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Houdini Envelope - St. Bartholomew's
Envelope found in Houdini's desk - from a NY hospital!
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Houdini Envelope - St. Bartholomew's

Item Id: 90-1474
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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 October 3, 1921 from Grand Central Station, NY. The return address is from St. Bartholomew's Clinic and Hospital for the Diseases of the Alimentary Canal, 215-217 East 42nd Street, New York City.

Though mainly a hospital for the treatment of digestive diseases, St. Bartholomew's provided key research for a controversial study published in 1920. Titled Intestinal Pathology in the Functional Psychoses, the study claimed to find a connection between poor dietary health and mental illness. The theory was that insanity could be treated by targeting and treating intestinal infection. Houdini was a passionate proponent of physical fitness, and would have been keenly interested in this topic.

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