Thursday, May 16, 2024

Houdini Wore A Lot of Hats


The term, 'wearing a lot of hats' often refers to someone who has lots of different jobs or skills that they can do. But in this case, I am referring to actual HATS. Recently, I had a contest on my podcast. The question was to name the HAT that Houdini wears or holds the most often in photos. At the time, it seemed like I had the right one. Going through it again, there might have been a different winner. But suffice to say, I'll list a few of them below along with my original choice for winner of the contest. 

I suppose you'd expect Houdini, given that he was a magician, would always wear a top hat. Not really. The photo here is Houdini's top hat, owned today by his relative John Hinson. The photo at the top of the page are the only photos of Harry wearing the top hat, along with his brother Dash. Clearly a photoshoot. Not sure if he ever wore the hat in every day life. They appear slightly different to me. The lower one has a more tapered side, the top photo with Hardeen, the side is straight. And not 100% sure if the hat owned by John Hinson is the same one in the upper most photo. 

Next have have The Flat Cap. Very popular in the 1920s. Also popular today thanks to the show Peaky Blinders. Not a lot of photos of Houdini wearing this one, but clearly one of his casual hats. 

Young Houdini wearing a bowler or derby hat. This was the only one of these I could find. There might be one or two more. Again, it's a formal photoshoot, this time with Bess. Harry dressed up, looking sophisticated with his hat and walking cane. There is a separate photo of Bess which I didn't include. But I don't recall seeing any pics of them standing together, so I am going to assume there are more lost images of Houdini out there, from this photo session alone!

Houdini wearing his fedora or trilby hat. I am not 100% certain the exact name of this hat. But I think it's generally referred to as a fedora, but I saw it also listed as a trilby hat.  There are a lot of photos of Houdini with this hat. At first, I thought this hat was likely the winner. And honestly, it could be, given that I don't have access to every Houdini photo. But in my searches online and through books, it came in second to the hat below.

This is referred to as The Straw Boater Hat. And Houdini is wearing this in a lot of different pictures. The picture above is from one of his movies. But he wore Straw Hats in real life as can be seen below. In the photo of Houdini with Conan Doyle, Houdini is holding is straw hat and Doyle is wearing one! This by the way was the Answer to my Trivia Question: The Straw Boater Hat. The winner was Phil V of Texas and I really appreciate everyone who participated in the contest. 

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