Magician and lecturer Paul Draper has written a thoughtful article about collecting magic for Anthropology News magazine. Paul includes his memories of The Great Houdini Auction in Las Vegas and talks about a particular piece of cherished Houdini history:
In my collection, I have a wooden lathe, a nail, and a brick from Houdini’s home in Harlem. The current owner has been selling pieces of the original structure to pay for remodeling and refurbishment. The lathe has a thin splatter of white paint, indicating the exact color of the bathroom where Houdini practiced his famous escapes in a bathtub filled with icy water. I steam my suits in hotel bathrooms and practice close-up effects in front of my mirror at home, so when I hold this lathe, I imagine the intimate moments, both mundane and creative, that took place in Houdini’s home.
Click the headline to read the full article at Anthropology News. The print edition includes illustrations by Charlotte Corden.