|Remark from The Great Throwdini
|How Collier Solved the Puzzle
|Congratulations to Our Winners!
Rachel Joy Diane Burkett
Daniel Jolley Shirley Hamblin
Debbie Sterbinsky Donna & Mont Jolley
Nicole Blank Robert W. Steinmann Jr.
Margaret Waterman Barbara Mroz
Daniel Jolley Sally Garrison
Carol Farrant Bill Utterback
Barbara Battles Teresa Yu
Gary Sterne Dave Haas
Jim Baker Peter Norton
Kyra Bradley Collier Smith
Dennis Brann Angel Esparza
Joyce Veness Jillian Dart Marilyn Hamill
The Great Throwdini
Quiz #45, January 20, 2006.
Click here to see Quiz #45.
Thanks to TGT, #45 was one of
our most successful quizzes.
The story of our search for the
identity of The Great Arcaris,
father of modern knifethrowing,
was featured in November 2008
issue of Games Magazine.
Click here to read article.
|If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at CFitzp@aol.com. If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
your picture. You will also receive a free Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10%
discount towards the purchase of the Forensic Genealogy book.
|If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
2. Broken Wand Ceremony, December 4, 2011
in memory of Houdini's death
3. Society of American Magicians, Parent Assembly #1
|Answer to Quiz #332
November 27, 2011
1. At whose grave was this picture taken?
2. What ceremony is taking place?
3. What group do these people represent?
Bonus: One of these people was featured in a previous quiz.
Which person is he/she?
I think I found the person looking at the picture in the back, left, reddish hair and
glasses. Rev. David Adamovich aka THE GREAT THROWDINI
I googled "forensicgenealogy contest throw" and found this quiz:
I noticed the name of the picture file the other day but did not think of pursuing it at a
tip for the bonus question.
That was a good one. Gary Sterne
I must confess I found this answer almost completely by luck. It was a particular type
of "luck" I've encountered before in research, in which I fail to find what
I'm looking for but still take a quick look around. Voila! The answer jumps out
In this case, I barely made out the name on the plaque and wasn't at all sure I had the
right one. Nonetheless, I did a Google search on 'Weiss grave' expecting it would not
be fruitful. Sure enough, nothing jumped out on the first page of results. An intriguing
headline about Houdini was tucked into the list. Out of curiosity, I clicked and read
further. Was I surprised to learn to learn his real name was 'Weisz". The rest of the
story about the annual Broken Wand ceremonies at his grave site followed.
One of these people was featured in a previous quiz. Which person is he/she? This has
got me stumped. I searched FG on magician, houdini, copperfield, etc. There is a
vague reference to Copperfield in one of the answers to a quiz but he wasn't a feature
of the quiz as such and that is assuming he is one of the people in the picture. So I am
very disappointed to say I can't figure the bonus question out. :-(
I found the rest of the quiz very easy. As soon as I saw the wand, I thought, magician
added to grave in the question can only mean one thing Houdini. Typed Houdini's grave
into google and it was easy to get to Broken Wand Ceremony and SAM. It was only
when I looked back at the picture trying to work out the bonus question that I noticed
the grave stone writing and because I'd seen the name weiss on my google searches I
realised that was the name on the grave stone. Another good learning experience.
Thank you. Rachel Joy
The name on the right side of the memorial brought me to Rabbi Mayer Samuel Weiss.
He was Harry Houdini�s father. Both are buried at the Machpelah Cemetery,
Ridgewood, Queens County, New York, USA. These folks are standing on the steps of
Harry Houdini and his family's memorial and graves.
As I continued my search, I clicked on one page and got the following: "The request
cannot be processed at this time. The amount of traffic exceeds the Web's configured
capacity." Did you personally clog up the Internet highway? ;-)
This was the traditional wand breaking ceremony on the (85th ?) anniversary of
Houdini's death. These folks represent the Society of American Magicians.
Wild guess on the bonus question: Frank Abagnale, Jr. If it is him, I can't tell which
person he is in the picture. I'm thinking it is the guy who is second from the left on the
second step -the one with his hand on the young blonde's shoulder. Carol Farrant
N.B. to The Great Throwdini: Abagnale is stepping up in the world if he's mistaken
for you! - Q. Gen.
Throwdini's reply: I'm so honored.
When I opened this on Sunday I was stumped and had to put it aside. Today I
noticed, with the help of a magnifying glass, the name 'Weiss' and RIP. That's what I
needed! Shirley Hamblin
Today's quiz was made easy by the visible name Weiss and your photo file name
"throw". Hard part was picking Throwdini out in the crowd. Diane Burkett
|Comments from Our Readers
|I went at this backwards, in a sense, because I could read part of the
inscription on the post at the right. I could see "Weiss" and barely
make out "Died Oct 5, 1892". Searching for those terms in Google
Image turned up Rabbi Mayer Samuel Weiss, which led me to his
son, Harry Houdini, buried at the same site (Machpelah Cemetery;
Ridgewood; Queens County, New York, USA)
So then I searched images of "Houdini grave meeting" and turned up
a photo much like yours, but not the exact same group of people. My
photo was taken this year, and yours was probably some time in the
Actually, the quiz photo was taken November 20, 2011, at this year's
ceremony. My good friend and knife throwing idol The Great
Throwdini is the handsome fellow third from the left, directly above
the woman with blonde hair.
Colleen Fitzpatirck PhD
The Society of American Magicians
held the traditional wand breaking
ceremony at Houdini's grave [on
November 20, 2011] to commemorate
the 85th Anniversary of the great
magician's death. The S.A.M. used to
hold the ceremony on Halloween, but
it drew too much attention to the
solemn event. Now the S.A.M. selects
a secret date in November to pay
respects to their "Most Illustrious"
|Bust behind group
Birth: Mar. 24, 1874
Death: Oct. 31, 1926
Entertainer. A legendary magician and escape artist,
he was born Ehrich Weiss in Budapest, Hungary,
the son of a rabbi and religious teacher. When he
was about four, his family moved to Appleton,
Wisconsin, where he grew up. When he was about
8 years old, he sold newspapers and worked as a
bootblack to help support his poor family. When his
father took him to see a traveling magician, his
interest in magic and in performing took off, and
shortly after his family moved to New York City, he
began to study magic. After reading about the
famous magician, Robert Houdin (1805 to 1871), he
|Harry Houdini's Life, Death, and Burial
president...and that day was yesterday.
Houdini was president of the S.A.M. from 1917 until his death in 1926. He was actually
reelected for another term, hence the seal on his gave notes his tenure as ending in
1927, which can cause puzzlement. The regular practice of breaking a wand in honor
of a deceased magician began at Houdini's funeral. While the ceremony is typically
performed only once, Houdini has been honored with a formal wand breaking
ceremony every year since 1969.
|October 13, 2011 - - Houdini's throwing knife goes on exhibit at The
Houdini Museum in Scranton, PA, starting October 31, 2011. This
coincides with the anniversary of Houdini's death on Halloween. The
Great Throwdini, known as the World's Fastest and Most Accurate
Knife Thrower, has donated one of Harry Houdini's throwing knives
to The Houdini Museum, in Scranton, PA.
The knife, 1 of 4 known to exist, is from a rare collection of items
from the Estate of the Hartley family, who were companions of
Houdini. The set of 4 throwing knives subsequently became part of
Throwdini's personal collection. Throwdini is world renowned as the
first and only knife thrower to perform the Veiled Double Wheel of
Death. He is holder of over 30 world records including "One of the
Top 100 Guinness World Records® of all time."
Dorothy Dietrich, (http://dorothydietrich.com) often called "The First
Lady of Magic", and Dick Brookz, Directors of The Houdini Museum
(http://houdini.org) in Scranton, PA, the only building in the world
dedicated to Houdini, are pleased to put this unique item on display.
Ms. Dietrich commented, "We are pleased that Throwdini has given
this unique piece of Houdini memorabilia to our collection. Since
Houdini's death in 1926 many performance related items have
appeared in collections throughout the world. We knew nothing of
these knives and can only presume they existed in preparation for one
of Houdini's routines." Dorothy Dietrich, Executive Director of the
Houdini Museum added, "We've examined Throwdini's letter of
provenance and are thoroughly convinced of the knife's authenticity.
We're proud to have this unique piece on display on the day we pay
tribute to Houdini's passing with the annual séance, at 1:26 PM, the
time Houdini died. Admission is free to all by reservation." The
Houdini Museum is a 501 C-3 non profit museum located at 1433 N.
Main Ave., Scranton, PA.
The Great Throwdini
876 Guy Lombardo Avenue
Freeport, NY 11520
took the stage name, Harry Houdini, in honor of Houdin.
When his father died in 1890, Harry Houdini began working full time at amusement
parks, museums, and theaters, trying his hand at magic and escape attempts. In July
1894, he married Beatrice "Bess" Raymond, a struggling singer and dancer, and she
became the love of his life. After perfecting many escapes, he began to work the
vaudeville theaters, and proving to his critics that he could escape any restraint. Adding
danger to his escape increased the audience suspense, and he took risks that most
escape artists would shy away from. This only increased the audience's appreciation of
his work. Many of his tricks involved being cast under water, with the threat of
suffocation, but he always came through. Many of his greatest escapes still defy
explanation even today.
In the last years of his life, he formed the Houdini Motion Picture Corporation, which
made numerous silent films, many of them featuring Houdini in one of his escapes. In
the early 1920s, spiritualism became a great interest in the country, and after
researching it himself, Harry became convinced that most of the practitioners were
frauds, and he spent much of his time debunking the fakes.
On October 22, 1926, while in Montreal, Canada, giving a lecture on spiritualism, he
was asked by a college student if he could withstand a blow to the stomach. Before he
could prepare himself for the blow, the student suddenly hit him three times, the last
blow rupturing his appendix. Harry thought he would recover, and went on to perform
several times over the next few days. By the time he was properly diagnosed, it was too
late, and he died of peritonitis from a ruptured appendix on October 31, 1926 in Detroit,
Michigan, at Grace Hospital in room 401 at 1:26 P.M. on October 31, 1926, Halloween.
Houdini is buried at Machpelah Cemetery,82-30 Cypress Hills Street, Queens, New
York. His entire family is buried there,
mother, rather, sister and borthers -
but not his wife Bess. A plot next to
Harry was planned for her, but she
couldn't be laid to rest there, because
Machpelah is a Jewish cemetery, and
Bess was Catholic. Bess Houdini died
on a train in California enroute to NYC,
and is buried at the Gate of Heaven
Cemetery, Stevens and Bradhurst
Avenues, Hawthorne, New York.
|Clues to the Bonus Question
|Remark from the Quizmaster General:
All the information you needed to answer the bonus question was provided in the quiz.
Colleen Fitzpatrick PhD
|Click on the thumbnail on the
contest page, and check out the
name of the image file - "Throw".
|Go back to the contest page, and
type "Throw" into the search
|The results will look like this.
Thanks to attendees Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz
of the Houdini Museum in Scranton for letting me know
about this. Dorothy and Dick (along with Steve Moore)
recently restored the bust on Houdini's grave, so this was
the first time in many years that the S.A.M. didn't have to
bring their own. Because of repeated vandalism, the
surviving Houdini bust is kept secure by the S.A.M. and
was only placed back on his grave for the annual wand
|A broken wand ceremony is a ritual performed at the funeral of a magician, in
which a wand—either the wand which the magician used in performances, or a
ceremonial one—is broken, indicating that with the magician's death, the wand has lost
The first broken wand ceremony was held in 1926, after the death of Harry Houdini;
the Society of American Magicians continues to hold an annual ceremony at Houdini's
|The Houdini Commando's is not quite correct, it's a sub set of
the real issue. The Houdini Commandos are a so-called group by
Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brooks (front row just off the middle left
as you look at the picture) who run the Houdini Museum in Scranton
PA. The actual congregation on the monument are (some of the)
members of The Society of American Magicians / Parent Assembly
#1. The Broken Wand ceremony for HH is an annual tradition.
Overall I'm very impressed.
On Halloween, the anniversary of his
death, Harry Houdini will be back on stage.
The Jewish Museum in New York is
opening a new exhibition, “Houdini: Art
and Magic,” today, and curator Brooke
Kamin Rapaport says the entrance gallery
will feature a replica stage projecting a life-
size image of the great Jewish magician
performing his water-torture act.
It’s a new way to keep alive the memory
of Houdini, joining an annual seance that
seeks to make contact with the daring
escape artist and a graveside ceremony
|SAM members perform
the Broken Wand Ceremony at
Houdini's grave in 2010.
for a man who was called “The World’s Handcuff King and Prison Breaker” and the
“Justly World-Famous Self-Liberator.”
Born Ehrich Weiss in Budapest, Hungary, in 1874, Houdini was the son of a rabbi who
immigrated with his family to Wisconsin in 1878.
“Coming to America, Houdini’s family faced a lot of the same issues that other Jewish
immigrants faced, including anti-Semitism,” said Rapaport.
“I never was ashamed to acknowledge that I was a Jew, and never will be,” Houdini is
quoted as writing to a friend in the show’s sepia-toned and well-documented catalogue.
According to the exhibition wall text written by Rapaport, his escapes “had particular
resonance for those who sought liberation from political, ethnic, or religious
Generally considered among the most famous magicians ever, Houdini died on Oct. 31,
1926, probably as a result of appendicitis compounded by a blow to the stomach.