Houdini Souvenir Program by Unknown

Reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss (originally published in Genii January, 1998)

Lee Jacobs Productions is well known not only for its publishing ventures but also for its historical reproductions of posters and other conjuring memorabilia. One of my favorite pieces in this line has long been their reproduction of the souvenir program of Houdini's final tour. Jacobs has just recently reissued this charming piece again, and I can't think of a magician, much less anyone with a modicum of interest in Houdini, who wouldn't want to own a copy of this. Within this quality reproduction is included simple tricks, pages of grand biographical claims and other promotional fluff, a full-page copy of Houdini's $10, 000 challenge to spirit mediums, a letter from the New York City Police Department concerning Houdini's lectures to the police academy, and a sales pitch for Houdini's many books, all pictured on the back page. In addition to the reproduced program and some additional commentary by Lee Jacobs, the publisher has bound the program within a duplicate outside cover, the rear page of which contains a reprint of a 1914 broadside advertising one of Houdini's challenge escapes. Mr. Jacobs points out that one can remove this extra cover to create a completely authentic duplicate of the original program, which some might think could make for a useful prop in an appropriate magical production. Let your imagination be your guide!

8 - 1/2" X 11" saddle stitched; illustrated with photographs; 1997; Publisher: Lee Jacobs Productions