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He died 86 years ago on October 31, but there is still a fascination with harry Houdini and his work.

The magician ordered everything destroyed when he died, but that did not happen. Now, a Fort Worth man has rooms full of memorabilia.

More than 4,500 items that were used, related and owned by the great magician harry Houdini.
Arthur Moses fascination started after reading a book in 7th grade.


I remember a few books as a youngster, said Arthur Moses, the collection's other.


Now there are thousands of very precious books on his shelf....some are even signed by the escape artist.


I ve got anything from books to magazines to autographs, posters. Some of his personal effects, said Moses. Handcuffs that were in his collection, keys that were in his collection. Some movie memorable.


There are more than pictures in his collection. He has insurance policies, invitations, notes. All the items are gently and safely tucked away.


I have been very fortunate, Moses said. I would never have thought i would have this collection that i have. It s been collected pretty much peace mill one piece at a time and not in one big bulk in the purchase of a collection. One here, two here. By going through dealers, auctions, private sales.


After 30 years of scouring the world, Moses is still hooked on the magic man.


Just his whole enigma, Moses said. There s never been anyone before or since him. With the bravado, with the showmanship that was the package.


A straight jacket that was a part of Houdini s show now belongs to Moses. It was acquired after Moses wrote an article in a magician magazine.


Shortly after I got a call from an older gentleman that basically they were moving to Florida and retiring, remembers Moses. He had worked for Houdini s brother, who was also a magician. He had another brother, Hardeen. Hardeen had given him this and he basically said my wife says I can t take this with me.


Moses' Houdini collection has expanded from one room into three rooms in his Fort Worth home. One downstairs and two rooms located upstairs.


These treasures caught the eye of well known Houdini collector and magician David Copperfield, who stopped by to compare notes.


I think he enjoyed himself. It was probably 7 or 8 years ago, Moses said. We sat down and he just wanted to see what i had and we had a nice pleasant chat.


Moses prized piece is one no one else owns, but Moses.


The monogrammed pajama pocket he was wearing when he died, said Moses with a slight smile. That certainly is a pretty cool piece a unique piece.


Everything here is unique, but Moses says he is not a fanatic, just a glass maker who has the honor of knowing Houdini.


It s an interesting charge because I am just a caretaker, Moses said. And I realize I have to take care of what I have. Someone owned it before me and someone will own it after me. I think there s a big responsibility that goes with that.

Email spowell@wfaa.com

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