns this rarity and last year he allowed me to take it home and "live with it" for several days. Turns out I had it on the anniversary of mama's death. I now mark this as the start of a remarkable year of coming to know Houdini in a deeper way. From this scrapbook to the Harry Ransom Center to Houdini's travel diary to David Copperfield's museum and the Houdini voice tapes to the collection of Bruce Averbook in Cleveland. It's been an incredible year of discovery and it all started here.

So on this dual anniversary, I thought I'd redirect you back to the post I did about the enigmatic mother scrapbook. Just click the image below to open it back up.

P.S. I fully intend to have another year of discovery.


  1. As Bob Hope would say: Thanks for the memories! That scrapbook is an excursion into HH's psyche. When did Marie Hinson pass away? What happened to the Houdini goodies she gave to Doug? Gaughan got the scrapbook, but the other items?

    1. I don't know when Marie died. I should find that out. Doug didn't get as much as we think. Many of the artifacts in his book came from other collections, notably Stanley Palm. Those treasures have now been scattered among other collections. DC has a lot.

    2. Thanks for the info! John Hinson should know about Marie. I'll ask him on FB.

    3. It's nice that the HH items were photographed for the Henning book. At least they were documented before scattering to private collections.