Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.
houdini's ghost
Posts: 434
Joined: September 24th, 2008, 7:23 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby houdini's ghost » April 27th, 2010, 9:25 pm

Watch this on utube! Watch it again. This time watch only a man in a light colored hat and overcoat who begins standing beside the truck at screen left, then, in a cut, is on the truck bed, screenleft of the cabinet. Watch him. Watch what he does. I think It's Frank Kukol.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97F8vryo8Sw
Then, watch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhepAvTC ... re=related
You'll see Vickery and Collins prepping Houdini for the USD jacket. As they assist in swinging Houdini clear of the platform, they are joined by a man in the front of the crowd. He is wearing a hat and has a white mustache. Watch it again, watch only him. I think it's Frank Kukol.
And,
Watch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBPpPRz6 ... re=related
Hardeen, Vickery and Collins are helping Houdini prep for another USD S-J.
A man in a light colored floppy hat is helping at the lower left of the screen. I think that's Frank.
And that famous scene in Master Mystery where the emmisaries of the automaton tie him to a wall by his thumbs then he chokes one of the bad guys with his legs and used his toes to escape. I think the guy tying Houdini's right thumb is Frank.
I only bring this up becuase Houdini told the N.Y. Times in 1918 that his German assistant and he had been parted by the war in 1914.
Frank wasn't even supposed to be there.

terry love
Posts: 11
Joined: December 30th, 2009, 4:34 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby terry love » April 30th, 2010, 8:07 pm

I think my question wasn't noticed a couple months ago when I asked if anyone heard about a trunk of Houdini letters, handcuffs, keys, etc being sold two years ago at the Columbus Flea Market in New Jersey for $1,000.00...Described to me as being filled with mostly houdini letters and in New Jersey I wondered to myself if it could have belonged to one of Houdini's assistants...

User avatar
Kevin Connolly
Posts: 2437
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Kevin Connolly » April 30th, 2010, 10:47 pm

I never heard of it and I'm in NJ. There was a trunk in CA with Houdini letters that I bought about 10-15 years ago. There wasn't any hardware in it, just ephemera.
Please visit my website.
http://houdinihimself.com/
I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.

terry love
Posts: 11
Joined: December 30th, 2009, 4:34 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby terry love » May 1st, 2010, 6:58 pm

An antique dealer friend of a friend saw the trunk, decided to buy it but he wasn't sure of it's value. Asked the people to hold it while he went to get the money but they sold it to someone else. Is there a story to your find in CA?

User avatar
Kevin Connolly
Posts: 2437
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Kevin Connolly » May 1st, 2010, 7:38 pm

My letters were to a guy who started the NY Times book section. They basically discuss one thing, monkey gland transplants. To me, it's some pretty wild material.
Please visit my website.

http://houdinihimself.com/

I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.

houdini's ghost
Posts: 434
Joined: September 24th, 2008, 7:23 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby houdini's ghost » May 2nd, 2010, 12:52 am

Hey Kevin
The trunk you're talking about and the trunk Terry is talking about don't sound like the same trunk.
If Terry only knew one or two specific things that were in the trunk perhaps we could determine who owns them now.
Kind of late to go snooping around the Columbus, NJ Flea Market.
On the subject of this thread, I wish there was someone out there who could tell me that is Frank Kukol or it's not in those utube links I posted.
Terry, why don't you start a new thread called, "Who bought the trunkful of Houdini memorabilia at the Columbus Flea Market two years ago?"
Might provoke a result.

houdini's ghost
Posts: 434
Joined: September 24th, 2008, 7:23 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby houdini's ghost » May 22nd, 2010, 7:09 pm

Frank Kukol is showing up in more immigration documents on ancestry.com. I've put copies of them on my website.
The first is Frank Kukol's declaration of intention to become a naturalized citizen of the U.S.
It is dated August 26, 1915.
Kukol says he emigrated from Southhampton, England, arriving in the U.S. on the 26 of June, 1914.
http://www.houdinisghost.com/kukoldeclaration.html
An interesting item is Frank's complexion. It is listed as "dark."
That matches the photo of Frank standing behind Houdini at the Shelton Pool Test. It's summer, and Frank (Williamson, by then) is quite tanned--dark.
http://www.houdinisghost.com/frankmore.html
Next is Frank's certificate of Arrival. This gives his arrival as June 24, 1914 on the Imperator. This document is dated August 17, 1922.
http://www.houdinisghost.com/kukolcertificate.html
The next document is Frank Kukol's Petition for Naturalization.
http://www.houdinisghost.com/kukolpetition.html
This was signed by Frank Kukol on August 25, 1922. On the back of that document is Immigration's denial of Kukol's petition.
http://www.houdinisghost.com/kukoldenial.html
The denial is dated May 26, 1924. PETITION DENIED "for lack of knowledge."
There is a memorandum of continuances: on Nov. 27, 1922, a continuance was granted. The handwriting is a bit difficult to read, but, it appears to say: "off to await wife arriving."
These documents show dates that are, in some cases, different than the dates I previously gave on this post. The dates I've just given are the correct ones.

Dustyshelves
Posts: 10
Joined: January 26th, 2012, 4:33 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Dustyshelves » January 26th, 2012, 4:59 pm

Hi, new member here.
I have a guest house visitors' book from early 1900's. A relative kept 'digs' for visiting artistes who played at Portsmouth & Southsea theatres in the UK
One page contains the hand-written note of Franz Kukol,a thank-you note for the clean accomodation & 'A1 cooking'. in equisite copper-plate writing, along with a 14 x 9 cm sepia photo of Kukol relaxing in his rooms in Southsea.
He has dated the page 'Week of May the 24th, 1909'.
He appeared at The Hippodrome' Theatre. in Portsmouth.
I intend to eventually sell the item, hopefully to someone who will treasure it, as I have done, but for the meantime, I hope this information might be of some academic use.I will happily paste an image here if I am requested.

User avatar
Kevin Connolly
Posts: 2437
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Kevin Connolly » January 26th, 2012, 5:31 pm

Any chance of posting the image somewhere? If you want, I could b post them on my blog. (see below)
Please visit my website.

http://houdinihimself.com/

I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.

User avatar
JohnCox
Posts: 966
Joined: March 21st, 2009, 3:03 pm
Favorite Magician: HOUDINI!
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby JohnCox » January 27th, 2012, 1:09 am

Dustyshelves wrote:.I will happily paste an image here if I am requested.

Yes, please, I'd love to see an image.
Visit my blog Wild About Harry

Dustyshelves
Posts: 10
Joined: January 26th, 2012, 4:33 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Dustyshelves » April 16th, 2012, 10:29 am

At last I can offer a glimpse of Kukol in the pages of the guest book in my possession,which I mentioned earlier this year. Image and script in this instance,remain in my copyright & not to be used elsewhere.
The page measures approx 9x7 inches.The photograph 5.5 x3.5 inches
I will be offering the item for sale shortly, after much deliberation.Please enquire if interested.
http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m85/ ... LSMALL.jpg

User avatar
JohnCox
Posts: 966
Joined: March 21st, 2009, 3:03 pm
Favorite Magician: HOUDINI!
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby JohnCox » April 16th, 2012, 1:02 pm

Sensational! Thank you for sharing this.
Visit my blog Wild About Harry

Dustyshelves
Posts: 10
Joined: January 26th, 2012, 4:33 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Dustyshelves » April 16th, 2012, 1:13 pm

Thank you, John.......

Kevin, I see the photo you have of Kukolon your website at his table,writing,appears in sequence with my own photo which I have posted. The background fireplace & clothing are exactly the same.The appearance of the room, chairs etc, seem to appear richly Victorian in design.I wonder where the photos were taken, in Paris,somewhere else in Europe (Austria), America or the U.K. ?
From the writing on the card, I would say there are real similarities in the handwriting style to both items.
Ian

Dustyshelves
Posts: 10
Joined: January 26th, 2012, 4:33 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Dustyshelves » April 16th, 2012, 1:59 pm

I have now ascertained that Houdini WAS in Portsmouth,U.K.,with Kukol, at the Hippodrome Theatre, week of May 24th-29th, but obviously must have stayed at another hotel, as there is no trace of him in the guestbook I have :(

User avatar
Kevin Connolly
Posts: 2437
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Kevin Connolly » April 16th, 2012, 3:49 pm

The photo may have been taken in Paris in 1909. It be tough to put together. It took me 20 years to put the photo and postcard together.
Please visit my website.

http://houdinihimself.com/

I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.

houdini's ghost
Posts: 434
Joined: September 24th, 2008, 7:23 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby houdini's ghost » April 17th, 2012, 12:50 pm

Some of the big missing pieces of the Kukol story are: after he left Hardeen's act, where did he go?
When did he die?
What became of his wife and two children.
From Joe Pecore:
I just stumbled across a reference to Frank Williamson in an old Swann's Auction Catalog (Public Auction Sale 1875, October 26, 2000):
Quote:
70 (HOUDINI, HARRY.) Typed Affadavit Signed and Notarized, by Frank Williamson, testifying that he had attended every Houdini performance in Chicago's Princess Theater since 08 March 1926 and that Houdini did not call Dr. Burgess fradulent, and offering instead a paraphrase of what he heard Houdini say. One page, 4to; with Williamson's Signature and address in holograph
and the notarized portion Signed and with the embossed stamp of the notary.
Anybody know who bought that item?
That guestbook is a profound source of Houdini lore.

Hatchcanyon
Posts: 6
Joined: October 22nd, 2012, 11:02 am
Location: Odenwaldkreis, Hessen; Germany - Moab, UT from time to time
Contact:

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Hatchcanyon » October 22nd, 2012, 12:22 pm

Dear all!

May I introduce myself:

My name is Rolf R. Safferthal, a retired German electronics engineer. Franz Kukol was my maternal grandgrandfather, father of my mothers mother Maria Trger nee Kukol, his oldest child. Recently I found this forum and read some information new to me.

Sorry I haven`t read the whole information carefully so I might have missed some important facts. Therefore I ask for patience with me and my questions.

My main interest is to discover more about Franz Kukols fate. The family always assumed - or told the younger - that he must have died in 1925 in the United States. His status within the family was something like "lost". I believe that this is not the whole story.

My grandfather Richard Trger - Franz Kukols son-in-law - passed on to me some information including pictures. This one for example:

[img:center]http://hatchcanyon.eu/Navigation/Sonstiges/Familie/CCF20102012_00003_8.jpg[/img]
The writing say:
"To my daughter Marie for her 13th birthday with cordial congratulations, from father."
2.nd of May 1914, London, England

Another one:
[img:center]http://hatchcanyon.eu/Navigation/Sonstiges/Familie/CCF20102012_00001_8.jpg[/img]
signed by Houdini itself.

Also this one has a dedication from Houdini:
[img:center]http://hatchcanyon.eu/Navigation/Sonstiges/Familie/CCF20102012_00000_8.jpg[/img]

I would be glad to find anything about the whereabouts of my grandgrandfather after WW1.
Desert Drunk and Red Rock Crazy Traveling the American Southwest.

User avatar
Joe Pecore
Posts: 1915
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Paul Harris
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Joe Pecore » October 22nd, 2012, 3:42 pm

Hatchcanyon wrote:Dear all!

May I introduce myself:

My name is Rolf R. Safferthal, a retired German electronics engineer. Franz Kukol was my maternal grandgrandfather, father of my mothers mother Maria Trger nee Kukol, his oldest child. Recently I found this forum and read some information new to me.


Would you mind if we use your picture of Franz Kukol for http://geniimagazine.com/magicpedia/Franz_Kukol ?
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

Rick Ruhl
Posts: 686
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Rialto, Ca

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Rick Ruhl » October 22nd, 2012, 7:42 pm

Holy cow.. welcome forum Rolf. Those pictures are amazing. After all these years, some new Houdini artefacts show up out the blue.

I share a birthday with Houdini and I am 52 this year. So I need to make it past Oct 31st! LOL

Rick

User avatar
JohnCox
Posts: 966
Joined: March 21st, 2009, 3:03 pm
Favorite Magician: HOUDINI!
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby JohnCox » October 22nd, 2012, 8:01 pm

Holy cats! Hello, Rolf . What a pleasure to hear from a genuine FK relation. Thank you for posting and thank you for the pics. Really terrific photo of your grand grandfather

You might want to read this on my Houdini blog.
http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2009/12 ... kukol.html

Patrick Culliton in on these forums and he will certainly be interested in talking to you.
Visit my blog Wild About Harry

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5383
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Bill Mullins » October 22nd, 2012, 9:22 pm

Variety, 14 Oct 1921 p 12

Mrs. Franz Kukol, of Dreihacken, Bohemia (European Continent), is seeking the whereabouts of her husband, Franz Kukol, believed to be in America. For 14 years Kukol was with Houdini.

houdini's ghost
Posts: 434
Joined: September 24th, 2008, 7:23 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby houdini's ghost » October 22nd, 2012, 10:59 pm

I, too, have been searching for Franz. I believe he is in the footage of Hardeen performing the Metamorphosis which is 1928--I think.
http://www.houdinisghost.com/franzfrank.html
Kukol,I think, may have been Houdini's best friend.
He is almost always right at Houdini's right hand in photos and many of the photos Franz is not in, he took as the troupe's official photographer.
He had been going by Frank Kukol and also Frank Williamson.
http://www.houdinisghost.com/frankmore.html
Rolf, do you know anything about your ancestor Maria's brother Harry?
http://www.houdinisghost.com/franzkukol.html

Hatchcanyon
Posts: 6
Joined: October 22nd, 2012, 11:02 am
Location: Odenwaldkreis, Hessen; Germany - Moab, UT from time to time
Contact:

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Hatchcanyon » October 23rd, 2012, 9:45 am

Thank you for the friebdly welcome! Special thanks to Bill Mullins and the remark of the search ad. Is there a chance to get a copy of the original? Sure I will pay for expenses!

Joe Pecore wrote:
Hatchcanyon wrote:Dear all!

Would you mind if we use your picture of Franz Kukol for http://geniimagazine.com/magicpedia/Franz_Kukol ?



Please feel free to use the link to the picture stored on my website. (No Kukol story until now on this website) One may delete the question mark behind his birth date - it is correct.

Rick, with best wishes - be careful!

houdini's ghost wrote:Rolf, do you know anything about your ancestor Maria's brother Harry?


Harry, called after Houdini but baptized as Heinrich Erich - it is said that Houdini was godparent(?) - lived like his mother in Dreihacken near Marienbad. As Germans they were forced to leave the Czechoslovakian Republic in 1946. The family was assumed German due to the fact that Franz Kukol was German even if he was born in Prerau, what is in the Czech Republic now. Therefore after marriage his wife - a former Austrian citizen - became naturalized as German too. Harry lived in Marktredwitz (West Germany, Bavaria) and later nearby in Waldsassen in a retirement home until his death on May 22nd 1987. He had worked as a sales representative.

Another picture:
[img:center]http://hatchcanyon.eu/Navigation/Sonstiges/Familie/CCF20102012_00010_8.jpg[/img]

Written on the backside:
"Flashlight picture taken at 2:20 A.M. Glasgow, Oct. 24. 1909

Franz playing, Houdini in the background. The thrird person is unknown to me.

Rolf
Desert Drunk and Red Rock Crazy Traveling the American Southwest.

User avatar
Kevin Connolly
Posts: 2437
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Kevin Connolly » October 23rd, 2012, 11:01 am

Isn't a similar picture on Ebay? The guy has been trying to sell it for the last year or two.

PS That's not Houdini in the image.
Please visit my website.

http://houdinihimself.com/

I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.

Hatchcanyon
Posts: 6
Joined: October 22nd, 2012, 11:02 am
Location: Odenwaldkreis, Hessen; Germany - Moab, UT from time to time
Contact:

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Hatchcanyon » October 23rd, 2012, 11:37 am

Hatchcanyon wrote:Harry, called after Houdini but baptized as Heinrich Erich - it is said that Houdini was godparent(?) - lived like his mother in Dreihacken near Marienbad. As Germans they were forced to leave the Czechoslovakian Republic in 1946. The family was assumed German due to the fact that Franz Kukol was German even if he was born in Prerau, what is in the Czech Republic now. Therefore after marriage his wife - a former Austrian citizen - became naturalized as German too. Harry lived in Marktredwitz (West Germany, Bavaria) and later nearby in Waldsassen in a retirement home until his death on May 22nd 1987. He had worked as a sales representative.


Correction:

Harry moved to Bayern in the 1930ies so he was not forced to leave after WWII. He lived in Waldsassen, biuld a house in Marktredwitz and moved back to Waldsassen in the age of 76.

Question:
If it is not Houdini standing in the background who is this man (and the third one too)?

No, I don`t try to sell family heirloom at ebay.

Rolf
Desert Drunk and Red Rock Crazy Traveling the American Southwest.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5383
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Bill Mullins » October 23rd, 2012, 11:50 am

Hatchcanyon wrote: Special thanks to Bill Mullins and the remark of the search ad. Is there a chance to get a copy of the original? Sure I will pay for expenses!


I can email you a pdf of the page. Send me a PM or email with your own email address and I will send it to you.

Bill

User avatar
JohnCox
Posts: 966
Joined: March 21st, 2009, 3:03 pm
Favorite Magician: HOUDINI!
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby JohnCox » October 23rd, 2012, 12:12 pm

Hatchcanyon wrote:
Hatchcanyon wrote:Question:
If it is not Houdini standing in the background who is this man (and the third one too)?

That's James Vickery, another assistant. I don't recognize the third man.
Visit my blog Wild About Harry

User avatar
Kevin Connolly
Posts: 2437
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Kevin Connolly » October 23rd, 2012, 12:38 pm

JohnCox wrote:
Hatchcanyon wrote:
Hatchcanyon wrote:Question:
If it is not Houdini standing in the background who is this man (and the third one too)?

That's James Vickery, another assistant. I don't recognize the third man.


The Third Man was Orson Welles. :whistle:
Please visit my website.

http://houdinihimself.com/

I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.

houdini's ghost
Posts: 434
Joined: September 24th, 2008, 7:23 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby houdini's ghost » October 23rd, 2012, 6:25 pm

The third man in the photo is Jimmy Collins--when he still had hair. Franz was a theatre organist, a musical director and a composer.

houdini's ghost
Posts: 434
Joined: September 24th, 2008, 7:23 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby houdini's ghost » October 23rd, 2012, 6:30 pm

Rolf, I'm Patrick Culliton. Have you seen this thread?
http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... Post209310

Hatchcanyon
Posts: 6
Joined: October 22nd, 2012, 11:02 am
Location: Odenwaldkreis, Hessen; Germany - Moab, UT from time to time
Contact:

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Hatchcanyon » October 24th, 2012, 10:11 am

Non I discovered another source of information:

Grand grandfather Franz Kukol was an avid postcard writer. There are 100 or more postcards he wrote from all over the world to his sister-in-law, a sister of his wife.

Always the same text:
"Herzliche Grsse sendet Dein Schwager Kukol."

(Kind regards sent from your brother-in-law Kukol.)

Two examples:

[img:center]http://hatchcanyon.eu/Navigation/Sonstiges/Familie/CCI22102012_00001_8.jpg[/img]

[img:center]http://hatchcanyon.eu/Navigation/Sonstiges/Familie/CCI22102012_00000_8.jpg[/img]

Rolf
Desert Drunk and Red Rock Crazy Traveling the American Southwest.

Hatchcanyon
Posts: 6
Joined: October 22nd, 2012, 11:02 am
Location: Odenwaldkreis, Hessen; Germany - Moab, UT from time to time
Contact:

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Hatchcanyon » October 24th, 2012, 10:22 am

houdini's ghost wrote:On August 25, 1914, "Frank" Kukol applied for naturalized citizenship. He renounced all foreign governments and signed an oath of allegiance to the United States. His application was rejected: "not enough information." ......
.....On Sept 12, 1918, both Harry Houdini and Frank Kukol registered for the draft at the same New York office.
Then Franz AKA Frank Kukol disappears.


May I have a question on this item?

If Franz(k) Kukol registered for the draft he must have been an U.S. citizen? Or did they accept foreigners too?

Rolf
Desert Drunk and Red Rock Crazy Traveling the American Southwest.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5383
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Bill Mullins » October 24th, 2012, 12:46 pm

Way upthread, Patrick Culliton gave some info re: Kukol's naturalization.

The paperwork says he arrived in America on the "Imperator" on 26 June 1914 -- the same ship as Rolf has posted a post card from above. Rolf -- are there any dates on the back side of that postcard? Postal marks or hand written dates?

Hatchcanyon
Posts: 6
Joined: October 22nd, 2012, 11:02 am
Location: Odenwaldkreis, Hessen; Germany - Moab, UT from time to time
Contact:

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby Hatchcanyon » October 24th, 2012, 2:33 pm

There are 2 postal marks but no one has a good quality.

On one the reading is like "Hambug - Newark; 16.6.14"
The other one reads "2x.6.1x"

Both may fit.

If Franz Kukol was naturalized then he was US citizen? If this is true he had nothing to fear in the United States. Why did he hide from his beloved children?

There is a rumor in our family that he wrote a letter in 1925 but I haven`t seen such a document until now. I was told that he mourned about the fact thas his daughter had given birth to my mother the year ago and he had not seen the baby.

I own two postal cards written to his sister-in- law. The first one is from September 3, 1915 and sent from Kansas City. The picture shows a view from Baltimore Hotel in northeastern direction.

The other one is dated from September 15, 1915 and has a postal mark from Omaha. Picture shows 18th Street looking North between City Hallo and New Hotel Fontenelle.
tells me, he did not "dissapper" at the beginning of WWI.

Something unknown must have happened later. And I guess this was not Houdinis death.

Rolf
Desert Drunk and Red Rock Crazy Traveling the American Southwest.


houdini's ghost
Posts: 434
Joined: September 24th, 2008, 7:23 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby houdini's ghost » October 25th, 2012, 2:35 pm

Rolf,
Houdini tried to get Franz his citizenship and could not. When England and Germany went to war, Houdini planted a story in a theatrical news journal that Franz had been called up to take up his commission in the German Army and--get this--had immediately left to serve his country.
Franz wanted to stay in America and bring the family here.
When America entered the war, Franz was an enemy alien in the U.S. and a deserter in Germany.
This is when Houdini, at least publicly, changed Frank Kukol into Frank Williamson. Franz couldn't work in Vaudeville during the war.
He managed a movie theatre in the Bronx.
He appears in the Master Mystery (1918) and in Haldane of the Secret Service (1922).
He's one of Houdini's pall-bearers.
He very often appears in the outdoor stunts as a man in the crowd.
He took hundreds of beautiful photos and I wish someday a collection of what can be found might be published.
I don't think he ever got his U.S. citizenship.
Is he lost to history because he was a man without a country?
As I said, and I think I'm the only one who will say this, I believe he was Houdini's best friend.

houdini's ghost
Posts: 434
Joined: September 24th, 2008, 7:23 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby houdini's ghost » October 25th, 2012, 2:35 pm

Rolf,
Houdini tried to get Franz his citizenship and could not. When England and Germany went to war, Houdini planted a story in a theatrical news journal that Franz had been called up to take up his commission in the German Army and--get this--had immediately left to serve his country.
Franz wanted to stay in America and bring the family here.
When America entered the war, Franz was an enemy alien in the U.S. and a deserter in Germany.
This is when Houdini, at least publicly, changed Frank Kukol into Frank Williamson. Franz couldn't work in Vaudeville during the war.
He managed a movie theatre in the Bronx.
He appears in the Master Mystery (1918) and in Haldane of the Secret Service (1922).
He's one of Houdini's pall-bearers.
He very often appears in the outdoor stunts as a man in the crowd.
He took hundreds of beautiful photos and I wish someday a collection of what can be found might be published.
I don't think he ever got his U.S. citizenship.
Is he lost to history because he was a man without a country?
As I said, and I think I'm the only one who will say this, I believe he was Houdini's best friend.
Patrick

houdini's ghost
Posts: 434
Joined: September 24th, 2008, 7:23 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby houdini's ghost » October 25th, 2012, 2:37 pm

Rolf,
Houdini tried to get Franz his citizenship and could not. When England and Germany went to war, Houdini planted a story in a theatrical news journal that Franz had been called up to take up his commission in the German Army and--get this--had immediately left to serve his country.
Franz wanted to stay in America and bring the family here.
When America entered the war, Franz was an enemy alien in the U.S. and a deserter in Germany.
This is when Houdini, at least publicly, changed Frank Kukol into Frank Williamson. Franz couldn't work in Vaudeville during the war.
He managed a movie theatre in the Bronx.
He appears in the Master Mystery (1918) and in Haldane of the Secret Service (1922).
He's one of Houdini's pall-bearers.
He very often appears in the outdoor stunts as a man in the crowd.
He took hundreds of beautiful photos and I wish someday a collection of what can be found might be published.
I don't think he ever got his U.S. citizenship.
Is he lost to history because he was a man without a country?
As I said, and I think I'm the only one who will say this, I believe he was Houdini's best friend.
Patrick

David Charvet
Posts: 11
Joined: May 29th, 2008, 12:58 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby David Charvet » October 26th, 2012, 6:45 pm

Fascinating. Truly shows the power of the internet as a research tool - and the Genii Forum for bringing people from opposite sides of the world, together. I'll be watching with many others, I'm sure, as the solution to this mystery unfolds.

dbs
Posts: 2
Joined: November 21st, 2012, 4:46 pm

Re: Houdini's right hand man, Franz Kukol

Postby dbs » November 21st, 2012, 5:02 pm

Have finally cleared up copyright issues and, on The Houdini File, have just published the letter from Houdini to Vail proving Kukol was in NYC as late as 1924.

http://www.houdinifile.com/2012/11/kuko ... olved.html

David Saltman
www.houdinifile.com


Return to “Magic History and Anecdotes”