The New Houdini Chronology ☛ 1920

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Last update: 6/9/18
Weeks run Monday to Sunday.

Jan. 5-11:
➤ Mon., Jan. 5: Houdini arrives in Southhampton, UK. [1]
➤ Houdini sells his interest in Martinka's magic shop around this time. [1]
Jan. 12-18: Alhambra Theater, Bradford, UK [1][8]
Jan. 19-25:
Jan. 26-Feb. 1: Empire, Finsbury Park, UK [8]
➤ Sun., Feb. 1: Houdini attends Magician's Club Banquet at the Savoy Hotel, London. [1]

Feb. 2-8: Empire Palace, Liverpool, UK [8]
➤ Sun., Feb. 8: Magician's Club Dinner, Savoy Hotel. [6][13]
Feb. 9-15:
Feb. 16-22:
Feb. 23-29: Empire Theater, Edinburgh, Scotland [1][8]
➤ Houdini films street scenes later used in Haldane of the Secret Service.
➤ [Date?]: Houdini and Bess visits the grave of the Great Lafayette. [4]
Feb. 30-March 7: Coliseum, Glasgow, Scotland [8]
➤ Houdini films street scenes later used in Haldane of the Secret Service.
➤ [Date?]: Houdini injures right ankle in the Water Torture Cell in beginning of March. [1][4]

March 8-14: Empire, Leeds, UK [8]
March 15-21: Empire Theater, Sheffield, UK [1][8]
✪ ➤ Sat., March 20: Houdini does outdoor underwater diving suit escape in Hull. [10]
March 22-28: Palace Theater, Hull, UK [1][8]
➤ Houdini films street scenes later used in Haldane of the Secret Service.
March 29-April 4: Empire Theater, Nottingham, UK [1][8]

April 5-11: Empire Theater, Cardiff, UK [1][8]
➤ Tues., April 6: Houdini celebrates 46th birthday.
April 12-18: Hippodrome Theater, Brighton, UK [1][8]
✪ ➤ Mon., April 12: Terror Island opens on double bill with SEX at The Modern and The Beacon theaters in Boston, MA. [2]
✪ ➤ Wed., April 14: Houdini meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and family for first time at his home at Windlesham, Crowborough. [1][5][9]
➤ Thurs., April 15: Houdini has lunch with Conan Doyle who also sees show. [4][5]
April 19-25: Hippodrome Theater, Portsmouth, UK [1][8]
➤ Sun., April 25: Houdini attends séance in London with clairvoyant medium Mrs. Brittain. Writes in diary: "All this is ridiculous stuff." [1][7][9]
✪ ➤ Sun., April 25: Terror Island opens at the Rialto Theater (1481 Broadway at 42nd St.), New York, NY. [2]
April 26-May 2: Hippodrome Theater, Newcastle–upon-Tyne, UK [1][8]
➤ Wed., April 28: Houdini performs acrobatic stunts on parapets of Newcastle Castle. [2]

May 3-9: Palladium Theater, London, UK [1][8]
➤ Houdini makes $3,750 a week, highest salary ever paid to a single performer. [4]
May 10-16: Palladium Theater, London, UK [1][8]
➤ Tues., May 11: Houdini, Bess and Julie Karcher lunch with the Doyles at the Royal Automobile Club, London. [1]
May 17-23:
➤ Thurs., May 20: Houdini has séance with trumpet medium Mrs. Wriedt at 146 Harley St. No results. Houdini writes in diary: "My belief–she was afraid of me." [7][9]
May 24-30: Empire Theater, Bristol, UK [1][8]
May 31-June 6: Pavillion Theatre (Renfield St.), Glasgow, Scotland [6][8]

June 7-13: New Cross Empire, UK [8]
June 14-20:
➤ Fri., June 18: Houdini has séance with ectoplasmic medium Eva C. at 20 Hanover Square, London. [1]
➤ Sun., June 20: Houdini has séance with Eva C. at 20 Hanover Square, London. [1]
June 21-27:
➤ Wed., June 23: Houdini has séance with Eva C. at 20 Hanover Square, London. [1]
➤ Fri., June 25: Houdini has séance with Eva C. at 20 Hanover Square, London. [1]
➤ Sun., June 27: Houdini and Bess travel to Paris via airplane. [5][11]
June 28-July 4: Houdini in Paris this week. Shoots scenes later used in Haldane of the Secret Service.
➤ Sat., July 3: Houdini sails for New York aboard the RMS Imperator. [1][10]

July 5-11: Houdini at sea aboard Imperator. Doesn't get seasick. [4]
July 12-18:
➤ Mon., July 12: Houdini arrives in New York (held at Ellis Island because of typhoid scare). [1][4]
➤ Tues., July 13: Houdini visits mother's grave with Hardeen. Goes to FDC in NJ. [3]
July 19-25:
July 26-Aug. 1:

Aug. 2-8:
Aug. 9-15:
Aug. 16-22:
➤ Sat., Aug. 21: Houdini does suspended straitjacket at Police Field Day Games at Gravesend Racetrack on Brooklyn, NY. [Film] [1][2]
Aug. 23-29:
Aug. 30-Sept. 5:

Sept. 6-12:
➤ Fri., Sept. 10: Terror Island opens at the Strand Theatre on Catalina Island (site of filming). [2][12]
Sept. 13-19:
Sept. 20-26:
➤ Fri., Sept. 24: Houdini's secretary John Sargent dies at 68. Julia Sawyer (Bess's niece) takes over duties. [1][4]
Sept. 27-Oct. 3:

Oct. 4-10:
Oct. 11-17: Publication of Miracle Mongers and Their Methods is announced. [2]
Oct. 18-24:
Oct. 25-31:

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

Dec. 6-12:
Dec. 13-19:
Dec. 20-26:
Dec. 27-Jan. 2:


Primary Sources:
[1] Koval, Frank. The Illustrated Houdini Research Diary, Part 5: 1916 to 1920. Chadderton: 1994.
[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 letter, cable, contract, or signed item.
[6] Original pitchbook, program, playbill or poster.
[7] Houdini diary.
✪ Denotes a first or possible first.

Additional Sources (1920):
[8] Tait, Derek. The Great Houdini: His British Tours. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books, 2017.
[9] Ernst, Bernard M. L., and Heward Carrington. Houdini and Conan Doyle: The Story of a Strange Friendship. New York: Albert & Charles Boni, Inc., 1932.
[10] Gresham, William Lindsay. Houdini: The Man Who Walked Through Walls. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1959.
[11] Letter in the Mark Willoughby Collection.
[12] Catalina Island Museum.
[13] Arthur Moses Collection.

5 comments:

  1. Re Jan. "11-17: Alhambra Theater, Bradford, UK [1][8]," Tait's book (pp. 255, 280) says Jan. 12-17.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that is correct. I list my weeks starting on Sunday. So this was the week he played the Alhambra, but he started on the 12th. In some cases he starts Sunday and some he starts on Monday.

      Delete
    2. You now have me wondering if I should start my weeks on Monday instead of Sunday to be in-sync with references such as this. Considering. Thoughts?

      Delete
  2. Monday to Sunday seems good.
    Often custom due to blue laws in show biz, theaters close Sunday, acts travel and open on Mon, or Tues.
    Just a thought.

    D and D
    The Houdini Museum, Scranton, PA
    The Only Building in the World Dedicated to Houdini

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I'm redoing all so weeks run Monday to Sunday. That's the ISO standard anyway. I should have done it this way to begin with. Appreciate the feedback.

      Delete

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