Harry Houdini is the most famous and well-known magician in history. His name is directly connected to seemingly impossible escapes. He could unlock a special made pair of hand cuffs in a matter of minutes. I'm going to take you through Houdini's life as a magician and try to explain how some of his most notorious tricks were possible.
Houdini was a small man standing at only 5'5. He's got dark eyes and a high-pitched voice. He was poorly educated like most immigrant families but, he was incredibly athletic and extremely motivated. A neat fact is that he had many brothers, one of which was New York's first X-Ray specialist. His motto was, "and this too shall perish".
Dr. Lynn, a traveling magician, influenced a young Harry to pursue a career in magic although, he didn't run away with a circus or was apprentice to a locksmith. He became a full-time magician to avoid factory work. After many partners in magic, he finally ended up with Bess Rahner who later became his wife.
The first five years of his magic career were completely useless. Nobody liked him, pretty much. The needle trick was his break out. This trick is really gross since he swallows several needles and a string of thread then barfs it up with the needles threaded through the string. The Challenge Act is the trick that made him famous. As the "King of Hand Cuffs" he offered the audience members to bring any pair of handcuffs, told them that he could escape from them, and he did wearing nothing but a loincloth to prove he had noting to hide.
While visiting a psychiatrist friend in Canada, Houdini encountered his first straitjacket. Inspired, he created a trick, escaping from the straitjacket hung by is ankles yards above the ground. He expanded the Challenge Act by escaping from not only handcuffs but, jail cells, wooden crates, and even a giant paper bag. Other stage escapes that made him memorable were Buried Alive, Milk Can Escape, and Water Torture Cell.
Houdini's tragic death is not as tragic as you might expect. Houdini simply suffered from appendicitis and refused medical treatment after several accidents and severe stomach pains. On October 31st, Halloween Day, Houdini Died with with his brother, Hardeen, a fellow magician, by his bedside. His last words were,"I'm tired of fighting".
Houdini's was one of the most respected men in the 1890's- 1920's. He was an excellent self-promoter and legendary. Therefore, his name is still alive though his spirit has died.
Getting up for one more punch, thanks for reading!