Thursday, February 29, 2024

Leap Day Dash

While we know Hardeen was born on March 4, 1876, in Budapest, like his famous brother, he later claimed Appleton as his birthplace and changed his birthdate. The date Dash chose was February 29 (Leap Day), showing he had a sense of humor about all this. As it only happens once every four years, let's celebrate Hardeen's "birthday" today with some dashing posters.

Below is one of my all-time favorite posters for either brother. If Houdini ever created a poster depicting a bridge jump, I've not seen it. But it would be tough to do better than this one. This appeared on the back of the July 1945 Conjurers Magazine "Hardeen Memorial Issue." How I would love to see this in color.

Here's another Hardeen poster that features a bridge jump as a key image. This is a blow-up from a photo of an Oakland billboard when the brothers were both performing there in 1915. Again, how I'd love to see this in color.

Here's another beauty. This appears on the back of Hardeen's pitchbook.

While the above posters will be familiar to some, I'm sharing a Hardeen poster on my Patreon today that I bet you've never seen because I sure hadn't! And, yes, this one is in color. This comes from Eric Colleary and our friends at the Harry Ransom Center. Enjoy.

Happy Leap Day Birthday, Dash!


  1. THAT is a beautiful Hardeen poster at the Ransom Center! The illustrator used the photo of a manacled Hardeen as the guide for the poster. That photo is in Christopher's Untold Story.

  2. Wow. Love these, John. Outside of our little circle of Houdini nuts I dont think people realize how accomplished Hardeen was. You keep him alive with post like these. Thank-You.