Just think- you can own a piece of magical history-
something that was handled by the great Harry Houdini in his daily life!
This is a one-of-a-kind collectible, perfect for framing.
What a great gift!
About this envelope:
This is one of the envelopes found in Harry Houdini's personal desk.
The postmark is June 23, 1923.
The return address is Dr. H.E. Stroud, 216-217 Lankershim Bldg., 126 West 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA, Phone Main 5457.
Dr. H.E. Stroud was a prominent California doctor who was outspoken in his support of research for medical advances. He was an early advocate for the tuberculosis vaccine as well as for autoimmune therapy procedures that are still followed today.
This letter was addressed to Houdini c/o The Scientific American magazine. For a time, the magazine had offered a sizeable prize for proof that psychic phenomena existed. Boston medium Margery was determined to collect that prize. Her chief critic was Harry Houdini, who repeatedly duplicated and exposed her methods as part of his stage show. For nearly two years, the magazine investigated and tested Margery, and in the end, decided not to award the prize money to her.
Legend has it that Margery put a curse on Houdini when she heard the news. Whether or not the curse was real, Houdini was dead a few months later.
It is a distinct possibility that Dr. Stroud was writing to Houdini about the Margery case.
See a larger version of the image here.
The story behind the Houdini Envelopes:
In the late 1980's, magician Peter Monticup (owner of MagicTricks.com), purchased Harry Houdini's ornate personal 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 some other 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.
The envelopes 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 each of 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.
Houdini was a notorious "saver".
These envelopes were used as his personal Rolodex (address directory).