The New Houdini Chronology ☛ 1908

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Last update: 7/12/18
Weeks run Monday to Sunday.

Dec. 30-Jan. 5: New Grand Theater, Indianapolis, IN [1][2]
Jan. 6-12: Columbia Theater, St Louis, MO [1][2]
Jan. 13-19: Columbia Theater, St Louis, MO [1][2]
➤ Jan. 15: Conjurers' Monthly Magazine Vol. 2, No. 5 published.
Jan. 20-26: Columbia Theater, St Louis, MO [1][2]
➤ Mon., Jan. 20: Manager Tate tells Houdini, "You are not worth a five-dollar bill to me." [7]
✪ ➤ Sat., Jan. 25: Houdini performs his Milk Can escape for first time. Invited press do not attend. [7][11]
Jan. 27-Feb. 2: Columbia Theater, St Louis, MO [1][2]

Feb. 3-9: Haymarket Theater, Chicago, IL [2]
Feb. 10-16: Haymarket Theater, Chicago, IL [1][2]
➤ Feb. 15: Conjurers' Monthly Magazine Vol. 2, No. 6 published.
Feb. 17-23:
Feb. 24-March 1:
➤ Sat., Feb. 29: Hardeen is able to celebrate his leap day birthday (32).

March 2-8: Keith’s Theater, Cleveland, OH [1]
➤ Houdini records in diary that he is not featured: "Is this week the first step toward oblivion?" [7][11]
➤ Wed., March 4: Packing case challenge from the May Co. [1]
March 9-15: Temple Theater, Detroit, MI [2]
➤ Houdini stays at Hotel St. Claire, locked in room by bellboys as joke. [2]
➤ Sat., March 14: Houdini receives loving cup from manager of Temple for breaking all attendance records. [2]
➤ March 15: Conjurers' Monthly Magazine Vol. 2, No. 7 published.
March 16-22: Grand Theater, Pittsburg, PA [1]
✪ ➤ Mon., March 16: Papers announce Houdini will "introduce for the first time" his new escape from "liquid air can filled with water." Offers $25 for best name for escape. This appears to be the official "debut" of the Milk Can.
➤ Fri., March 20: Houdini challenged to escape from riveted boiler.
March 23-29: Shea's Theater, Buffalo, NY [2]
➤ James J. Morton follows Houdini with comedic monologue explaining how he escaped from his Milk Can. [2]
➤ Wed., March 25: Houdini escapes "about 20 pounds" of manacles in Central Y.M.C.A. pool. Knocks head into bottom of pool. [2]
March 30-April 5: Hammerstein's Victoria Theater, New York, NY [2]

April 6-12: Keith & Proctor’s 125th Street Theater, New York, NY [2]
➤ Mon., April 6: Houdini celebrates 34th birthday.
➤ Fri., April 10: Weed Chain Tire Grip Co. challenge. [2][6]
April 13-19: Keith’s Theater, Providence, RI [1]-unverified
➤ April 15: Conjurers' Monthly Magazine Vol. 2, No. 8 published.
April 20-26: Keith and Proctor’s 5th Ave. Theater, New York, NY [1][2]
April 27-May 3: Keith’s Theater, Boston, MA [1]
➤ Thurs., April 30: Houdini jumps from Harvard bridge in Boston. [2]

May 4-10: Keith’s Theater, Boston, MA [1]
✪ ➤ Sun., May 3: The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin is first published. [2][6]
May 11-17: Keith's Theater, Philadelphia, PA [1][2]
➤ Thurs., May 14: Houdini jumps from Market street bridge (Chestnut and Market), Philadelphia. [2]
➤ May 15: Conjurers' Monthly Magazine Vol. 2, No. 9 published.
May 18-24: Keith's Theater, Philadelphia, PA [2]
➤ Mon., May 18: Houdini shows film of his Market Street bridge jump during act. [2]
May 25-31: Orpheum Theater (Fulton near Flatbush), Brooklyn, NY [2]

June 1-7:
➤ Thurs., June 4: Houdini attends Fourth Annual Banquet of the S.A.M. at Hotel Marlborough. Kellar and Thurston also in attendance. [Pic.] [1][2]
June 8-14: Keith's Theater, Portland, ME [2][12]
➤ Wed., June 10: Houdini jumps manacled from the Portland Bridge (today the Casco Bay Bridge). [2][12]
June 15-21:
➤ June 15: Conjurers' Monthly Magazine Vol. 2, No. 10 published.
➤ Mon., June 15: Houdini injured in jump from Youngs Pier, Atlantic City. [2]
➤ Thurs., June 18: Houdini photographed with Harry Kellar in Atlantic City. [5]
➤ Sun., June 21: Harry and Bess take swim in ocean (Coney Island?). [7][11]
June 22-28:
➤ Mon., June 22: Houdini climbs the outside of 278 with roses in teeth for 14th wedding anniversary. [11]
June 29-July 5:

July 6-12:
➤ Mon., July 6: Houdini resigns from the S.A.M. [1][11]
July 13-19:
➤ July 15: Conjurers' Monthly Magazine Vol. 2, No. 11 published. "Harry Kellar Souvenir Number"
July 20-26:
July 27-Aug. 2:

Aug. 3-9:
Aug. 10-16:
➤ Mon., Aug. 10: Houdini sails for Germany abroad the Kaiser Wilhelm II. [1]
➤ Aug 15: Conjurers' Monthly Magazine Vol. 2, No. 12 published. Final issue.
Aug. 17-22:
Aug. 24-30:
➤ Tues., Aug. 25: Houdini arrives in Bremen, Germany. [1]
Aug. 31-Sept. 6: Circus Busch, Berlin, Germany [1][11]

Sept. 7-13: Circus Busch, Berlin, Germany [1]
➤ Harry Leonard billed as "Houdini" tours with "Yankee Doodle Girls" in the U.S. at this time. Does Milk Can escape. Later tours solo as "The Great Leonard, Pupil of Houdini."
Sept. 14-20: Circus Busch, Berlin, Germany [1]
Sept. 21-27: Circus Busch, Berlin, Germany [1]
➤ Houdini jumps from Berlin's Friedrichs Bridge into the Spree Canal this week. [2][3]
➤ Last of the handcuff challenges at this time. [1]
Sept. 28-Oct. 4:

Oct. 5-11:
Oct. 12-18:
Oct. 19-25: Circus Busch, Berlin, Germany [1]
➤ Fri., Oct. 23: Houdini celebrates his "25th anniversary in show business" at banquet hosted by Circus Brush management. [10]
Oct. 26-Nov. 1:
➤ Tues., Oct. 27: Houdini writes letter Sherlock Holmes asking him to come to Berlin to help deal with imitators. [5]

Nov. 2-8: Oxford, Music Hall, London, UK [1][8]
➤ Houdini refused permission to jump from Westminster Bridge in London. [8]
Nov. 9-15: Oxford, Music Hall, London, UK [1][8]
Nov. 16-22: Oxford, Music Hall, London, UK [1][8]
➤ Fri., Nov. 20: Houdini challenged by Chinese sailors to escape Sangauw torture device.
Nov. 23-29: Oxford, Music Hall, London, UK [1][8]
➤ Fri., Nov. 27: Houdini challenged by Suffragettes. [6][8]
Nov. 30-Dec. 6: Euston Palace, London, UK [1][8]
➤ Tues., Dec. 1: Magic Circle dinner at Frascatti's. Houdini does the needle trick, apologizes for not wearing evening dress. [1]
➤ Tues., Dec. 4: Escapes challenge safe on-stage at Euston Palace. [11]

Dec. 7-13: Hippodrome Theater, Liverpool, UK [1][8]
➤ Mon., Dec. 7: Houdini jumps from tugboat into the River Mersey. [1][8]
Dec. 14-20: Hippodrome, Birmingham, UK [8]
➤ Dec., 15: Houdini jumps from houseboat into Edgbaston Reservoir during heavy rain. [1][8]
Dec. 21-27: Grand Theater, Bolton, UK [1][8]
Dec. 28-Jan. 3: Paragon Theater, London, UK [1][8]


Primary Sources:
[1] Koval, Frank. The Illustrated Houdini Research Diary, Part 3: 1906 to 1910. Chadderton: 1992.
[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 item.
[6] Original pitchbook, program, playbill or poster.
[7] Houdini diary.
✪ Denotes a first or possible first.

Additional Sources (1908):
[8] Tait, Derek. The Great Houdini: His British Tours. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books, 2017.
[9] David De-Val Escapology Website, Houdini UK Tours.
[10] Gresham, William Lindsay. Houdini: The Man Who Walked Through Walls. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1959.
[11] Kalush, William, and Larry Sloman. The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006.
[12] Bruce MacNab.

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