Touched by the hand of Houdini!
Just think- you can own a piece of magical history- something that was handled by the great Harry Houdini himself! This is a one-of-a-kind collectible, perfect for framing. What a great gift!
See a larger version of the image. Wow, would this look great framed with a photo of Houdini and Roosevelt! (The photo shown is not included, but can be found on the Internet).
In the late 1980's, magician Peter Monticup (owner of MagicTricks.com), purchased Harry Houdini's ornate desk. The desk had been in storage in Houdini's former NYC home from 1926 until it was sold in 1980. Peter purchased the desk from this buyer, along with a number of personal items from the Houdini home.
The desk had a number of secret compartments and hidden drawers. Inside one of the drawers was a stack of envelopes from correspondence Houdini had received. Houdini was a notorious "saver", so it is no surprise that he kept these envelopes. The letters were from all different sources- his lawyers, his fans, fellow magicians, etc. He even wrote notes on some of the envelopes, either noting the importance of the contents, or just scribbling on them as scrap paper. In researching the envelopes, we've found an important connection to an event or person in Houdini's life. Of all the thousands upon thousands of letters he received each year, he saved each of these envelopes for a reason.
This is one of the envelopes found in the desk. It is postmarked March 22, 1926 from Madison Square Station, NY. The return address is from the Roosevelt Memorial Association, Roosevelt House, 28 East 20th Street, New York.
Houdini and Theodore Roosevelt became good friends during a 1914 trip aboard the ocean liner Imperator on its last voyage out of Germany before the outbreak of WWI. Back in the States, the two men remained personal friends, with Houdini visiting the Roosevelt household on numerous occasions and entertaining the adults and the grandchildren alike. When Roosevelt died in 1919, the Roosevelt Memorial Association was formed, with the main project being the rebuilding of Roosevelt’s birthplace at 28 East 20th Street in New York City. From the start, Houdini was a generous contributor to the Association’s fund drives. This letter was sent from the Association’s main office to Houdini at his residence in NYC. Houdini’s birthdate was March 24, so this was most likely a note wishing him a Happy Birthday. It would be his last birthday, as Houdini died the following October.