The New Houdini Chronology documents every week of Houdini's life with known performances and notable events. On this page you can view some sample years as I continue to build on it. My plan is to eventually offer the complete chronology as a book. I hope you'll find this a useful research tool and enjoy the previews!

Monday, December 20, 2021

Year end update

Well that was a fast year! 

Even though I didn't update this side blog all year, know that The New Houdini Chronology continues to progress and now clocks in at 173 tightly packed pages. My book plans are also coming more into focus. I will have more to say about that on my main blog after the New Year.

Have a safe and happy holiday season. I'll see you all in 2022!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Houdini in Urbana

When I first started The New Houdini Chronology, my initial task was to just confirm and catalog the already voluminous available information about the theaters and cites where Houdini played. But I've now reached a point where I have it so complete that any new discovery is a joy, especially when it's a city that I have no record of him playing.

One such discovery is below. Houdini played a Junior Orpheum Theater in Urbana, Illinois, as half of a split week on September 27, 28, 29, 1923. So congratulations Urbana! You are now on the list of cities that enjoyed Harry Houdini.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Year end update

Has it really been another year?

Well, my plans to consult some outside archives and collections in 2020 sure didn't happen! But a year of Covid-19 lockdowns did not stop progress on The New Houdini Chronology, which I'm happy to report continues to grow and grow. Also expanding is my ambition as far as a future book is concerned. I'm now beginning to envision the chronology as part of a much larger work -- the Houdini book of my dreams. But there's still work to be done. 

In the meantime, I'm always happy to provide assistance to serious researchers who are looking to locate Houdini in a specific time and place. Chances are I have what you need. Contact me.

Have a safe and happy holiday season. I'll see you all in 2021!

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Houdini's Night With the Spirits?

Here's a discovery that initially had me very excited. We know Houdini did spiritualist exposure shows early and late in his career. But here's one mid career!

Chester Times, December 8, 1911

Unfortunately, The New Houdini Chronology tells us this can't be the real Houdini. Houdini was performing at the Keith's Theater in Columbus, Ohio, all this week. On this very night, December 8, he accepted a challenge from the Lazarus Company to escaped from a packing crate. (The original challenge playbill is in the Fred Pittella collection.) 

It's 466 miles between these two cities and even today it's a 12 hour train ride. So it appears this is someone using Houdini's name, or someone using a Houdini-like name that the newspaper misconstrued. But it's still a strange coincidence that it foretells Houdini's future performances and spirit lectures. And it sounds like a good show!

And if this is Houdini performing in two places at the same time...well, we would have all the proof of the supernatural we need!