Houdini Receives His Pay For His Performance of His Famed One-Man Show Houdini
Houdini Receives His Pay For His Performance of His Famed One-Man Show, Entitled Simply Houdini. The first signed item of Houdini we have seen relating to his pay for his thrilling and perilous feats. Not just a signed sentiment, but a piece of his career. Houdini had a warm spot in his heart for Chicago, as that is where his career took off. A 19 year old Wisconsin native, his first major booking was at the Worlds Fair in Chicago in 1893, and thereafter he secured a regular booking performing at Chicagos first acknowledged vaudeville theater, Kohl and Middletons Museum. It was in Chicago that Houdini received the call to travel as part of the Orpheum Circuit, a series of major nationwide vaudeville houses. In time he worked his way up to being the highest paid and most popular vaudeville performer in the country. He went on to appear in London and Berlin, and tour the world. In 1926, Houdini opened a one-man show on Broadway, simply entitled Houdini. Performing to record crowds and rave reviews, he then took the show on the road. His last performance in Chicago was at the Princess Theater in early April 1926. In 1900 he was booked to perform in Europe and became the highest paid entertainer there with amazing feats such as escaping from a pair of handcuffs in Scotland Yard in London and wriggling out of 50 feet of rope. These were fabulous sums in those days, comparable to the salaries of film stars Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford. An average worker would earn in one year what Houdini saw in one week. Houdinis manager was Al Smith, and it was Smiths job to handle bookings, interface with theater owners, and receive the monies due Houdini for his performances. Typed document signed , Chicago, April 6, 1926, being a receipt for Houdinis pay for his Princess Theater performance.
Houdini, rather than just Houdini as usually seen. This is a great rarity, being the first signed item of Houdini we have seen relating to his pay for his thrilling and perilous feats. Moreover, a search of public sale records going back 40 years fails to turn up even one. But soon this remarkable career would end. On August 5, 1926, Houdini performed his last great feat, escaping from an underwater tank after 91 minutes.
His final show was on October 24. He died on October 31, 1926, of peritonitis.
The item "Houdini Receives His Pay For His Performance of His Famed One-Man Show Houdini" is in sale since Friday, December 01, 2017. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Autographs\Historical". The seller is "independence_galleries" and is located in Havertown, Pennsylvania. This item can be shipped to United States.
- Autograph Authentication: The Raab Collection, LLC
- Original/Reproduction: Original
- Country/Region of Manufacture: United States
- Signed by: Harry Houdini