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If you care about magic and the memory of Houdini, you can help prevent a serious breech of magical etiquette.  We have learned that the Outagamie County Historical Society, which operates the Houdini Historical Center in Appleton, Wisconsin, is planning an exhibit EXPOSING! the secrets of Houdini's most important illusion - the Metamorphosis, or substitution trunk.                                              

The Historical Society has recently severed it's ties with long-time benefactor Sidney Radner and will no longer display his world famous collection of Houdini artifacts.  The Radner Collection was handed down directly by Houdini to his brother Theodore, who was known as "Hardeen", and from him to Sid Radner. The Historical Society is now preparing a replacement  exhibit entitled "a.k.a. Houdini" scheduled to open in the summer of 2004.  The Houdini Historical Center had been a resource for researchers, documentary film makers, and was also a top attraction for tourism in northeastern Wisconsin. Without the Radner Collection it is questionable whether they will be able to maintain the credibility that was built up over the past fifteen years since the Center was established.

Apparently, aware of the limitations of their remaining collection, the Outagamie County Historical Society is planning to offer an exhibit EXPOSING! the secrets of Houdini's signature illusion, the Metamorphosis.  The illusion has been presented to delighted audiences throughout the world by magicians  young and old.  This wonderful illusion has never lost its excitement in over 100 years of performances. Magicians take an oath of secrecy to never reveal how a trick is done to the general public. Yet, the Outagamie County Historical Society, which has been entrusted with magical secrets as a result of it's sponsorship of the Houdini Historical Center, now feels it can EXPOSE! Houdini's and the magic community's secrets for its own questionable purposes.                                                      

if you agree that IT IS WRONG! to reveal Houdini's secrets, that this would be AN INSULT TO HOUDINI'S MEMORY!, and would DESTROY THE WONDER AND EXCITEMENT OF MAGIC FOR EVERYONE !  Please write to any or all of the following people and ask them not to do this or to prevail upon the Historical Society to terminate their plans to EXPOSE! Houdini's secrets.  There are many fascinating stories of Houdini that can be shared in an exhibit without revealing magical secrets.        

Email or write to the director of the Outagamie County Historical Society, Terry Bergen at or at 330 E. College Avenue, Appleton, Wisconsin, 54911.

Write to the Editor of the Appleton Post Crescent newspaper by clicking here  

Write to News Director Ed Walters of Appleton radio station WHBY at

Write to Lynn Peters, Director of the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is offering a grant to the Historical Society for the exhibit, at

Or, write to friends and magicians you may know to ask for their support, and letters.  If you send me a copy at , I will try to publish as many letters as possible on this site. Thank you for your support!