If you missed Part 1 please be sure to read it. I gave a background on the History of Conjurers’ Monthly Magazine and reviewed the opening “Salutatory”. Today I will review the sections of the Vol. 1, No. 1. Unknown Facts Concerning Robert Houdin, Notes From Theo Hardeen.
On page 6 we have Unknown Facts Concerning Robert Houdin. Materials collected personally by Harry Houdini. He talks about how he had studied and memorized Houdin’s memoirs and how he had an interest in researching Houdin’s life. Later through his research he learned that the memoirs were a work of fiction and how he is going to take it upon himself to correct the facts. He spoke to men that had seen Houdin perform in Paris and England. He also talks about how he was discourteously treated by Madame W. Emile Robert Houdin the Widow. Houdini wrote her a letter asking permission to place a wreath on Houdin’s tomb and to grant him a visit with her. She did not answer back. Harry pressed her to get an answer and she finally replied that she did not care to see anyone. Not to be discouraged Harry took a train to Blois and visited the home of Houdin’s daughter H. Lemaitre-Robert-Houdin. She was too busy to see Harry but a Mons Lemaitre did and showed him some Houdin’ relics and clocks he had made. He could not give Harry permission to lay the wreath on his Hero’s grave and photograph it, however he told him that he would not be breaking the law to do so.
I therefore went to
the quiet cemetery and for fully half an
hour I stood with my hat in my hat at
the tomb of Robert Houdin and with all
the reverence and homage with which I
respect his memory.
For even at this date I admire him,
but think that it is only just and right
that the real facts should be known.
I went to the largest florist in Blois
and purchased a huge wreath with the
inscription “Honor and “Respect to Robert
Houdin from the Magicians of
On page 10 – Notes From Theo Hardeen Our Official European Correspondent
Hardeen wrote while on board a ship to London England. He talks about Card Sharps on board that think Hardeen is an “Ezy-Mark”. He interrupted their games and confronted them about cheating. One of the swindlers took a swing at Hardeen but wound up on the floor!
Saw nothing but very
raw amateur work, and as I am “butting
in” all the time, they have tried to bar
me from the card room. So I said, “If you do,
I’ll tell them how you cheat.”
Up jumped Mr. Sharper and tried to
reach my head with a small-sized fist, his
fist struck the air, and when they picked
him up, it took almost 15 minutes to
bring him back to his senses.
Hardeen arrived in London on August 13, 1906. He reported on Gossip about magicians in London. Talk of De Biere’s Cannon Trick, Horace Goldin planning to patent his handcuff act.
I also heard that this
Goldin, whose first name is Horace, has
patented the Handcuff act, but while I
believe a great many things, this last
rumor is too preposterous. Shall let you
Theo wrote this article as more of a letter written to his brother Harry than a magazine article.
Handcuff kings are as numerous as
ever, but work not enough for them all.
Most of them pleased to get anything
at all. None of them have “stunts” of
their own, and they are using your old
material, until they have done it to
He talks about a magician that had an escape act 12 years ago, 1894.
On the bill of the Palace Grimsby I
note a man billed as “Godfrey the man
of mystery.” It can’t be possible that
Godfrey is the American that once performed
the “Cell and Handcuff” act
about twelve years ago at the Old
Worth’s Museum ? Must find out, as I
know him very well.
Next up – Part 3 of the review of the September 1906 issue No 1, Vol 1. I think I may have found a fact connection to Houdini’s Last Famous Trick! Notes from Herr N. Osey. Reading Rubbish, Our Mail Bag, Handcuff Secrets
Reference – The Conjurers’ Monthly Magazine reprinted by Kaufman and Greenberg the limited edition two Volume book set. PDF scanned format from The Conjuring Arts. It is currently on sale for $9.99 on their site. Houdini The Career of Ehrich Weiss by Kenneth Silverman. Houdini the Untold Story by Milbourne Christopher.