The New Houdini Chronology documents every week of Houdini's life with known performances and notable events. On this page you can view a rotation of 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 reseach tool and enjoy the previews!

1895

Weeks run Monday to Sunday.
Last update: 1/8/19

Dec. 31-Jan. 6: Wonderland Musee & Theater (3 West Seventh St.), Wilmington, DE. [1][2][8]
Jan. 7-13: Tony Pastor's (14th Street), New York, NY. [1][2][6]
Jan. 14-20: Wonderland Musee & Theater, Wilkes-Barre, PA. [2]
➤ Ads for the above engagement reference "the great barrel mystery," so it's possible this is Jack Hyman. But the billing reads "The Houdinis".
Jan. 21-27: Huber's 14th Street Museum, New York, NY. [1]
Jan 28-Feb. 3: Huber's 14th Street Museum, New York, NY. [10]

Feb. 4-10:
➤ Mon., Feb. 4: Tony Pastor pens letter calling The Houdinis act "satisfactory and interesting." [5]
Feb. 11-17:
Feb. 18-24:
Feb. 25-March 3:

March 4-10:
➤ Sat., March. 9: New York Clipper item: "Harry and Bessie Houdini are resting at their home in this city."
March 11-17:
March 18-24: Proctor's Theater, New York, NY. [2]
March 25-31:

April 1-April 7:
➤ Sat., April 6: Houdini celebrates 21st birthday.
April 8-14:
April 15-21:
➤ Sat., April 20: Welsh Bros. Circus opens their Seventh Season in Lancaster, PA. The Houdinis join for $25 per week plus food and board. [2][3]
April 22-28: Welsh Bros. Circus, Lancaster, PA - Tent pitched on corner of Rockland & Locust. [1][8]
April 29-May 5: Welsh Bros. Circus, Lancaster, PA.

May 6-12: Welsh Bros. Circus, York, PA. [2]
➤ May 6, 7, 8: Tent pitched on Popular Street. [2]
➤ May 9, 10, 11: Tent pitched on College Ave & Newberry. [2]
May 13-19: Welsh Bros. Circus, Harrisburg (6th & Maclay St), PA. [2]
May 20-26: Welsh Bros. Circus, Lebanon (4th & Chestnut St.), PA (May 22-26). [2]
May 27-June 2:

June 3-9: Welsh Bros. Circus, Sunbury, PA. [2]
➤ Tues., June 4: Papers report show disbands early after heavy storm uproots tents and poor business. This is later disputed by C.W. Clinton. [2]
June 10-16: Welsh Bros. Circus, Pottsville, PA. Lot opposite Pennsylvania depot. [1][8]
June 17-23: Welsh Bros. Circus, Harrisburg (17th, 18th, 19th) / Mount Carmel (20th, 21st, 22nd), PA. [2]
June 24-30: Welsh Bros. Circus, Shamokin, PA. [1][8]

July 1-7: Welsh Bros. Circus, Williamsport ("Old Fair Grounds"), PA. [2]
July 8-14:
July 15-21: Welsh Bros. Circus, Elizabethville (16th) / Middleburg (19th), PA. [2]
July 22-28: Welsh Bros. Circus, Mechanicsburg (22nd) / Chambersburg (24th, 25th, 26th), PA. [2]
July 29-Aug. 4: Welsh Bros. Circus, Shippensburg (29th, 30th) / Carlisle (1st, 2nd, 3rd), PA. [1][2][8]

Aug. 5-11: Welsh Bros. Circus, Newport (6th) / Huntingdon, PA. [2]
Aug. 12-18: Welsh Bros. Circus, Tyrone, PA (12th, 13th). [2]
Aug. 19-25: Welsh Bros. Circus, Altoona, PA (6 days). [2]
Aug. 26-Sept. 1:

Sept. 2-8: Welsh Bros. Circus, Blairsville (2nd) / Apollo (4th) / Leechburg (5th) / New Bethlehem (6th) / Reynoldsville (7th), PA. [2][8]
Sept. 9-15: Welsh Bros. Circus, Penfield (9th) / Driftwood (10th) / Renovo (11th, 12th) / Lock Haven (13th & 14th), PA. [8]
Sept. 16-22: Welsh Bros. Circus, Howard (17th, 18th, 19th) / Mifflinburg (20th) / Northumberland (21st), PA. [8]
Sept. 23-29:
➤ Mon., Sept. 23: Welsh Bros. Circus closes out season with two charity shows in Lancaster, PA. [9]
Sept. 30-Oct. 6:
➤ Sat., Oct. 5: Magician Hornmann issues $300 challenge to rival Albini. Houdini pastes clipping in scrapbook. Inspiration for challenge advertising? [8]

Oct. 7-13:
Oct. 14-20:
➤ [n.d.] Houdini becomes "Proprietor and Manager" of The American Gaiety Girls burlesque show.
Oct. 21-27: Gaiety Theater, Troy, NY – American Gaiety Girls. [8]
Oct. 28-Nov. 3: Palace Theater (Court & Sudbury St.), Boston, MA – American Gaiety Girls. [1][2][8]

Nov. 4-10: Gorman’s Theater, Manchester, NH (8th) – American Gaiety Girls. [1][8]
✪ ➤ [n.d.] Houdini uses handcuffs during Metamorphosis this week. Possibly his first on-stage handcuff escape. [3]
Nov. 11-17: Whitney's Opera House, Fitchburg, MA / Front Street Opera House, Worcester, MA (14th) – American Gaiety Girls. [2]
✪ ➤ Thurs., Nov. 14: Houdini escapes handcuffs at Worcester police station. Possible first. [2]
Nov. 18-24: Webster Hall, Gloucester, MA – American Gaiety Girls. [1][2]
➤ Fri., Nov. 22: Houdini escapes handcuffs at Gloucester police station. [8]
Nov. 25-Dec. 1 (split week): Music Hall, Woonsocket, RI / Gilmore's Opera House, Springfield, MA – American Gaiety Girls. [1][8]
➤ Tues., Nov. 26: Houdini escapes handcuffs and does "spiritualistic manifestations" for reporters at Evening Call office in Woonsocket, RI. [8]
➤ Wed., Nov. 27: Houdini escapes handcuffs at Woonsocket police station. [8]
➤ Thurs., Nov. 28: Houdini escapes handcuffs at Springfield police station. Also brings along and demonstrates Bean Giant cuffs. [8]
➤ Sun., Dec. 1: Houdini escapes handcuffs at Holyoke police station. Demonstrates Bean Giant cuffs. [1][8]

Dec. 2-8: Empire Theater, Holyoke, MA – American Gaiety Girls. [1][8]
Dec. 9-15: [venue unknown], Fall River, MA – American Gaiety Girls. [1][8]
➤ Mon., Dec. 9: Houdini escapes handcuffs at Fall River Central police station. [8]
Dec. 16-22:
Dec. 23-29: Bijou Theater, Paterson, NJ – American Gaiety Girls. [1][8]
➤ Wed., Dec. 27: Houdini escapes handcuffs at Paterson police station. [8]
✪ ➤ Sat., Dec. 28: Houdini accepts challenge handcuffs from public. First challenge handcuff act? [8]
Dec. 30-Jan. 5:

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 (1895):
[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] Weltman, Manny. Houdini: Escape into Legend, The Early Years: 1862–1900. Van Nuys: Finders/Seekers Enterprises, 1993.

© 2018 by John Cox. All rights reserved.

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