Harry Houdini always told everyone that he was born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin. But the fact of the matter is that he was actually born in Budapest, Hungary. His real name was Erich Weiss, and about a week or two after he was born his father loaded the family onto a boat sailing for America. The father had a gig set up to become the first rabbi in Appleton. . .they arrived in Appleton, set up shop, and little Erich grew up here as a Hungarian immigrant. He had such fond memories of this town that it always lived in his heart as the place where he began the process of becoming Harry Houdini, one of the greatest magicians and escape artists of all time.
Little Eric–he dropped the ‘h’ so his name would look more American–began learning about magic and prestidigitation at a young age here. . .performed shows around Appleton. . .but the family eventually left Appleton and moved to the east coast–New Jersey and then New York where Eric gained great fame performing amazing escapes and spectacular illusions and sleight-of-hand…he could do it all.
Eric Weiss admired a French magician from the 19th century called Robert-Houdin. . .he read everything he could on this intriguing French dude. . .his admiration led Eric to change his name to Houdini, Harry Houdini, and the rest is history. Google ‘Harry Houdini’ to learn more if you are curious.
Anyway, we have to stop in Appleton and see the Harry Houdini museum they have here. . .lots of fun to step inside some of his most famous effects like the Milk Can Escape and the Full Body Cage Escape–or whatever that full body thing is called. As a child I read “Houdini On Magic”–one of the great tomes for a budding young magician to devour–plus every other book on Houdini that I could get my hands on. He was, is, and always will be bigger-than-life. . .a true legend in the world of magic, escapes, sleight-of-hand, and seance de-bunkery. . .and it is a great honor to finally have the opportunity to spend a little time in the place that Harry Houdini held in his heart all of his life as his real ‘home.’
I send you magical vibes from Appleton, Wisconsin. . .feel them. . .they will drive you to do whatever you want to do today and every day.
To see more amazing images from around our teeny tiny rock circling a minor star in the milky way galaxy simply click on a location of your choice in the category menu on the ‘About’ page of this blog. . .do it. . .you might learn a thing or three.
It’s lovely out there.