Friday, April 26, 2024

Saga of S.S. Imperator

One of my favorite YouTube channels is Oceanliner Designs with Michael Brady. This guy is wild about boats! In the video below, Michael takes a look at three German superliners, including SS Imperator. Houdini fans will recognize this as the ship Houdini was on when he met and mystified President Theodore Roosevelt with the spirit slates. It's fascinating to learn the full story of this great ship and her sisters. Enjoy.

Want more? You can see an unpublished photo of Harry and Bess Houdini aboard Imperator on my Patreon below. This comes courtesy of the Magic Castle's William Larsen Memorial Library.


  1. That 1930s photo of Bess exiting a passenger propeller plane is an eye opener. Transoceanic super liners were on their way out.

    1. I'm not entirely sure what photo you're thinking of, but she's certainly not taking a transatlantic fight. Ocean Liners remained the way to go well into the 1950s. It was jet air travel that doomed them, I think.

  2. The Bess passenger plane photo was a trip to Seattle from Hollywood to see William Harkness, the Canadian Houdini. She rode a modern passenger airplane. A long way from the box kite Harry piloted in 1909. By the 1930s, the big transatlantic ships were down to their last 20 years. Jet air travel was around the corner as you pointed out.