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  • Remembering Houdini

    Halloween 2016 marks the 90th year since the legendary Harry Houdini (Ehrich Weiss) the great Magician, Escape Artist, Showman, Author and exposer of fraud passed away.. into immortality...
    So few people are recognized as pop culture icons 90 years after there death, yet to this day, ask people of any age to name a famous magician and Houdini will likely be the first name they say..

    So on this Halloween, I would like to take a moment to remember, and celebrate the life and work of the great Houdini!!

    "Magic is the sole science not accepted by scientists, because they can't understand it."- Harry Houdini

    Steadmund Brand
    "The truth is what is, and what should be is a fantasy. A terrible, terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago."- Lenny Bruce

  • #2
    Originally posted by Steadmund Brand View Post
    Halloween 2016 marks the 90th year since the legendary Harry Houdini (Ehrich Weiss) the great Magician, Escape Artist, Showman, Author and exposer of fraud passed away.. into immortality...
    So few people are recognized as pop culture icons 90 years after there death, yet to this day, ask people of any age to name a famous magician and Houdini will likely be the first name they say..

    So on this Halloween, I would like to take a moment to remember, and celebrate the life and work of the great Houdini!!

    "Magic is the sole science not accepted by scientists, because they can't understand it."- Harry Houdini

    Steadmund Brand
    Well said, Steadmund. Houdini is certainly an iconic figure and justly remembered.

    My grandfather, George T. Matchett, born in 1892, told me he had seen Harry Houdini perform in Liverpool.

    Christopher T. George
    Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conference
    just held in Baltimore, April 7-8, 2018.
    For information about RipperCon, go to http://rippercon.com/
    RipperCon 2018 talks can now be heard at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/

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    • #3
      That is amazing!!! I am so jealous.... Houdini is another of those people I became obsessed with as a child.. spend many years and many dollars researching and learning all I could about him....I never had the pleasure of talking to anyone who saw him first hand ( although I did get to talk to Sid Radner, protégé of Hardeen, and owner of many of Houdini's props, a few times) And I spent countless hours in the old Houdini museum in Niagara Falls Canada before it burned down in 1995...God I miss that place!!

      Steadmund Brand
      "The truth is what is, and what should be is a fantasy. A terrible, terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago."- Lenny Bruce

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      • #4
        A fascinating figure. He was not the first pop-culture figure of modern times (in the 19th Century there were a few like composer - pianist Franz Liszt and singer Jennie Lind), but he was the first whose reputation (technically as an escapologist) so impressed the world it remains the standard to this day. I have read a biography on him, and a volume regarding his on-again/off-again relationship with Conan Doyle. I even sat through one of his silent films about six months back. Remarkable man.

        Jeff

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        • #5
          Funny you mention Liszt.. he is another of my interests... another who I spent years studying.....now that was an interesting cat if ever there was!!!

          as for Houdini's films... I love them.. they aren't great by any stretch, but is amazing to see him in "action" there was a great box set of DVD's that was released a few years back "Houdini the Movie Star- that includes the Master Mystery, Terror Island, The Man from Beyond, Haldane of the Secret Service and bits of The Grim Game plus a few short bonus features ( escapes , a quick audio recording etc) I see it can be had for $5 and under on Amazon.com now.... haha wish I would have waited to buy it.. I paid quite a bit more when it came out.. but it is well worth picking up if you have even a slight interest... especially at the prices you can get it at now!!

          Steadmund Brand
          "The truth is what is, and what should be is a fantasy. A terrible, terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago."- Lenny Bruce

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          • #6
            The rise in pop cultural figures mirrored a change in society - possibly urbanization had much to do with it. When society was mostly agrarian the only celebrities were the ruling classes. Everything circulated about them. But in the 18th Century the industrial revolution got underway, and people did (occasionally) have some money to spend outside of necessities. So they went to theatres and other entertainments. Up to then a major musical figure would be somebody who played essentially for the wealthy or the nobility (i.e. Mozart, even as a child prodigy). Now they gave public concerts. Besides Liszt (who may have been the first one with "groupies" - mostly young women - following him) you had Chopin (but he pretty much stuck to the upper classes) and even the Mendelsohns. and Schumanns. Jennie Lind seems to have been the first popular singer, but her voice's glories were aided at the box office by her luck in having Barnum as her manager for several years. Later in the century literary figures discovered they too could tour and be successful public entertainers, most notably Dickens, Thackeray, and Twain. And public conception about actors changed, as the success of such as Kean, the Booths (despite the setback with John Wilkes), Forrest, Irving, Terry, Bernhardt, and the Barrymores.

            In terms of magicians, they had always been popular at fairs as "conjurors", but in the 19th Century they began gaining public acclaim too, such as Houdini's "namesake" Robert Houdin and Mackelyne. But the ones who reached the top had to have something extra, and Harry Houdini certainly did with his willingness to take real chances.

            Jeff

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            • #7
              Franz and my GG grandfather were musical contemporaries and actually worked together. Way way back.
              G U T

              There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

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              • #8
                Steady, crossover to one of your other great loves, did you see the 70s movie Lisztimania?
                G U T

                There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by GUT View Post
                  Franz and my GG grandfather were musical contemporaries and actually worked together. Way way back.
                  Who was your great great grandfather?

                  Jeff

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mayerling View Post
                    Who was your great great grandfather?

                    Jeff
                    I think there was actually one or two extra greats.

                    Both Heinrich and Ferdinand (his son) Praeger worked closely with Liszt in fact Ferdinand wrote a biography of Wagner with whom both he and Liszt appear to be well acquainted.
                    G U T

                    There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GUT View Post
                      I think there was actually one or two extra greats.

                      Both Heinrich and Ferdinand (his son) Praeger worked closely with Liszt in fact Ferdinand wrote a biography of Wagner with whom both he and Liszt appear to be well acquainted.
                      The name is vaguely familiar to me - I keep thinking "Praeger" was a music publisher. Liszt would be well acquainted to Richard Wagner, as Wagner's second wife was Lizst's daughter Cosima (formerly married to the conductor Hans Von Bulow).
                      Last edited by Mayerling; 10-31-2016, 02:31 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Rosabel, believe!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mayerling View Post
                          The name is vaguely familiar to me - I keep thinking "Praeger" was a music publisher. Liszt would be well acquainted to Richard Wagner, as Wagner's second wife was Lizst's daughter Cosima (formerly married to the conductor Von Bulow).
                          Praeger's is a publishing house in USA, not sure how much music publishing they are involved in.

                          Wagner and Liszt were certainly well acquainted, as were Praeger and Wagner, in fact Richard was godfather to one of Ferdinand Praegers sons. Wagner stayed with Ferdinand Praeger in England and a biography of Wagner, written by Ferdinand Praeger was published after both had died, it is somewhat controversial.

                          A member of the Praegr family has some letters between Liszt and Heinrich Prager (who was a musician also and a lecturer in music) I am descended from Heinrich Praeger by Ferdinand brother.

                          But have no musical ability at all, my daughter on the other hand plays about eight instruments and it would probably be more if she hadn't had some health problems and then decided to concentrate on her legal studies.
                          G U T

                          There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

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                          • #14
                            Rest in peace, dear sir. May your fame never be forgotten.
                            Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
                            ---------------
                            Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
                            ---------------

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                            • #15
                              Historic 90th Seance’ to be held at site of Houdini’s first New York home

                              http://harryhoudinicircumstantialevidence.com/?p=4479

                              c.d.

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