Weiss Family Moves to Appleton, Wisconsin

At first, the Weiss family lived in Appleton, Wisconsin, where Ehrich's father served as Rabbi of the Zion Reform Jewish Congregation.

In 1880, the family was living on Appleton Street. On June 6, 1882, Rabbi Weiss became an American citizen.
As a child, Ehrich took several jobs, then became a champion cross country runner. He made his public début as a 9-year-old trapeze artist, calling himself "Ehrich, the prince of the air". Weiss became a professional magician and began calling himself "Harry Houdini" because he was heavily influenced by the French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, and his friend Jack Hayman erroneously told him that in French, adding an "i" to Houdin would mean "like Houdin" the great magician. In later life, Houdini would claim that the first part of his new name, Harry, was a homage to Harry Kellar, whom Houdini admired a great deal.