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!


This is a sample page from The New Houdini Chronology by John Cox

Dec. 30-Jan. 5:
Jan. 6-12: Empire Theater, Cardiff, UK. [1][6][7][8]
✪ ➤ Mon., Jan. 6: First public performance of the Water Torture Cell in England. [8]
➤ Fri., Jan. 10: Challenged by sergeants of Cardiff Barracks to escape a "padded cell suit, the use of which has long been abolished." [6]
Jan. 13-19: Empire Theater, Swansea, UK. [1][7][8]
Jan. 20-26: Empire, Bradford, UK. [7][8]
➤ Fri., Jan. 24: Re-challanged by John Moulson & Son, Builders & Quarry Owners, to escape from packing case after being searched and wearing provided athletic suit. [6]
➤ Sat., Jan. 25: The Era reports Bess recovering from operation in London by Dr. J. Forbes Ross.
Jan. 27-Feb. 2: Palace Theatre, Hull, UK. [1][7][8]
➤ Fri., Jan. 31: Re-challanged by the George H. Scorrer company to escape from packing case "without restrictions" on the size and amount of nails used. [6]

Feb. 3-9: Empire, Leeds, UK. [7][8]
➤ Wed., Feb. 5: Houdini jumps handcuffed into lake at Roundhay Park. [8]
Feb. 10-16: Empire and Hippodrome, Bristol, UK. [8]
Feb. 17-23: King's Theatre, Southsea, UK. [8]
Feb. 24-March 2: Finsbury Park Empire, London, UK. [1][7][8]
➤ Sun., March 2: Houdini presents Franz Kukol with a gold watch on-stage as thanks for 10 years service. [4]

March 3-9: Empire, Newport, UK. [7][8]
➤ Wed., March 5: Houdini jumps from Newport Bridge into River Usk. Uses double to fool police. [8]
March 10-16: [venue unknown], Stratford, UK. [7]
➤ Wed., March 12: Houdini appears in Newport court to face changes re his unauthorized bridge jump. Case dismissed. [8]
➤ Sun., March 16: Houdini opens new Magicians' Club clubhouse at 2 Gray's Inn Road, London. [8]
March 17-23: Olympia, Liverpool, UK. [7][8]
➤ Thurs., March 20: Challenged by employees of the City Saw Mills and Packing Case Factory to escape packing case made of Rough Inch Deal Timber. [6]
➤ Sat., March 23: Houdini has breakfast with Harry Day. Pens love letter to Bess. [5][10]
March 24-March 30: Hippodrome, Devonport, UK. [8]
➤ Sun., March 30: Houdini chairs second meeting of The Magician Club. Tells of his early days of struggle in America. [13]
March 31-April 6: Empire Theater, Newcastle on Tyme, UK. [1][7][8]
➤ Wed., April 1: Houdini jumps handcuffed from the Swing Bridge in Newcastle, UK. [1][8]
➤ Mon., April 6: Houdini celebrates 39th birthday.
➤ [n.d.] Houdini attends seance with Chung Ling Soo while in Newcastle. Debunks it. [8]

April 7-13: Empire Theater, Edinburgh, Scotland. [1][7][8]
➤ Fri., April 11: Challenged by Edinburgh City Police Dept. to escape from a custom made "Insane Restraint Bag." [6]
April 14-20: Coliseum, Glasgow, Scotland. [7][8]
➤ [n.d.] Houdini does unspecified escape on front steps of Hippodrome in Airdrie this week. [8]
April 21-27: Empire Palace, Sheffield, UK. [1][7][8]
➤ Sun., April 27: Houdini presides over first "Ladies Night" at The Magicians' Club. Horace Goldin and Chung Ling Soo present. [13]
April 28-May 4: Empire, Birmingham, UK. [7][8]

May 5-11: Empire Theater, Nottingham, UK. [1][8]
➤ [n.d.] Houdini and Bess have dinner with Anna Eva Fay and husband at Hotel Vic. [7][8]
May 12-18: New Cross Empire, London, UK. [1][2][7][8]
May 19-25:
➤ Wed., May 21: Houdini sails from Southhampton aboard the North German-Lloyd liner Kronprinz Wilhelm. [1][8]
➤ Sat., May 24: Houdini proposes jumping from ship in handcuffs for seaman charity. Captain forbids it. [2]
May 26-June 1:
➤ Tues., May 27: Houdini arrives in New York, NY. [1][2]

June 2-8: Hammerstein's Roof Garden, New York, NY. [2]
✪ ➤ Mon., June 2: First performance of The Water Torture Cell in America. [2]
➤ Wed., June 4: Houdini escapes from jail cell aboard convict ship Success in New York harbor. Swims to shore. [6]
➤ Fri., June 6: Challenged by Sheriff Harburger and Commissioner of Prisons Leon Weinstock to escape "new model" prison handcuffs. Houdini free in "moments." [2]
June 9-15: Hammerstein's Roof Garden, New York, NY. [2]
➤ Mon., June 9: Houdini buys De Kolta's Expanding Die from Leah Goldston. [5]
June 16-22:
➤ Mon., June 16: Houdini is best man at wedding of Leonard Hicks and Lillian Millership at the New Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. [2]
June 23-29:
June 30-July 6:
➤ Thurs., July 3: Silverman writes that Houdini, Mama, Theo and Nat traveled to Machpelah cemetery on the 6th. But he also says it was a "Thursday", which would make it the 3rd. Confirmation sourcing needed. [3]
➤ Sun., July 6: Houdini and Bess go to Coney Island with Theo Bamberg and Ching Ling Foo. [5][12]

July 7-13:
➤ Mon., July 7: Bon Voyage dinner at Hotel Bellview attended by Ching Ling Foo, Howard Thurston, Theo Bamberg, and Frances Werner. [1][4]
➤ Tues., July 8: Houdini departs New York aboard the Kronprinzessin Cecilie. [1][2]
➤ Sat., July 12: Houdini gives performance aboard the Kronprinzessin Cecilie. [6][11]
July 14-20: Circus Beketow, Copenhagen, Denmark. [4]
➤ Tues., July 15: Cecilia Weiss has stroke in Room 18 of Imperial Hotel in Asbury Park, NJ.
Thurs., July 17: Cecilia Weiss dies at age 74.
➤ Tues., July 18: Houdini's opening day in Copenhagen. Performance seen by Royals. Learns of mother's death after show.
July 21-27: Houdini cancels booking at Circus Beketow.
➤ Wed., July 23: Houdini departs Bremen abroad Kronprinzessin Cecilie.
July 28-Aug. 3:
➤ Tues., July 29: Houdini arrives New York, NY. [7][9]
➤ Thurs., July 30: Cecilia Weiss is buried in Machpelah Cemetery. [7][9]

Aug. 4-10: Houdini spends nearly every day in August at his mother's grave. [9]
Aug. 11-17:
Aug. 18-24:
➤ Thurs., Aug. 21: Houdini writes to Oscar Teale that: "I rarely go out, except to Cemetery." [5]
Aug. 25-31:
➤ Sat., Aug. 30: Houdini departs New York aboard Hamburg-American Lines SS Imperator[2]

Sept. 1-7:
Sept. 8-14:
Sept. 15-21: Apollo Theater, Nuremburg, Germany. [7][8]
➤ Mon., Sept. 15: Houdini gets mothers letters ready for transcription into "book form." [7][9]
➤ Tues., Sept. 16: Houdini has "terrible spell after show on account of my Darling Mother." [7][9]
Sept. 22-28:
➤ Tues., Sept. 23: Houdini has mothers letters transcribed on typewriter "in good German." [7][9]
Sept. 29-Oct. 5:

Oct. 6-12: Circus Corty-Althoff, Munich, Germany (opens Oct. 5). [6][11]
Oct. 13-19: Circus Corty-Althoff, Munich, Germany. [unsourced but likely]
Oct. 20-26: Circus Corty-Althoff, Stuttgart, Germany. [1]
Oct. 27-Nov. 2: Circus Corty-Althoff, Stuttgart, Germany. [1][6]
➤ Tues., Oct. 28: Houdini's assistants present him with a silver punch bowl to mark his 30th anniversary as a performer. [1][5]
➤ Sat., Nov. 1: Houdini opens at special "All Saints Day" matinee at Alhambra Theater, Paris, France. [2]

Nov. 3-9: Alhambra Theater, Paris, France. [2]
Nov. 10-16: Alhambra Theater, Paris, France. [2]
Nov. 17-23: Alhambra Theater, Paris, France. [1]
✪ ➤ Thrus., Nov. 20: "Mysterio" (Al Pitroff) does outdoor suspended straitjacket escape from Academy Theater in Buffalo, NY. First outdoor stunt? [2]
➤ Sat., Nov. 22: Houdini writes letter to Hardeen: "Dash, it’s tough, and I can’t seem to get over it."
Nov. 24-30: Alhambra Theater, Paris, France. [1]
➤ Sat., Nov. 29: Houdini writes in diary: "Am feeling a bit better., but July 17 is always on my mind." [7][8]

Dec. 1-7:
Dec. 8-14: Houdini and Bess vacation in Nice, France (Beau Rivage Hotel). [1]
➤ Mon,. Dec. 8: Houdini visits suicide graveyard in Monte Carlo. [7][9]
➤ Thurs,. Dec. 11: The Houdinis are in Paris. Houdini examines rope ladder used by Henri Latude to escape Bastille. "I am sure he had it fixed." [5]
Dec. 15-21:
Dec. 22-28: The Houdinis are in London for Christmas.
Dec. 29-Jan. 4:

Primary Sources:
[1] Koval, Frank. The Illustrated Houdini Research Diary, Part 4: 1911 to 1915. Chadderton: 1993.
[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 letter, cable, contract or signed item.
[6] Original pitchbook, program, playbill or poster.
[7] Houdini diary.
✪ Denotes a first or possible first.

Additional Sources (1913):
[8] Tait, Derek. The Great Houdini: His British Tours. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books, 2017.
[9] Kellock, Harold. Houdini His Life Story, New York: Hardcourt & Brace, 1927.
[10] Harry Ransom Center Collection.
[11] Arthur Moses Collection.
[12] Kenneth Tromby Collection.
[13] Dawes, Edwin. "Houdini and the Magicians Club", Mystifier 2nd Quarter 1996.

© 2019 by John Cox. All rights reserved.

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