Large Mounted Photograph of Houdini & President Roosevelt
This appears to be a reproduction of the famous Photo where all the other people were removed, leaving just Houdini & President Roosevelt. It measures 11 x 13 3/4" mounted on heavy board with black tape borders. The bottom printed in white says "Taken on Board of the H.A.L. "Imperator", June 21, 1914. (facsimile) This has a small damaged ares on Pres. Roosevelt"s pant leg, seen in the photograph
photo of Houdini and Theodore Roosevelt taken aboard the ocean liner Imperator on June 23, 1914.
It was aboard this "last boat out of Germany" (before the outbreak WWI) that Houdini would amaze the former President with a demonstration of Spirit Slates -- accurately pinpointing where Roosevelt had just spent his Christmas holiday. The next day it was said that Roosevelt took Houdini aside on deck and asked him, "man to man," if what he did was genuine Spiritualism.
"No, Colonel," Houdini is said to have answered. "It was just hocus pocus."
The original version of this photo (right) shows Houdini and Roosevelt standing amid a group of other passengers. Houdini had the other men cropped out. This wouldn't be the only controversy related to this photo, as David Saltman explored at The Houdini File.