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!

1908

Weeks run Monday to Sunday.
Last update: 2/7/19

Dec. 30-Jan. 5: New Grand Theater, Indianapolis, IN. [1][2]
Jan. 6-12: Columbia Theater, Cincinnati, OH. [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 reportedly 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]
➤ Sat., Feb. 15: Conjurers' Monthly Magazine Vol. 2, No. 6 published.
➤ Sun., Feb. 16: Harry and Bess visit Mrs. Flitcroft in Delavan, WI. [13]
Feb. 17-23:
Feb. 24-March 1:
➤ Sat., Feb. 29: Hardeen celebrates Leap Day birthday (32).

March 2-8: Keith's Theater, Cleveland, OH. [1]
➤ [n.d.] Houdini records in diary that he is not featured. "Is this week the first step toward oblivion?" [7][11]
➤ Wed., March 4: Challenged by May Co. to escape packing case. [1]
March 9-15: Temple Theater, Detroit, MI. [2]
➤ [n.d.] Houdini locked in room at Hotel St. Claire by bellboys as joke. [2]
➤ Wed., March 11: Challenged by The Good Luck clothing store to escape packing case. [2]
➤ Thur., March 12: Challenged by postmasters to escape mail bag with special rotary lock. [2]
➤ Sat., March 14: Houdini receives loving cup from Temple manager J.H. Moore for breaking all attendance records. [2]
➤ Sun., March 15: Conjurers' Monthly Magazine Vol. 2, No. 7 published.
March 16-22: Grand Theater, Pittsburg, PA. [1][2]
✪ ➤ Mon., March 16: Grand Theater advertises that Houdini will "introduce for the first time" his "unnamed" escape from "liquid air can filled with water." Offers $25 for best name. [2]
➤ Fri., March 20: Challenged by boiler makers to escape a riveted boiler. [2]
March 23-29: Shea's Theater, Buffalo, NY. [2]
➤ [n.d.] 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 at Central Y.M.C.A. pool. Knocks head into bottom of pool. [2]
➤ Wed., March 25: Challenged by Denton, Cottier & Daniels to escape packing case in athletic suit after being searched. [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.
➤ Thurs., April 16: Escapes jail cell and three pairs of handcuffs in Salem, MA. Frees cellmate Robert McCoy and brings him handcuffed through the front door. Testimonial from City Marshall Jesse A. Fields: "Marvelous is the only way to describe it." [6]
April 20-26: Keith & Proctor's 5th Ave. Theater, New York, NY. [1][2]
✪ ➤ Sat., April 25: The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin is published. [2][6]
April 27-May 3: Keith's Theater, Boston, MA. [1][2][14]
➤ Mon., April 27: Does Milk Can for first time in Boston. Paper notes can lid was open and unlocked at conclusion of escape. [14]
➤ Thurs., April 30: Houdini jumps handcuffed from Harvard bridge in Boston. [2]
➤ Sun., May 3: Escapes from plate glass box at Boston Athletic Club. [14]

May 4-10: Keith's Theater, Boston, MA. [1][14]
➤ Mon., May 4: Escapes from plate glass box on stage. Has difficulty escaping broken handcuffs. [14]
➤ Wed., May 6: Performs at Harvard Student Union. Strips off bathing suit to do Milk Can when students object to blue color (instead of Harvard red). [2]
➤ Thurs., May 7: Challenged by the Queen Quality Association and T.G. Plant Company of Jamaica Plain to escape "two heavy oil-grain leather skins sewed and chained together." [2]
May 11-17: Keith's Theater, Philadelphia, PA. [1][2]
➤ Thurs., May 14: Houdini jumps from Market Street Bridge (Chestnut & Market), Philadelphia, PA. Underwater for one minute nineteen seconds. [2][4]
➤ 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. Does Needles. Kellar and Thurston also in attendance. [1][2]
➤ Sat., June 6: Houdini elected Vice President of the S.A.M. during annual meeting in New York. [4][11]
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]
✪ ➤ Sat., June 13: Variety reports that "Mrs. Harry Houdini has retired from the stage." [2]
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, NJ. [2]
➤ Thurs., June 18: Houdini photographed with Harry Kellar in Atlantic City, NJ. [5]
➤ Sun., June 21: Harry and Bess take swim in ocean. [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."
➤ Sat., July 18: Variety reports Houdini has discovered Elenor Bishop "in want" at her home in New York. [2]
July 20-26:
July 27-Aug. 2:

Aug. 3-9:
➤ Sat., Aug. 8: Variety reports Houdini has granted T.W. Dinkins of the Western Burlesque Wheel exclusive rights to exhibit his act, including the Milk Can, for $10,000 a year. Leonard Hicks will perform act. [2]
Aug. 10-16:
➤ Sat., Aug. 15: Conjurers' Monthly Magazine Vol. 2, No. 12 published. Final issue.
➤ [n.d.] Houdini sued by agent Jenie Jacobs for $2,250 owed in commissions. [2]
Aug. 17-23:
➤ Tues., Aug. 18: Houdini sails for Germany aboard the Kaiser Wilhelm II[2]
➤ Sat. Aug. 22: Leonard Hicks ("The Marvelous Leonard") opens with the "Yankee Doodle Girls" at Miner's Eight Ave. Theater in New York with Houdini act. [2]
Aug. 24-30:
➤ Tues., Aug. 25: Houdini arrives in Bremen, Germany. [1]
Aug. 31-Sept. 6: Circus Busch, Berlin, Germany. [1][11]
➤ Sat., Sept. 5: Houdini jumps from Friedrichs Bridge into the River Spree in Berlin. Jump filmed. [2][6]

Sept. 7-13: Circus Busch, Berlin, Germany. [1]
Sept. 14-20: Circus Busch, Berlin, Germany. [1]
➤ Sun., Sept. 20: Hardeen in America begins doing Milk Can escape on Pantages circuit. [2]
Sept. 21-27: Circus Busch, Berlin, Germany [1]
➤ Last of the handcuff challenges at this time. [1]
Sept. 28-Oct. 4: [Likely still with Circus Busch, but no source.]

Oct. 5-11: Circus Busch, Berlin, Germany. [2]
Oct. 12-18: [Likely still with Circus Busch, but no source.]
Oct. 19-25: Circus Busch, Berlin, Germany. [1][10]
➤ Fri., Oct. 23: Houdini celebrates his "25th anniversary in show business" at banquet hosted by Circus Brush management. [10]
Oct. 26-Nov. 1: [Likely still with Circus Busch, but no source.]
➤ Tues., Oct. 27: Houdini writes letter to Sherlock Holmes asking him to come to Berlin to help deal with imitators. [5]

Nov. 2-8: Oxford, Music Hall, London, UK. [1][8]
➤ [n.d] Houdini refused permission to jump from Westminster Bridge in London. [8]
Nov. 9-15: Oxford, Music Hall, London, UK. [1][2][8]
➤ Wed., Nov. 11: Challenged by three "Lunatic Attendants" to escape from Crazy Crib. [6]
➤ Fri., Nov. 13: Challenged by Alliance Dairy to escape Milk Can filled with 60 gallons of milk. [6]
Nov. 16-22: Oxford, Music Hall, London, UK. [1][8]
➤ Fri., Nov. 20: Challenged by Chinese sailors to escape "Sangnau" torture device. [6]
Nov. 23-29: Oxford, Music Hall, London, UK. [1][8]
➤ Fri., Nov. 27: Challenged by four Suffragettes to escapes sheets and bandages under watch of a committee of 30 women. [2][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]
➤ Fir., Dec. 4: Challenged by locksmith and safe expert J.R. Paul to escape a Burglar-Proof Safe on-stage at the Euston Palace. Escaped in 14 mins. [4][11]

Dec. 7-13: Hippodrome Theater, Liverpool, UK. [1][8]
➤ Mon., Dec. 7: Houdini jumps handcuffed from tugboat into the River Mersey. [1][6][8]
Dec. 14-20: Barrasford's Hippodrome, Birmingham, UK. [8]
➤ Tues., Dec., 15: Houdini jumps handcuffed from houseboat into Edgbaston Reservoir during heavy rain. [1][6][8]
➤ Fri., Dec., 18: Challenge by Birmingham police offices to escape full length straitjacket. [6]
Dec. 21-27: The Grand Theater, Bolton, UK. [1][6][8]
Dec. 28-Jan. 3: Paragon Theater, London, UK. [1][8]
➤ Thurs, Dec. 31: Challenged by nurses to escape from full length straitjacket strapped to hospital bed. [6]

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.
[13] Yadon, Gordon. Houdini Came to Delavan at age 12. Mystifier, 2nd Quarter 1994. The Houdini Historical Center.
[14] Moulton, H. J. Houdini's History of Magic in Boston 1792-1915. Glenwood: Meyerbooks, 1983.

© 2018 by John Cox. All rights reserved.

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