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!


Weeks run Monday to Sunday.
Last update: 1/14/19

Jan. 3-9: Houdini in France.
➤ Mon., Jan. 3: Houdini and mechanic Brassac tour Voisin factory in Paris. [3]
➤ Tues., Jan. 4: Houdini watches flights at Chalon aviation grounds. [3]
➤ Thurs., Jan. 6: Houdini travels to Marseilles, France.
➤ Fri., Jan. 7: Houdini sails from Marseilles for Australia abroad the RMS Malwa. [1][9]
Jan. 10-16: At sea aboard RMS Malwa.
➤ [n.d.] Malwa stops in Fiji Islands. The Houdinis take tour. [3]
➤ [n.d.] Malwa stops at Port Said, Egypt. The Houdinis take tour. [3]
Jan. 17-23: At sea aboard RMS Malwa.
➤ Sat., Jan. 22: Malwa stops at Columbo, Ceylon. The Houdinis take tour. [3][5][12]
Jan. 24-30: At sea aboard RMS Malwa.
Jan. 31-Feb. 6: At sea aboard RMS Malwa.
➤ Sat., Feb. 5: Malwa arrives in Adelaide, Australia. [9]
➤ Sun., Feb. 6: Houdini takes 17 hour train ride from Adelaide to Melbourne. [9]

Feb. 7-13: New Opera House (Bourke Street), Melbourne, Australia. [1][9]
➤ Mon., Feb. 7: Houdini interview appears in The Advertiser. "Another 18 months of professional work and then I shall be finished." [9]
➤ Feb. 12: Houdini deals with "over zealous" committee member. [9]
Feb. 14-20: New Opera House (Bourke Street), Melbourne, Australia. [1][9]
➤ Thurs., Feb. 17: Houdini leaps from Queens Bridge into the Yarra River. Outdoor temperature is 101 degrees. [9]
➤ Sun., Feb. 20: Houdini records in diary: "Hottest day I ever lived. Must have been 119 in the shade and the wind was scorching. Drank enough water to float a rowboat." [3][7]
Feb. 21-27: New Opera House (Bourke Street), Melbourne, Australia. [1][6][9]
➤ Tues., Feb. 22: Voisin arrives in Melbourne. Assembled at Diggers Rest, Plumpton's field. [9]
➤ Sat., Feb. 26: Houdini does Milk Can for first time in Australia. [9]
Feb. 28-March 6: New Opera House (Bourke Street), Melbourne, Australia. [1][9]
➤ Tues., March 1: Competing aviator Ralph Banks crashes his Wright flyer at Diggers Rest. [9]

March 7-13: New Opera House (Bourke Street), Melbourne, Australia. [1][9]
March 14-20: New Opera House (Bourke Street), Melbourne, Australia. [1][9]
✪ ➤ Fri., March 18: Houdini makes first controlled airplane flight in Australia at 8AM. Completes three successful flights at Diggers Rest that day. [9]
➤ Sat., March 19: Houdini makes one short flight (29 seconds) at Diggers Rest. [9]
➤ Sun., March 20: Houdini makes two flights at Diggers Rest. [9]
March 21-27:
➤ Mon., March 21: Houdini makes three flights at Diggers Rest. Longest flight 7 mins, reaches 100 ft. [9]
➤ Sun., March 27 (Easter): Houdini arrives in Sydney. Australia. [9]
March 28-April 3: Tivoli Theater, Sydney, Australia. [1][9]

April 4-10: Tivoli Theater, Sydney, Australia. [1][9]
➤ Mon., April 4: Voisin arrives from Melbourne and is assemble at Rosehill Racecourse near Parramatta. [9]
➤ Wed., April 6: Houdini celebrates 36th birthday.
➤ Sat., April 9: Houdini does Milk Can for first time in Sydney. [9]
April 11-17: Tivoli Theater, Sydney, Australia. [1][9]
➤ Thurs., April 14: Houdini jumps handcuffed into Domain municipal baths in Woolloomoolo Bay. Blackens both eyes. [2][9]
➤ Sun., April 17: Houdini's first attempted flight at Rosehill cancelled due to high winds. [9]
April 18-24: Tivoli Theater, Sydney, Australia. [1][9]
✪ ➤ Tues., April 18: Houdini's flies at Rosehill. First controlled flight in New South Wales. Houdini thrown from plane on second flight hard landing. [9]
➤ Wed., April 19: Houdini makes several successful flights at Rosehill. [9]
April 25-May 1: Tivoli Theater, Sydney, Australia. [1][9]
➤ Mon., April 25: First public flying exhibition at Rosehill canceled due to high winds. [9]
➤ Tues., April 26: Public flight exhibition at Rosehill. Bess serves tea and cake to spectators. [9]
➤ Fri., April 29: Houdini is presented with trophy by Aerial League of Australia for first successful flight in Australia. Date on trophy shows flight as March 16. [9]
➤ Sun., May 1: Houdini make his last flights at Rosehill (and last flight ever). [9]

May 2-8:
➤ Tues., May 3: Houdini's Voisin is dismantled and packed up. [9]
May 9-15:
➤ Tues., May 10: Houdini travels by train to Brisbane, Australia. [9]
➤ Wed., May 11: Houdini departs Brisbane aboard the Manuka of the Canadian Pacific Line. [1][9]
May 16-22: At sea aboard the Manuka.
➤ May 17: Manuka ports in Suva, Fiji. Houdini notes only one day seasick. "A record for Houdini." [5][9]
May 23-29: At sea aboard the Manuka.
➤ Thurs., May 26: Honolulu Advertiser reports Houdini asked by theatrical managers if he'd stop off and play dates in Hawaii. They balk at his $1500 per week salary. [2]
May 30-June 5: At sea aboard the Manuka.
➤ Thurs., June 1: The Manuka arrives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. [5][12]

June 6-12:
➤ Tues., June 9: Houdini arrives in New York via San Francisco. [5]
➤ Wed., June 8: Papers report Houdini has entered a $30,000 contest for the first flight between New York and St. Louis. (He never competes.) [2]
June 13-19:
➤ Thurs., June 16: Houdini and family celebrate Cecilia Weiss' 69th birthday at 278.
June 20-26:
June 27-July 3:
➤ Fri., July 1: Houdini, mama and Leo visit grave of Mayer Samuel in Machpelah cemetery. Photographed. [3]

July 4-10:
➤ Tues., July 5: Houdini visits Ira Davenport at his home in Mayville, NY. [1][5]
➤ [n.d.]: Houdini visits the Flitcrofs in Wisconsin. [10]
July 11-17:
July 18-24:
➤ Wed., July 20: Houdini returns to New York from Chicago. [5]
July 25-31:

Aug. 1-7:
➤ Mon., Aug. 1: Houdini buys "electric chair" from Huber's Dime Museum auction. [2]
Aug. 8-14:
➤ Wed., Aug. 10: Houdini sails for England aboard the Mauretania. [1][2][10]
➤ Sat., Aug. 13: Houdini performs 25 minutes of magic aboard ship. [10]
Aug. 15-21:
➤ Tues., Aug. 16: Houdini arrives in Liverpool, England. [1]
➤ [n.d.] Houdini gives address as 84 Bedford Court Mansions, Tottenham Court Road, London.
Aug. 22-28: [Variety reports Houdini opens in London this week.]
Aug. 29-Sept. 4:

Sept. 5-11:
Sept. 12-18: Empire Theater, Kilburn, London, UK. [1][8]
Sept. 19-25:
Sept. 26-Oct. 2:

Oct. 3-9: Hippodrome, Poplar, UK. [8]
Oct. 10-16: Hippodrome Theater, Willesden, UK. [8]
Oct. 17-23: Hippodrome Theater, Harlesden, UK. [8]
Oct. 24-30:
Oct. 31-Nov. 6: Palace, Hammersmith, UK. [1][8]

Nov. 7-13: Empire Theater, Islington, UK. [1][8]
➤ Fri., Nov. 11: Challenged by four retired Police Constables to escape full body restraint bag in full view of audience. [4][11]
Nov. 13-20: Grand Theater, Clapham, UK [1][8]
➤ Fri., Nov. 18: Challenged by expert Carpenters and Joiners of Chas. Peacock & Co. and Steam Joinery Works to escape packing case. [6]
Nov. 21-27: Olympia Theater, Liverpool, UK. [1][8]
Nov. 28-Dec. 4: Empire Theater, Manchester, UK. [1][8]
✪ ➤ Dec. 3: Houdini hires Jim Collins as his assistant. [1][5]

Dec. 5-11: Holburn Empire, London, UK. [1][8]
➤ Thurs., Dec. 8: Houdini causes disturbance when asked by manager to not appear at matinee. [2]
Dec. 12-18: Coliseum Theater, Glasgow, Scotland. [1][8]
➤ Wed., Dec. 14: Challenged by the Clutha Saw Mills to escape from a machinery packing case. Condition being if he fails he must remain in the case for one full day. [6]
Dec. 19-25: Empire Theater, Edinburgh, Scotland. [8][13]
➤ [n.d.] Houdini buys 300 pairs of boots to hand out to Scottish children during special performance. [8]
Dec. 26-Jan. 1: Empire Theater, Newcastle, 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 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 (1910):
[8] Tait, Derek. The Great Houdini: His British Tours. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books, 2017.
[9] Richards, Leann. Houdini's Tour of Australia. Charnwwod: Ginninderra Press, 2006.
[10] Kellock, Harold. Houdini: His Life-Story. New York: Harcourt, Brace Co., 1928.
[11] Kalush, William, and Larry Sloman. The Secret Life of Houdini. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006.
[12] Kenneth Trombly Collection.
[13] Lead, Brian, and Roger Woods. Houdini The Myth Maker: The Unmasking of Harry Houdini. Brian Leads and Roger Woods, 1987.

© 2018 by John Cox. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment