Thursday, May 2, 2013
Clearing the name of HOUDINA
On Feb 11, 2012, I wrote a blog article called Houdini Going Postal, in which I relayed the story of a confrontation between Harry Houdini and Francis P Houdina. I found out about the article from one of my readers who forward newspaper clippings of the event. The story is also covered in the book, The Secret Life of Houdini by William Kalush and Larry Sloman.
The short version of the story is that Houdini claimed he was getting mail from Houdina and vice versa and what set him off was a bill addressed to Houdini but was for items that went to Houdina. Houdini went to confront Francis P Houdina at his place of business and a scuffle broke out.
Well, turns out the whole thing was staged. Imagine that, Houdini setting up an event just to gain publicity, shocking. I was contacted by the son of Francis Houdina who had plenty of documentation to prove his story was correct. The name 'Francis P. Houdina' is fictitious. The 'Francis P' part comes from Harry Kellar's fathers first name, the Houdina part is easy enough to figure out. There was a co-worker mentioned in the story as well George Young. That name came from Dorothy Young's last name. Apparently, the two young men were only 18 year olds at the time. And they were from a town not far from Appleton Wisconsin. There is a bit more to the story, but I'm just going to leave it at the story of Houdini and the workers at Houdina Co. is false, a staged story devised by Houdini.
I'm not giving the actual names of the people involved because the individual who contacted me hinted he'd rather not put the spot light on the living members of the family. I'm not really sure that would happen, but I'll gladly honor his wishes.
Posted by Dean Carnegie