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Houdini

Harry Houdini, widely known as "The Handcuff King." Created by: PICRYLDated: 2017
Harry Houdini: the world's handcuff king and prison breaker
Harry Houdini (born Erik Weisz, March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926) was a Hungarian-American illusionist began his career in 1891, focused initially on traditional card tricks, but had little success.
In 1893, while performing with his brother as "The Brothers Houdini," Houdini met a fellow performer, Wilhelmina Beatrice "Bess" Rahner and married her in 1894. For the rest of Houdini's performing career, Bess worked as his stage assistant.
Houdini's big success came in 1899 when he met Martin Beck in St. Paul, Minnesota. Impressed by Houdini's handcuffs act, Beck advised him to concentrate on escape acts. In 1900 Houdini started to tour Europe and gave a demonstration of escape from handcuffs and became widely known as "The Handcuff King."
He toured England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Russia. In each city, Houdini challenged local police to restrain him with shackles and lock him in their jails. In many of these challenge escapes, he was first stripped nude and searched. In Moscow, he escaped from a Siberian prison transport van, claiming that, had he been unable to free himself, he would have had to travel to Siberia, where the only key was kept.
In 1904, thousands watched as he tried to escape from special handcuffs commissioned by London's Daily Mirror, keeping them in suspense for an hour. Another stunt saw him buried alive and only just able to claw himself to the surface, emerging in a state of near-breakdown. While many suspected that these escapes were faked, Houdini presented himself as the scourge of fake spiritualists.
As President of the Society of American Magicians, he was keen to uphold professional standards and expose fraudulent artists. He was also quick to sue anyone who imitated his escape stunts. Houdini made several movies, but quit acting when it failed to bring in money. He was also a keen aviator, and aimed to become the first man to fly a plane in Australia.
134 Media in collectionpage 1 of 2
[Harry Houdini, King of Cards]
Portret van Houdini?
[Beatrice Houdini, bust portrait, facing right (ca. 1900) and Harry Houdini, bust portrait, facing left (ca. 1913)]
[Beatrice Houdini, full-length portrait, facing front, leaning against pedestal, in 1894]
[Beatrice and Harry Houdini in their first year of married life]
[Harry and Beatrice Houdini with the Welsh Brothers Circus]
[Beatrice and Harry Houdini, full-length portrait, seated, facing front]
[Beatrice Houdini, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing right]
Dempsey, Leonard, Comr. Daley, Billy Gibson, Jack Kearns & Houdini
Houdini
Dempsey, Houdini, Leonard (boxing)
Leonard - Com'r Daly - Dempsey - Billy Gibson - Jack Kearns - Houdini
[Three full-length portraits of Harry Houdini and his brother Theodore Hardeen]
Special starring record engagement of the world's famous jail breaker, Houdini the only and original handcuff king.

Special starring record engagement of the world's famous jail breaker,...

"Wm. E. Berry, Printer, & c., 44, Vicar Lane, Bradford." At head of title: Palace Theatre, Halifax; twice nightly at 7 & 9; Monday, Nov. 16th, 1903, and during the week. Managing director, Mr. Frank MacNaghten;... More

[Houdini, full-length portrait, standing, facing front, in chains]
[Harry Houdini, half-length portrait, facing front]
[Houdini performs at the New Theater]
[Harry Houdini performs the great milk can escape]
[Houdini and the circus]
[Houdini visits Indianapolis]
[The  Weed Chain Tire Grip Company, New York City, challenges Mr. Harry Houdini]
[Trophy presented to Houdini by the Aerial League of Australia]
Houdini
[Houdini with Ira Davenport, full-length portrait, seated]
[Harry Houdini, half-length portrait, facing front, with arms folded]
[Three scenes of Harry Houdini as aviator; close-up in Voisin biplane cockpit (1910?); ascending in biplane; flying low]

[Three scenes of Harry Houdini as aviator; close-up in Voisin biplane ...

Title and other information transcribed from caption card and item, with subsequent revisions. "9383 A.S." Ernest L. Jones Collection.

[Houdini at the wheel]
[Harry Houdini and Chinese magician Ching Ling Foo, full-length portrait, standing, Brighton Beach, New York]
[Harry Houdini, full-length portrait, standing, and Harry Kellar, seated]
Houdini letterhead from 1912
[Houdini with the Roterbergs, full-length portrait, seated on stoop, facing front, Chicago, Illinois]
[Harry and Beatrice Houdini in Nice, France, full-length portrait, standing, facing front]
[Houdini and the water torture cell]
[The  world-famous self-liberator Houdini will escape from the water torture cell, Cardiff, Wales]
[Houdini versus products of the Weed Chain Tire Grip Company]
Houdini letterhead from 1913
[Houdini removes his jacket]
[Houdini and President Roosevelt, full-length portrait, both standing, aboard the Imperator]
[Houdini with Theodore Roosevelt and others aboard the H.A.L. "Imperator"]
[Crate containing Harry Houdini, being lowered from ship into water] / Dietz, N.Y.

[Crate containing Harry Houdini, being lowered from ship into water] /...

J194551 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by Houdini.

Theodore Roosevelt and Houdini, S.S. Imperator

Theodore Roosevelt and Houdini, S.S. Imperator

Photograph showing Theodore Roosevelt and Houdini, full-length portrait, both standing, aboard the Imperator. Title from item. Hand written on verso: Bequest Edward Saint, June 20, 1943.

[Houdini (center) and his brothers Leopold, Hardeen, Bill and Nat, full-length portrait]
[Houdini with child on pony]
Houdini, 1916
Houdini, 1916
Houdini, 1916
Dayton Journal article, December 16, 1916 Houdini's involvement in formation of local assemblies of American magicians
[Harry and Beatrice Houdini with Sarah Bernhardt, Boston]
[The  Silver Anniversary dinner of Beatrice and Harry Houdini (1894-1919), Alexandria Hotel]
[Houdini is secured in a straitjacket]
Master mystifier, Houdini the greatest necromancer of the age - perhaps of all times--The literary digest.
[Houdini and the ghost of Abraham Lincoln]
[Houdini and man on cliff in scene from "The man from beyond"]
Houdini
Houdini
Invitation that links Man from beyond and Houdini escape act
[Houdini does an upside-down straitjacket escape, Washington, D.C.]
[Houdini, "the genius of escape," on the Orpheum Circuit]
[Houdini holding bonds, Boston, Massachusetts]
[Houdini, head-and-shoulder portrait, facing front]
[Houdini exposes psychic fraud]
Springfield Union article, January 27, 1925 Houdini stirred by article may sue Sir Arthur
[Beatrice Houdini, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing front]
Washington Post article, August 6, 1926 Houdini in sealed coffin under water 90 minutes
Harry Houdini & Senator Capper (Senate District Com.), 2/26/26
Houdini, 1/20/26
[Beatrice Houdini, full-length portrait, facing front, seated on desk]
[Beatrice Houdini and Theodore Hardeen visit Houdini's grave]
On the stage - in person, Hardeen, brother of Houdini handcuffs and jails will not hold him : the greatest mystery show of all times.  Mentalist supreme, Princess Yvonne, the mystery girl.

On the stage - in person, Hardeen, brother of Houdini handcuffs and ja...

At head of title: Lyric Theatre, Beckley, Wed. & Thur., Jan. 29-30." Created by "Triangle Poster Printing Co., Phila." Transferred from; LC Rare Book and Special Collections Division; 1956. Forms part of: Magic... More

[Harry Houdini, full-length portrait, standing, facing front, in chains]
[Harry Houdini, full-length portrait, standing, facing front, in chains]
[Harry Houdini, with his wife Beatrice and mother Cecilia Steiner Weiss, full-length portrait]
[Harry Houdini, full-length portrait, standing, facing right, in chains]
[Harry Houdini with his wife Beatrice and mother Cecilia Steiner Weiss, half-length portrait]
[Houdini and "The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin"]

[Houdini and "The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin"]

"Memory," wrote Dr. Morris N. Young in 1961, "is the sum of what one can remember; the diary of the mind." In the great collections that they built and gave to the Library of Congress, Houdini, John J. McManus,... More

Harry Handcuff Houdini

Harry Handcuff Houdini

Harry Houdini, three-quarter length portrait, facing front. Photograph by Campbell-Gray, Ltd.

[Harry and Beatrice Houdini, half-length portrait, seated]
Announcement of Orpheum Circuit Houdini lecture about mediums, April 27, 1923
Announcement of Orpheum Circuit Houdini lecture about mediums, April 27, 1923
Announcement of Orpheum Circuit Houdini lecture about mediums, April 27, 1923
Announcement of Orpheum Circuit Houdini lecture about mediums, April 27, 1923
Houdini in The master mystery a super-serial in fifteen episodes.

Houdini in The master mystery a super-serial in fifteen episodes.

"B.A. Rolfe Productions, Octagon Films, Inc." "Episode twelve, The death noose." Transferred from; LC Rare Book and Special Collections Division; 1956. Forms part of: Magic poster collection (Library of Congres... More

Houdini in The master mystery a super-serial in fifteen episodes.

Houdini in The master mystery a super-serial in fifteen episodes.

"B.A. Rolfe Productions, Octagon Films, Inc." "Episode twelve, The death noose." Transferred from; LC Rare Book and Special Collections Division; 1956. Forms part of: Magic poster collection (Library of Congres... More

Stone walls and chains do not make a prison --- for Houdini

Stone walls and chains do not make a prison --- for Houdini

Created by "Famous Players - Lasky Corporation." Transferred from; LC Rare Book and Special Collections Division; 1956. Houdini followed his performance in "The master mystery" with the "Grim game," the first o... More

Stone walls and chains do not make a prison --- for Houdini

Stone walls and chains do not make a prison --- for Houdini

Created by "Famous Players - Lasky Corporation." Transferred from; LC Rare Book and Special Collections Division; 1956. Houdini followed his performance in "The master mystery" with the "Grim game," the first o... More

Stone walls and chains do not make a prison --- for Houdini

Stone walls and chains do not make a prison --- for Houdini

Created by "Famous Players - Lasky Corporation." Transferred from; LC Rare Book and Special Collections Division; 1956. Houdini followed his performance in "The master mystery" with the "Grim game," the first o... More

[Houdini at gravesite alone and with his brother William Weiss, New York, New York]
Hardeen inherits his brother's secrets Houdini's will makes possible the continuance of Houdini's master mysteries.

Hardeen inherits his brother's secrets Houdini's will makes possible t...

Created by "Carey and Sons Lith, N.Y." Transferred from; LC Rare Book and Special Collections Division; 1956. Despite directions to the contrary, Hardeen passed on to others the legacy he had received. Today, ... More

Hardeen inherits his brother's secrets Houdini's will makes possible the continuance of Houdini's master mysteries.

Hardeen inherits his brother's secrets Houdini's will makes possible t...

Created by "Carey and Sons Lith, N.Y." Transferred from; LC Rare Book and Special Collections Division; 1956. Despite directions to the contrary, Hardeen passed on to others the legacy he had received. Today, ... More

Hardeen inherits his brother's secrets Houdini's will makes possible the continuance of Houdini's master mysteries.

Hardeen inherits his brother's secrets Houdini's will makes possible t...

Created by "Carey and Sons Lith, N.Y." Transferred from; LC Rare Book and Special Collections Division; 1956. Despite directions to the contrary, Hardeen passed on to others the legacy he had received. Today, ... More

Houdini appears at the Empire Theatre, every evening this week

Houdini appears at the Empire Theatre, every evening this week

At head of title: Liverpool city police office, Dale St., Feb. 2nd, 1904, I certify that to-day Mr. Harry Houdini showed his abilities in releasing himself from restraint. ... Signed Leonard dunning, Head Const... More

Houdini appears at the Empire Theatre, every evening this week

Houdini appears at the Empire Theatre, every evening this week

At head of title: Liverpool city police office, Dale St., Feb. 2nd, 1904, I certify that to-day Mr. Harry Houdini showed his abilities in releasing himself from restraint. ... Signed Leonard dunning, Head Const... More

Do spirits return? Houdini says no - and proves it 3 shows in one : magic, illusions, escapes, fraud mediums exposed.
Do spirits return? Houdini says no - and proves it 3 shows in one : magic, illusions, escapes, fraud mediums exposed.
Do spirits return? Houdini says no - and proves it 3 shows in one : magic, illusions, escapes, fraud mediums exposed.
Challenge to Houdini, Regent Theatre, Salford

Challenge to Houdini, Regent Theatre, Salford

Committee letter challenging Houdini to escape from "one of their extra strong and large travelling baskets" and his reply. "Palace Theatre, Friday, May 1st, 1914 at 6:45 & 9:0." Created by "John Heywood Ltd.,... More

Challenge to Houdini, Regent Theatre, Salford

Challenge to Houdini, Regent Theatre, Salford

Committee letter challenging Houdini to escape from "one of their extra strong and large travelling baskets" and his reply. "Palace Theatre, Friday, May 1st, 1914 at 6:45 & 9:0." Created by "John Heywood Ltd.,... More

[Houdini on wing of airplane in scenes from "The grim game"]
Houdini's Vanishing Elephant. Houdini's latest sensational illusion at the New York Hippodrome. One of the outstanding features of Charles Dillingham's Colossal Musical Revue "Cheer-Up."
Harry Handcuff Houdini: the jail breaker
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