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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Do we know what types of playing cards Houdini would have used? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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When he was performing in the 1920s, what kind of playing cards would Harry Houdini have used for his public performances?

Bicycle decks were around but probably weren't as common yet as they are today, I'm guessing. Do we know from pictures or historical accounts or perhaps even memorabilia owned by collectors what kinds of playing cards he would have used?
Fedora
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I've wanted to know this as well.

I believe that the us playing card company was the biggest
Card manufacturer by 1900, and bicycle was there main brand since
1985.

That doesn't mean houdini used it though.
i recall reading that "aristocrat" was popular with magicians
in the early 20th century.

I tryed to find an image or clip of
him using one, I've looked but I couldn't find any where I could tell
the back design.

A houdini museum curator might know, some are in possession
of decks he owned and could check the brand.
Topper2
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I can't answer the question but I can put forward a guess, 'Steamboats' were very popular with magicians in those days and I expect Houdini would have worked with them at least some of the time.
Anatole
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On page 27 of the Potter & Potter catalog of the Collection of Burton S. Sperber is this listing:
-----quote-----
329. Houdini, Harry. Autographed Houdini playing card. Poker-size plaid-back Steamboat playing card boldly signed “Houdini” and dated 1921. Near fine condition.
-----unquote-----
From
https://potterauctions.com/pdf/Catalog_023_Sperber_WEB.pdf

It sold for $1500

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
EndersGame
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That's a great find Sonny, thanks for sharing that!
Leo H
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That could have been a playing card handed to him for his autograph by a fan or fellow SAM member at a banquet somewhere. However he did card manipulations on and off throughout his career so the Steamboats are definitely possible. They were popular with card manipulators back then.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Do we know what types of playing cards Houdini would have used? (2 Likes)
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