Easter Sunday With Houdini

If you are near a TV on Easter Sunday, you may want to take a peek at the Houdini documentary that will air in England. I worked on it towards the end of last year with David Copperfield, Ken Silverman and Alan Davies. I haven’t seen the documentary yet, but they are sending me a DVD of it. I think you can download a player to watch it online, but I have to look into it. Hopefully, sooner or later it will be on TV in the USA. If you watch it, please let me know what you think of it, positively or negatively. I hope you enjoy it.

Houdini: From B&W To Color in 100 Years

Houdini seems to have had makeover in just under 100 years. From the colorized image above in 2006 to the original below it, circa 1910. Both the magazine and postcard were published in Germany. I like the colorized version, but it cropped-out some of the image of the original. Now you can enjoy both.

Need Something Different For Your Collection?

Here is an interesting item for you magic library or magic collection for your consideration. It is a small pamphlet that details how to open or escape ratchet handcuffs, like Peerless, etc. It even has a pick to use to perfect your skills. Before I list it in the store, you have first crack at it. The price is $35.00.

Houdini Starting To Break Free

I have been hindered with so many handcuffs and leg irons of late, it seemed I would never escape. Just when I thought I was able to escape, someone would add another restraint. Now it looks-like I’m able to finally to break these bonds and devote more time to this blog.  I will do my best to post more frequently on the blog. I will also be adding many items to the store. I might concentrate most of my time in adding new items for sale.  It’s time for me to thin-out part of the collection and finally get it all in order. Wish me luck.

Happy Birthday From Houdini

Houdini: How Did He Do It?

I would guess when many of you read the title of this post you would think that I was going to unveil the secrets of Houdini’s magic and escapes. This couldn’t be farther away from the direction I will be going here. What I’m asking is how did he mentally and physically maintain such a vigorous and strenuous lifestyle for over 25 years.

Let’s take for an example the program above as a for instance.  When Houdini was performing at the Sate Lake theater he was 48 years old. Sometime  before or as soon as Houdini started his run for the week in town, he would perform an outdoor escape to help promote the show. This would be a straitjacket escape as Houdini would hang from office building, an escape from a locked packing crate after being  thrown into a river,  or a manacled bridge jump etc. I’m sure many of the rivers that Houdini was cast into weren’t the healthiest places to be.

During this run, Houdini would perform four times a day. He probably made his first appearance of the day at 1PM and his final performance  was most-likely around 9:30 that evening. What kind of magic and escapes did Houdini do? Well, over the course of 25 years, it could have been the “Water Torture Cell” and the “East Indian Needle Trick”; you can add or subtract “The Milk Can”, the “Metamorphosis”,  and escapes from straitjackets, handcuffs or ropes. The act could expand or contract as needed. For the most part, the act was a physically demanding one.

Now for the middle of the week, how about a challenge? Challenges were performed to renew interest in the show or to maintain a steady stream of customers at the box office. Either way, it was added to Houdini’s workload for the week.

All of the above brings us back to, “How did Houdini do it all?” In a 25-30 year career, how many times did he escape from a straitjacket, either on stage or hanging upside down outside of a building? How many times did Houdini perform the “Milk Can”, the”Water Torture Cell”, the “Metamorphosis”, escapes and challenges etc.? My thoughts are that the count would in the multiple thousands. I don’t think ten thousand for a grand total of these escapes would be out of the question.

I would have to say Houdini’s fortitude has been overlooked, but must be added to the equation to what made him into a legend in his own lifetime. Most of us have some kind of fortitude, Houdini had so much more so.

Rarities Abound In The Houdini Market

With a never seen before CDV of Houdini appearing two weeks ago on Ebay, this beauty has just made its’ debut there too. This cabinet photo can be yours for just $199.00, maybe less. The seller will consider an offer( they already have one), so you might be able to add this to your collection for even a better price. With the CDV, and now this rare cabinet photo, you can really build a great Houdini collection.

And I thought I saw it all when it came to Houdini. Amazing!

What Am I?

This piece is listed on eBay and it has me scratching my head. The seller describes it as an original CDV photo. From what I can see, it just doesn’t look right. It doesn’t look-like a photo, but a printed picture. The image is attached to a CDV card, not processed as a single piece. Finally, this is a format rarely used by 1925,  pre-1895 would be  closer.

Any thoughts on this?

Be On The Lookout And Beware

Missing Signed Houdini 8X10

The above picture seems to have “disappeared” on its’ way to the new owner. The picture is an 8×10 and is inscribed to a Chas. Diestel. The inscription is dated Aug 19/26.  If you ever see this image or are offered it for sale, please notify me or the United Sates Postal Service. I think I might be more understanding than the post office would be. Thanks.

Oh Baby!

Here’s a a rare image of Houdini. This photo was removed from a Houdini scrapbook that Marie Hinson owned and gave to me many years ago. She was a niece of Houdini. Marie was such a nice lady, a real sweetheart. If you ever met her, she was like part of your family as soon as you met her. Thanks Marie.