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Houdini Envelope - Elliott Stereopticon
Envelope found in Houdini's desk - spirit photography!
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Houdini Envelope - Elliott Stereopticon

Item Id: 90-1472
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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!

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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 December 29, 1925 from Camden, ME. The return address is from Mrs. W.S. Elliott, Camden, ME. It was common for Houdini to receive mail addressed to him at a theater, as he was on tour most of the time.

The Elliott family had a successful photography and stereopticon business in the late 1800's into the early part of the 20th Century. Their work in developing important photography technology would have been important to Houdini in his quest to disprove "spirit photography", a popular and often profitable deception of his day. This envelope may have held a letter containing information Houdini would have used in his "Do Spirits Return?" stage show.

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