Showing posts with label dixie dooley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dixie dooley. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Piece of Kellar & Houdini History

Norm Nielsen and Harry Kellar
The image above is a wonderful 8 sheet Kellar poster, now in the collection of Norm Nielsen. According to Lupe Nielsen, it may be the only 8 sheet Kellar poster of this image known to have survived. The incredible poster has quiet a story.

Apparently, this poster was a gift from Harry Kellar to Harry Houdini. The poster hung in the home of Houdini, 278 W 113th St NYC. The poster was originally mounted on linen and actually stayed in the house longer than Houdini.  In the 1980s, Dixie Dooley was in NYC and stopped by the old Houdini House. Unlike most visitors, he actually got permission to enter the home and was able to tour Houdini's old home. While on the tour, the owner showed Dixie a table full of posters and gave them to him as a gift. The above poster was among those he acquired and remained in his possession until he sold the large Kellar poster to Norm Nielsen in the 1990s.

According to Lupe, "no restorers wanted to touch it." So they placed it into a giant frame protected by a piece of Plexiglas in the front. It is now in the Nielsen Magic Poster Collection.  The poster was printed by Strobridge Litho, Cincinnati 1894.

*The photo credit belongs to Lee Alex ( who graciously gave me permission to reproduce it here. I also received permission from Lupe Nielsen to include it, as it is part of the private Nielsen Magic Poster Collection ( By the way, Dixie Dooley talks about this poster in his book Exploits and also in Houdini Question Reality, two books he wrote available on

Monday, August 22, 2011

NEW Houdini Book

The books on Houdini just keep on coming. I had an enjoyable conversation with a fellow performer tonight who is working on a Houdini book and then I got off the phone and noticed yet ANOTHER performer has written a book on Houdini. This time Dixie Dooley, the Las Vegas magician, escape artist has written a book called "Houdini Question Reality".

The book is 146 pages and is self published through Self publishing is a great way for a first time author to get their words out there. Plus with the up and down (mostly down) book market, it might also be a safer way to go. You can order the book through and if you prefer you can actually download it straight to your computer!

To order

UPDATE: I decided to order the download version of the book. It takes a good 30 pages before you really get into Houdini stories and some of them are a little out of left field. Though Dixie makes no claim that they are true, just that he was told these stories. My favorite part of the book had to be Dixie describing his visit to the Houdini house in NYC. He is one of the few who got to go inside. It's a fascinating story to say the least. One downer though are the crude drawings of the interior that follow the story. I think perhaps having someone draft quality drawings of the floor plan might have been in order, or even doing it with a computer program. The hand drawn sketches are not the best.
Overall, it's an interesting book. A lot of things you've heard before, a couple things you might not have. It suffers from a number of grammatical and spelling errors and the photos leave a bit to be desired. But it's a quick read and proof that the Houdini stories just continue and continue!

SECOND UPDATE: I just heard from Dixie and he told me that the grammatical/spelling mistakes have been corrected. And he also said he added more photos! As a Houdini fan I enjoyed the book and honestly the story of his visit to the house alone is worth the price of the book.  If you haven't gotten it, please consider it. You can still get it as a soft cover book or as a .pdf download.