The New Houdini Chronology ☛ 1897

1874-90 | 1891-94 | 1895 | 1896 | 1897 | 1898 | 1899 | 1900 | 1901 | 1902 | 1903 |

Last update: 4/11/18
Weeks run Monday to Sunday.

Jan. 4-10: Wonderland Musee Theatre (Edmond & Felix), St. Joseph, MO [2]
Jan. 11-17:
✪ ➤ Sun. Jan. 17: Houdini exposes methods of fraudulent mediums at A.O.U.W. hall (Sixth and Edmond), St. Joseph, MO. First public exposures[2][10]
Jan. 18-24:
Jan. 25-31:

Feb. 1-7:
Feb. 8-14: Sher's Alhambra Palace Theater and Summer Garden (7th and Elm), [City, State?] [8]
➤ Harry performs sleight of hand as Harry Raynohr, Bess signs as Beatrice Raynohr, and "Harry & Bessie Raynohr" perform comedy sketch "A Tramps Reception." [8]
Feb. 15-21:
Feb. 22-28: Hopkins Grand Opera House, St. Louis, MO [2]
➤ The Houdinis on same bill as T. Nelson Downs. [2]
➤ Sat., Feb. 27: Harry and Bess give "Spiritualistic Seance" at A.O.U.W. Lodge, St. Louis, MO [8]

March 1-7: McCasland's Opera House, East St. Louis, MO [1][8]
March 8-14: Wonderland Musee Theatre (Edmond & Felix), St. Joseph, MO [2]
➤ The Houdinis are also advertised as appearing at the Temple Theater, Alton, IL this same week. [2]
March 15-21: Wonderland, Detroit, MI [solo billed, might be Jack Hyman] / Bell City Opera House, Racine. WI - Rogers Orpheum Stars Co. [1][2]
➤ Mon., March 19: Escapes handcuffs at police station. [8]
March 22-28: Germania Theater, Menasha, WI (March 26-27) - Rogers Orpheum Stars Co. [1]
➤ Mon., March 26: Escapes handcuffs at City Hall. [8]
March 29-April 4: Opera House, Appleton, WI (March 29-30) - Rogers Orpheum Stars Co. [1]
➤ Mon., March 29: Escapes handcuffs at Appleton police station. [8]

April 5-11: Grand Opera House, Stevens Point, WI - Rogers Orpheum Stars Co. [2]
➤ Mon., April 6: Houdini celebrates 23rd birthday.
April 12-18:
April 19-25: Myers Grand Opera House, Janesville, WI - Rogers Orpheum Stars Co. [1][8]
April 26-May 2:

May 3-9:
➤ Thurs., May 6: Escapes handcuffs at Beloit, WI police station. [1]
May 10-16:
May 17-23:
May 24-30:
May 31-June 6:

June 7-13:
June 14-20:
➤ Mon., June 14: Fairview Amusement Park, Dayton , OH [5][8]
June 21-27:
June 28-July 4:
➤ In July Houdini goes to four newspapers offering to sell his secrets, including his handcuff act, for $25. [3]

July 5-11:
July 12-18:
July 19-25: Sea Beach Palace, Coney Island, NY. [7]
July 26-Aug. 1: Sea Beach Palace, Coney Island, NY. [7]

Aug. 2-8: Huber's Museum, New York, NY [10]
➤ Mon., Aug 2: Bess refuses to work. Houdini works solo. [7]
Aug. 9-15:
Aug. 16-22:
Aug. 23-29:
Aug. 30-Sept. 5:

Sept. 6-12:
Sept. 13-19: Lyceum Theater, Niagra Falls, NY [1][7]
Sept. 20-26: Wonderland, Detroit, MI [1][7]
➤ Fri., Sept. 24: Escapes 3 pair of handcuffs at Detroit police headquarters. [2]
Sept. 27-Oct. 3: Smith's Opera House, Grand Rapids, MI [1]
➤ Wed., Sept. 29: Escapes handcuffs at Grand Rapids police station. [8]
The Review calls Houdini "Herrmann's Successor." [8]

Oct. 4-10:
Oct. 11-17:
Oct. 18-24:
Oct. 25-31: Music Hall, Milwaukee, WI [8]
➤ Wed., Oct. 27: Escapes handcuffs at police station. [8]

Nov. 1-7:
Nov. 8-14:
Nov. 15-21:
Nov. 22-28:
Nov. 29-Dec 5:

Dec. 6-12:
➤ Harry and Bess make a deal to tour with Samri Baldwin, but tour never comes to fruition. [9]
Dec. 13-19:
Dec. 20-26: Opera House, Pittsburgh, KS (Dec. 20-22) - California Concert Co. [1][8]
Dec. 27-Jan. 2: Opera House, Columbus, KS - California Concert Co. [8]
✪ ➤ Tues., Dec. 28: Houdini is called "The King of Handcuffs" in the The Columbus Daily Advocate. First known use of this billing[2]


Primary Sources:
[1] Koval, Frank. The Illustrated Houdini Research Diary, Part 1: 1895 to 1899. Chadderton: 1993.
[2] Original newspaper story or advertisement via newspapers.com or other archival source.
[3] Silverman, Kenneth. Houdini!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.
[4] Christopher, Milbourne. Houdini The Untold Story. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1969.
[5] Original Houdini letter, cable, contract or signed photo.
[6] Original pitchbook, program, playbill or poster.
[7] Houdini diary.
✪ Denotes a first or possible first.

Additional Sources (1897):
[8] Harry Houdini Personal Scrapbook 1895 to 1899, History Museum at the Castle, Appleton, WI.
[9] MacNab, Bruce. The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini. Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 2012.
[10] Culliton, Patrick. Houdini Unlocked: The Tao of Houdini. Los Angeles: Kieran Press, 1997.

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