Monday, January 11, 2016

Whose Box is it? Houdini's or Blackstone's?

I really like John Cox's site, Wild About Houdini. I never fail to find something that piques my interest. John really deserves a huge amount of credit for all he has done over the years. I would have posted these comments on his site, but needed some room to go into detail.

The most recent entry is about a Houdini treasure unearthed in Santa Monica - Houdini's Steel Overboard Box. No doubt this box came from Dunninger and found it's way to the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame in Niagara Falls. Dunninger obtained the box from the Houdini estate, but was it really Houdini's to begin with?

Dunninger ran an ad in The Linking Ring magazine (1930) selling the box among other magic treasures for $175.00. By 1931 he was trying to unload it for $150. Reportedly the box was worth $400 (see below).

The box still wasn't sold by 1938 and Joe was practically giving it away along with some other Houdini illusions like Harry's Trunk of all Nations and Lattice Cabinet. It looks like most, if not all, of these props ended up in Niagara Falls. "The first $1000.00 takes it all!"

So what role does Harry Blackstone play in this tale? It was reported in the Jinx (#68, Nov. 25, 1939, page 468) that Blackstone (HB) built the iron box and Houdini wanted it. HB refused to sell it, it "vanishes" from HB's warehouse, and finally ends up with Dunninger. Read the full story below as it appeared in the Jinx.

This same story is relayed by Harry Blackstone, Jr. on a Houdini documentary, but I always thought he was speaking about a WOODEN box. We may never know the truth, but I would bet the iron box John Cox found in Santa Monica originally belonged to...

Monday, December 14, 2015

Happy Holidays!

I hope you all have a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Black November Sale! Only 2 days left

Act now if you want to get The Expert at the Card Table or the Paul Rosini biography at half-price. Quantities are limited. Don't miss this sale.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Black November Sale - 1/2 OFF EVERYTHING!

Why wait for a Black Friday sale? Let's have a sale the entire month! From now until December 1, 2015 you can get 1/2 OFF on all the products at

Get a copy of The Expert at the Card Table or House of Cards, the definitive Paul Rosini bio. Buy a book for yourself and give one as a gift. Or buy two books for yourself.

Sorry, this sale is for US customers only. Prices listed on the website are the prices after the discount has been taken. Offer good while supplies last. Quantities are limited.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Hardeen TEA Can up for Auction

That's right, Hardeeen's TEA can - not Milk Can. I have never seen anything like this, but I'm sure it will find a good home in some die-hard Houdini collection.

The decorative tea canister is 3 feet high and was manufactured by Parnall & Son in Bristol, England. The firm sold grocery & butcher shops a variety of items such as scales,canisters, mills, etc.

The company made a decorative tea canister painted to advertise Hardeen's Tour of Britain in 1905.

The auction is September 12th.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

ERDNASE Overseas

Several people outside the United States have been asking where they can purchase The Expert at the Card Table hardbound edition. H&R Magic Books carries it and would be happy to sell you a copy.

Click here to order.

Friday, July 10, 2015

PAUL ROSINI Super Sale!!!

I just found a hidden stash of my 1999 book. From now until August 1,2015 you can get a copy of House of Cards: The Life and Magic of Paul Rosini for $17.00 postpaid! (US ONLY. NO INTERNATIONAL ORDERS). You won't find a better price on this this unique 320-page hardcover book.

The book chronicles the fascinating life of Paul Rosini and explains much of the exceptional magic he performed during his career.

Act now if you ever wanted a copy of this book! Quantities are limited. BUY NOW