Houdini Club of Wisconsin
In 1915, five magicians in Wisconsin (which Harry Houdini often claimed as his home town) organized a magic club named the "Houdini Club." The first president was J. C. Walter. The name was revised to "Wisconsin Houdini Club" in 1932. It remained relatively dormant until 1938 when County Judge Frank W. Carter and Mike Zens outlined a new plan for the formation new club and held their first meeting on May 28, 1938. It was decided to build on the membership of the old society and changed the name to "Houdini Club of Wisconsin, Inc."
The Houdini Award, designed by Edward Saint, is a hand-tooled, engraved leather bound photo book containing photos of Houdini and a letter to the club from Bess Houdini. It was first presented by Bess to Ben Bergor for his "Original Combination Trunk and Straitjacket Escape and Substitution" during the club's third convention in 1940. After winning the award at two more consecutive conventions, the award became Bergor's to keep. After his death in 1981 the award was donated to the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Houdini Club of Philadelphia
In 1926, after receiving permission from Bess Houdini to use the name, and later had the name and title registered. Mrs. Houdini would attend the yearly dinner and once presented the club with a plaque containing a pair of Handcuffs used by Houdini.
- Linking Ring October, 1939 page 657