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Houdini Envelope - Thomas Edison Author
Envelope found in Houdini's desk with Thomas Edison association!
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Houdini Envelope - Thomas Edison Author

Item Id: 90-1726
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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. And what a great gift!

See a larger version of the image. Wow, would this look great framed with a photo of Houdini!

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 July 14, 1922 from New York, NY. The return address is from F.A. Jones, 70 Fifth Ave., New York.

F.A. Jones authored Thomas Alva Edison: Sixty Years of an Inventor's Life, published in 1907. Houdini shared an interest with Edison: movie making. In 1908, Edison started his own motion picture company, which operated until the U.S. government shut it down in 1918 for restraint of trade. In 1918, Houdini was starring in his first motion picture, and he caught the acting bug. He started his own film company in 1921, just a few months before receiving this letter from F.A. Jones. Also at this time, Houdini was experimenting with a new method of processing raw film, something that Edison had been working on when F.A. Jones wrote his book. Perhaps this correspondence was about Edison's work in the motion picture industry. In any case, in 1923 a year after getting this letter, Houdini abandoned his movie company and his idea for the new film process.

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