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Encyclopedia > Houdini
Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini became world-renowned for his stunts and feats of escapology even more so than his magical illusions.
Born: March 24, 1874
Budapest, Hungary
Died: October 31, 1926
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Occupation: magician, escapologist, stunt performer, actor, historian, pilot, rumoured spy, and paranormal investigator.

Harry Houdini (March 24, 1874October 31, 1926), born Ehrich Weiss, was a Hungarian/American magician, escapologist, stunt performer, as well as an investigator of spiritualists, and amateur aviator. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (670x992, 73 KB) [edit] Beschreibung [edit] Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Harry Houdini Escapology ... Harry Houdini, a famous escapologist and magician. ... March 24 is the 83rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (84th in leap years). ... 1874 (MDCCCLXXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Nickname: Paris of the East, Pearl of the Danubeor Queen of the Danube Location of Budapest in Hungary Country Hungary County Pest  - Mayor Gábor Demszky (SZDSZ) Area    - City 525. ... October 31 is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 61 days remaining. ... Year 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar). ... Nickname: Motto: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus (Latin for, We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes) Location in Wayne County, Michigan Coordinates: Country United States State Michigan County Wayne County Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Area    - City 370. ... Official language(s) None (English, de-facto) Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  Ranked 11th  - Total 97,990 sq mi (253,793 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 491 miles (790 km)  - % water 41. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the study of escapology. ... A stunt performer is someone who performs dangerous stunts. ... Actors in period costume sharing a joke while waiting between takes during location filming An actor is a person who acts, or plays a role, in a dramatic production. ... A historian is someone who writes history, and history is a written accounting of the past. ... An aviator is a person who flies aircraft for pleasure or as a profession. ... Spy and secret agent redirect here; for alternate use, see Spy (disambiguation) and Secret agent (disambiguation). ... Paranormal is an umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of reported anomalous phenomena. ... March 24 is the 83rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (84th in leap years). ... 1874 (MDCCCLXXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... October 31 is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 61 days remaining. ... Year 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar). ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the study of escapology. ... A stunt performer is someone who performs dangerous stunts. ... Spiritualism is a religion in which contact with the spirits of the dead through a medium is central. ... An aviator is a person who flies aircraft for pleasure or as a profession. ...

Contents

Birth

Houdini was born as Ehrich Weiss in Budapest, Hungary, to a Jewish family; upon immigration to America the family name was changed to Weiss because of immigration purposes and his first-name spelling to Erich. His father, Mayer (Mayo) Samuel Weiss (1829-1892) also known as Samuel Mayer Weisz (1829-1892) was a rabbi; and his mother was Cecilia Steiner (1841-1913). Ehrich had the following siblings: Armin M. Weiss (1863-?); Nathan J. Weiss (1869-?); Gottfried W. Weiss (1872-?); Theodore Weiss (Dash) (1876-1945); and Leopold D. Weiss (1879-?). From 1900 onwards Houdini claimed in interviews to have been born in Appleton, Wisconsin on April 6, 1874, but his Hungarian birth certificate was uncovered by researchers after his death. In 1878, his family moved to the United States, where his name was listed as Ehrich Weiss, but he was called "Ehrie" or "Harry" by friends. Nickname: Paris of the East, Pearl of the Danubeor Queen of the Danube Location of Budapest in Hungary Country Hungary County Pest  - Mayor Gábor Demszky (SZDSZ) Area    - City 525. ... For other uses, see Jew (disambiguation). ... Rabbi, in Judaism, means teacher, or more literally great one. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root word רַב, rav, which in biblical Hebrew means great or distinguished (in knowledge). Sephardic and Yemenite Jews pronounce this word רִבִּי ribbÄ«; the modern Israeli pronunciation רַבִּי rabbÄ« is derived from a recent (18th... Theodore Hardeen(born Ferencz Deszo Weisz; March 4, 1876 - June 12, 1945) was a magician and stunt performed, best known as Houdinis brother. ... Appleton is a city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, on the Fox River, 100 miles (161 km) north of Milwaukee. ... April 6 is the 96th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (97th in leap years). ... 1874 (MDCCCLXXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...



He immigrated at the age of 4 on July 3, 1878 on the SS Fresia with his mother (listed as Cisy), sister Aurine, and brothers Nathan, and Willi.[1] At first, they lived in Appleton, where his father served as rabbi of the Zion Reform Jewish Congregation. In 1880, the family was living on Appleton Street.[2] On June 6, 1882, Rabbi Weiss became an American citizen, then after losing his tenure, he moved to New York City with Ehrich in 1887. This was after Houdini had run away for a year. They lived in a boarding house on East 79th Street. Rabbi Weiss later was joined by the rest of the family once he found more permanent housing. As a child Ehrich took several jobs, one of which was as a locksmith's apprentice. He made his public debut as a 10-year-old trapeze artist, calling himself, "Ehrich, the prince of the air." July 3 is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 181 days remaining. ... 1878 (MDCCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Rabbi, in Judaism, means teacher, or more literally great one. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root word רַב, rav, which in biblical Hebrew means great or distinguished (in knowledge). Sephardic and Yemenite Jews pronounce this word רִבִּי ribbÄ«; the modern Israeli pronunciation רַבִּי rabbÄ« is derived from a recent (18th... June 6 is the 157th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (158th in leap years), with 208 days remaining // 1508 - Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, is defeated in Friulia by Venetian forces; he is forced to sign a three-year truce and cede several territories to Venice 1513... Year 1882 (MDCCCLXXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar. ... Nickname: Big Apple, Gotham, NYC Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs The Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island Settled 1613  - Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area    - City 1,214. ...


Magic

In 1892, Weiss became a professional magician, and began calling himself "Harry Houdini" because he was influenced by French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin and his friend Jack Hayman told him that in French adding an "i" to Houdin would mean "like Houdini the great magician". The first part of his new name, Harry, was an homage to Harry Kellar, another of Weiss' largest influences. Initially, his magic career resulted in little success, though he met fellow performer Wilhelmina Beatrice (Bess) Rahner in 1893, and married her three weeks later. For the rest of his performing career, Bess would work as his stage assistant. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, (December 6, 1805 - 1871) was a French magician, born in Blois, France, where he also died. ... Publicity Poster of Harry Kellar. ...


Houdini initially focused on traditional card acts. At one point he billed himself as the "King of Cards" and "King of Handcuffs." One of his most notable non-escape stage illusions was performed in London's hippodrome: he vanished a full-grown elephant (with its trainer) from a stage, beneath which was a swimming pool. This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...

"My Lovely Sweethearts". Houdini with his wife and mother, ca. 1907.
"My Lovely Sweethearts". Houdini with his wife and mother, ca. 1907.

He soon began experimenting with escape acts. Harry Houdini's "big break" came in 1899, when he met the showman Martin Beck. Impressed by Houdini's handcuffs act, Beck advised him to concentrate on escape acts and booked him on the Orpheum vaudeville circuit. Within months, he was performing at the top vaudeville houses in the country. In 1900, Houdini traveled to Europe to perform. By the time he returned in 1904, he had become a sensation. Image File history File linksMetadata Weiss_with_mother_and_wife. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Weiss_with_mother_and_wife. ... Harry Houdini, a famous escapologist and magician. ... Martin Beck (1867 – November 16, 1940) was a vaudeville theatre owner. ... Hiatts Speedcuffs in holster, as used by UK police A model wearing handcuffs, waist chain, and thumbcuffs Old handcuffs Handcuffs are restraints designed to secure an individuals wrists close together. ... Vaudeville is a style of multi-act theatre which flourished in North America from the 1880s through the 1920s. ... Europe at its furthest extent, reaching to the Urals. ...


From 1904 and throughout the 1910s, Houdini performed with great success in the United States. He would free himself from jails, handcuffs, chains, ropes, and straitjackets, often while hanging from a rope in plain sight of street audiences. Because of imitators and a dwindling audience, on January 25, 1908, Houdini began escaping from a locked water filled milk can. The possibility of failure and death thrilled his audiences. Rather than promote the idea he was assisted by spirits, as did the Davenport Brothers and others, Houdini advertised to the public that he made his escapes by dematerializing.[3] In 1913, he introduced perhaps his most famous act, the Chinese Water Torture Cell, in which he was suspended upside-down in a locked glass-and-steel cabinet full to overflowing with water. His last words before going into the tank were "K-Deini Is Real" — to this day no one knows what it meant. He held his breath for more than three minutes. January 25 is the 25th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Ira Erastus Davenport (1839 – 1911) and William Henry Davenport (1841 – 1877), better known as the Davenport Brothers, were American magicians in the late 1800s, sons of a Buffalo, New York policeman. ... green is good This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ...


He explained some of his tricks in books written for the magic brotherhood throughout his career. In Handcuff Secrets (1909) he revealed how many locks and handcuffs could be opened with properly applied force, others with shoestrings. Other times, he carried concealed lockpicks or keys, being able to regurgitate small keys at will. When tied down in ropes or straitjackets, he gained wiggle room by enlarging his shoulders and chest, and by moving his arms slightly away from his body, and then dislocating his shoulders. His straitjacket escape was originally performed behind curtains, with him popping out free at the end. However, Houdini's brother who was also an escape artist billing himself as Theodore Hardeen, after being accused of having someone sneak in and let him out and being challenged to escape without the curtain, discovered that audiences were more impressed and entertained when the curtains were eliminated, so that they could watch him struggle to get out. They both performed straitjacket escapes dangling upside-down from the roof of a building for publicity on more than one occasion. It is said that Hardeen once handed out bills for his show while Houdini was doing his suspended straightjacket escape and Houdini became upset because people thought it was Hardeen up there escaping, not Houdini. Lock picking is the art of unlocking a lock without its intended key. ... Regurgitation is the passive flow of stomach contents back into the esophagus and mouth. ... Look up straitjacket in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... With regard to living things, a body is the integral physical material of an individual, and contrasts with soul, personality and behavior. ... Theodore Hardeen(born Ferencz Deszo Weisz; March 4, 1876 - June 12, 1945) was a magician and stunt performed, best known as Houdinis brother. ...


In 1919, Houdini became president of Martinka & Co., America's oldest magic company. The business is still in operation today. After his amazing career in magic, Houdini became obsessed with two things: flight and movies. In 1910, while on a tour of Australia, Houdini brought with him a primitive bi-plane with which he made the first controlled powered airplane flight in Australia, at Diggers Rest, Victoria[1]. He also starred in several movies. Martinka & Company is Americas oldest magic shop. ... A biplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with two main wings of similar spans, normally one mounted above, and the other level with, the underside of the fuselage. ... Diggers Rest is a town northwest of Melbourne Airport near Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria, Australia, along the Calder Freeway. ...


Difficult though it was, Houdini's entire act, including escapes, was also performed on a coordinated but separate tour schedule by his brother, Hardeen. Theodore Hardeen(born Ferencz Deszo Weisz; March 4, 1876 - June 12, 1945) was a magician and stunt performed, best known as Houdinis brother. ...

Houdini swims above Niagara Falls in a scene from The Man from Beyond (1922)
Houdini swims above Niagara Falls in a scene from The Man from Beyond (1922)
Houdini and his wife
Houdini and his wife

Download high resolution version (929x768, 440 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (929x768, 440 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... For other uses, see Niagara Falls (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (648x1000, 58 KB)Harry Houdini and his wife Digital ID: varshoud 3c12428 Source: b&w film copy neg. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (648x1000, 58 KB)Harry Houdini and his wife Digital ID: varshoud 3c12428 Source: b&w film copy neg. ...

Possible spying career

A new biography of Houdini, The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero, by magic historian William Kalush and author Larry "Ratso" Sloman[2] suggests that he worked for both Scotland Yard and the US Secret Service. It suggests that he used his escape act tours to cover intelligence gathering. This assertion was documented in a journal kept by Scotland Yard Inspector William Melville, who worked for British intelligence. The author's conclusions have been endorsed by former CIA director John McLaughlin who wrote the preface for the book. New Scotland Yard, London New Scotland Yard, it blowwsssss often referred to simply as Scotland Yard or The Yard, is the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service, responsible for policing Greater London (although not the City of London itself). ... The United States Secret Service is a United States federal government law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security (prior to the foundation of that department in 2002, it was under Treasury). ... The CIA Seal The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an American intelligence agency, responsible for obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and reporting such information to the various branches of the U.S. Government. ...


Debunking spiritualists

In the 1920s, after the death of his beloved mother Cecilia, he turned his energies toward debunking self-proclaimed psychics and mediums, a pursuit that would inspire and be followed by later-day conjurers Milbourne Christopher, James Randi, Martin Gardner, P. C. Sorcar, and Penn and Teller. Houdini's magical training allowed him to expose frauds who had successfully fooled many scientists and academics. He was a member of a Scientific American committee which offered a cash prize to any medium who could successfully demonstrate supernatural abilities. Thanks to the contributions and skepticism of Houdini and three others (there were five in the committee), the prize was never collected. As his fame as a "ghostbuster" grew, Houdini took to attending séances in disguise, accompanied by a reporter and police officer. Possibly the most famous medium whom he debunked was the Boston medium Mina Crandon, also known as "Margery". Houdini chronicled his debunking exploits in his book A Magician Among the Spirits. Parapsychology is the study of certain types of paranormal phenomena (parapsychology comes from the Greek para, “beside, beyond,” + psychology, derived from the Greek psyche, “soul, mind,” + logos “rational discussion”). The term was coined by Max Dessoir (1889). ... In spirituality, a medium or spirit medium (plural mediums) is an individual who possesses the ability to receive messages from spirits (discorporate entities), or claims that he or she can channel such entities — that is, write or speak in the voice of these entities rather than in the mediums... Milbourne Christopher (1914 - 1984) was one of Americas foremost illusionists, performing in sixty-eight countries. ... James Randi (born August 7, 1928), internationally billed as The Amazing Randi, is a stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a debunker of pseudoscience. ... Martin Gardner (b. ... P. C. Sorcar P. C. Sorcar (Bangla: পি সি সরকার) (February 23, 1913 - January 6, 1971) was the stage name of Protul Chandra Sorcar, a famous Indian magician. ... Penn (left) & Teller Penn and Teller are a two-man magic and comedy team, comprised of Penn Jillette and Teller. ... Scientific American is a popular-science magazine, published (first weekly and later monthly) since August 28, 1845, making it the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States. ... Look up Supernatural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A séance (pronounced: ) is, on its most basic level, an attempt to communicate with the dead. ... Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1 Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino (D) Area    - City 232. ... Mina Margery Crandon (1888-1941) was the wife of a wealthy Boston surgeon and socialite, Dr. Le Roi Goddard Crandon. ...


These activities cost Houdini the friendship of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle, a firm believer in spiritualism during his later years, refused to believe any of Houdini's exposés. Doyle actually came to believe that Houdini was a powerful spiritualist medium, had performed many of his stunts by means of paranormal abilities, and was using these abilities to block those of other mediums that he was 'debunking' (see Doyle's The Edge of The Unknown, published in 1931, after Houdini's death). This disagreement led to the two men becoming public antagonists. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish author most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered a major innovation in the field of crime fiction, and the adventures of Professor Challenger. ... Sherlock Holmes as imagined by the seminal Holmesian artist, Sidney Paget, in The Strand magazine. ... By 1853, when the popular song Spirit Rappings was published, Spiritualism was the object of intense curiosity. ...


The new book The Secret Life of Houdini has a fascinating account of Doyle's involvement with the camp of medium Mina Crandon ("Margery") and presents personal letters showing it was strongly believed by Doyle and Mina's husband that revenging spirits would soon kill Houdini for hiding the "truth". The book further proposes Doyle's campaign to hijack Houdini's legacy when a Spiritualist minister protege of Doyle, Rev. Arthur Ford (a marvelous teller of tales, some stretched taller than reality)[4], conspired with him to bring messages from Houdini and his mother back from the grave in séances that would further the Spiritualist's agenda. According to the book, Houdini's wife felt so depressed that she actually tried to commit suicide on the eve of the séance. There is no mention of the fact that twelve days after the séance Bess Houdini wrote a moving letter to Walter Winchell, the columnist, that was published in the Graphic, denying the words she received from her deceased husband were GIVEN to Ford. She trusted his reading.[5][6] Neither is there any mention of the fact that the Houdini code was already widely known by the public before the séance. (See:Arthur Ford) Mina Margery Crandon (1888-1941) was the wife of a wealthy Boston surgeon and socialite, Dr. Le Roi Goddard Crandon. ... Arthur Ford (January 8, 1896 – January 4, 1971) was an American psychic spiritual medium, clairaudient and in 1955 founded the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship. ... Arthur Ford (January 8, 1896 – January 4, 1971) was an American psychic spiritual medium, clairaudient and in 1955 founded the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship. ...


Death

Houdini's last performance was at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit, Michigan, on October 24, 1926. The next day he was hospitalized at Detroit's Grace Hospital. Houdini died of peritonitis from a ruptured appendix at 1:26 p.m. on Halloween, 1926, at the age of 52. Nickname: Motto: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus (Latin for, We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes) Location in Wayne County, Michigan Coordinates: Country United States State Michigan County Wayne County Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Area    - City 370. ... October 24 is the 297th day of the year (298th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 68 days remaining. ... Year 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar). ... In human anatomy, the vermiform appendix (or appendix, pl. ... This article is about the holiday. ... Year 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar). ...


The most widespread account is that Houdini's ruptured appendix was caused by multiple blows to his abdomen from a McGill University student, J. Gordon Whitehead, in Montreal on October 22. The eyewitnesses to this event were two McGill University students named Jacques Price and Sam Smilovitz (sometimes called Jack Price and Sam Smiley). Their accounts generally agreed. The following is according to Price's description of events. Houdini was reclining on his couch after his performance, having an art student sketch him. When Whitehead came in and asked if it was true that Houdini could take any blow to the stomach, Houdini replied in the affirmative. In this instance, he was struck several times, before Houdini protested. Whitehead reportedly continued hitting Houdini several times afterwards, and Houdini acted as though he were in some pain. Price recounted that Houdini stated that if he had had time to prepare himself properly, he would have been in better position to take the blows. After taking statements from Price and Smilovitz, Houdini's insurance company concluded that the death was due to the dressing room incident and paid double indemnity. The abdomen is a part of the body. ... McGill University is a publicly funded, non-denominational, co-educational research university located in the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ... Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead (died 1954) is infamous as the man who sucker-punched magician Harry Houdini in the stomach on October 22, 1926. ... Nickname: City of Mary Motto: Concordia Salus Coordinates: Country Canada Province Québec Founded 1642 Established 1832  - Mayor Gérald Tremblay Area [1] [2]    - City 185. ... Double Indemnity is a 1944 film noir. ...


Despite this, modern medical knowledge gives no reason to believe Houdini's acute appendicitis was caused by any physical trauma. McGill University's archive supported this idea: It appears that Whitehead's punch to Houdini's stomach, while not fatal, aggravated an existing but still undetected case of appendicitis. Although in serious pain, Houdini nonetheless continued to travel without seeking medical attention." McGill University is a publicly funded, non-denominational, co-educational research university located in the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ...


Houdini's funeral was held on November 4, 1926, in New York, with over two thousand mourners in attendance. He was interred in the Machpelah Cemetery in Queens, New York, with the crest of the Society of American Magicians inscribed on his grave site. The Society holds their "Broken Wand" ceremony at the grave site on the anniversary of his death to this day. Houdini's wife, Bess, died in February, 1943, and was not permitted to be interred with him at Machpelah Cemetery because she was a non-Jew. Bess Houdini is interred at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York. November 4 is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 57 days remaining. ... Year 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar). ... Queens is geographically the largest of the five boroughs of New York City in the United States, and the most ethnically diverse county in the U.S. It is coterminous with Queens County in the State of New York and is located on western Long Island. ... The Society of American Magicians is the oldest fraternal magic organization in the world. ... The Gate of Heaven Cemetery, approximately 25 miles north of New York City, was established in 1917 at 10 West Stevens Ave. ...


In Houdini's will, his vast library was offered to the American Society for Psychical Research on the condition that research officer and editor of the ASPR Journal, J. Malcolm Bird, resign. Bird refused and the collection went instead to the Library of Congress. The Society for Psychical Research (SPR) is a non-profit organization in the United Kingdom whose purpose is to research and investigate supernatural, magical, paranormal, and occult phenomena in a scientific and unbiased manner. ... ASPR journal is a journal published quarterly by the American Society for Psychical Research. ... The Great Hall interior. ...


Fearing spiritualists would exploit his legacy by pretending to contact him after his death, Houdini left his wife a secret code — ten words chosen at random from a letter written by Doyle — that he would use to contact her from the afterlife. His wife held yearly séances on Halloween for ten years after his death, but Houdini never appeared. In 1936, after a last unsuccessful séance on the roof of the Knickerbocker Hotel, she put out the candle that she had kept burning beside a photograph of Houdini since his death, later (1943) saying "ten years is long enough to wait for any man." The tradition of holding a séance for Houdini continues to this day, and is currently organized by Sidney H. Radner.[3] This article is about the holiday. ... Knickerbocker Hotel For the old Knickerbocker Hotel (New York), see: Six Times Square The Knickerbocker Hotel (also Knickerbocker on the Lake) is a low-rise building located in the Yankee Hill neighborhood of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. ... A séance (pronounced: ) is, on its most basic level, an attempt to communicate with the dead. ...


Legacy

"The Houdini Serial", 1919
"The Houdini Serial", 1919
  • Houdini was an early aviation buff and has the distinction of achieving the first powered flight over Australia.[4]
  • The United States Postal Service issued a postage stamp with a replica of Houdini's favorite publicity poster on July 3, 2002.
  • In 1918, Houdini signed a contract with film producer B.A. Rolfe to star in his fifteen part serial The Master Mystery (released in January 1919). As was common at the time, the film serial was released simultaneously with a novel. However, financial difficulties resulted in B.A. Rolfe Productions going out of business and Houdini was signed by Famous Players-Lasky Corporation for whom he made two pictures, The Grim Game (1919) and Terror Island (1920). He then started his own film production company called the "Houdini Picture Corporation," and produced and starred in two films, The Man From Beyond (1921) and Haldane of the Secret Service (1923), writing the screenplay for the first. Although success in film eluded him and he gave up on the business in 1923, his celebrity became such that years later he would be given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 7001 Hollywood Blvd).
  • A mostly fictionalized biopic of Houdini's life was made in 1953 starring Tony Curtis. Most of the misconceptions about Houdini's life are due in part to this film. For example, it heavily implies his death was from Houdini's failure to escape the Chinese Water Torture Cell, instead of the less spectacular peritonitis. (In fairness, it should be noted that, in the film, Houdini's assistant warns him, before the Water Torture Cell stunt, that his abdominal pains are being probably caused by an appendicitis. Curtis' Houdini agrees to seek medical attention "when the tour is over.")
  • Houdini was played by Paul Michael Glaser of Starsky and Hutch fame in a 1976 TV movie called The Great Houdinis (aka The Great Houdini) which was also highly fictionalized. The film focused on Houdini's relationship with his wife and mother, whom it portrayed as frequently bickering (although in reality they had cordial relations) and his fascination with life after death. The cast also included Sally Struthers, Bill Bixby, and Ruth Gordon.
  • The Tony award-winning musical "Ragtime", based on E. L. Doctorow's novel of the same name features Houdini as one of the numerous historical supporting characters.
  • Executed murderer Gary Gilmore grew up thinking that Houdini was his grandfather.
  • There is a Houdini Museum in Scranton, PA. It claims to be the only building in the world entirely dedicated to Houdini and is run by magicians Dick Brooks and Dorothy Dietrich. The museum also holds an annual Houdini Séance.
  • While touring in the United States, Houdini met Joe Keaton and his family vaudeville act. It's said that after Joe's young son fell down a flight of stairs unscathed, Houdini remarked "Your kid is quite the buster" (buster being a stage name for a fall) and gave a name to comedy legend Buster Keaton (the kid).
  • In 1968, the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame was opened on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. At its opening, this museum contained the majority of Houdini's personal collection of magic paraphernalia. One of Houdini's death wishes was that his entire collection be given to his brother Theodore (also known as the magician Hardeen), and burned upon Theodore's death. Against his wishes, forty years after Houdini's death, the items were taken from storage and sold. Two entrepreneurs purchased the items and renovated a former meat packing plant on Clifton Hill, Ontario, Canada, to house the museum. The museum was moved in 1972 to its final location on the top of Clifton Hill. Séances were held every year at the museum on October 31, the anniversary of Houdini's death. It has been rumored that in 1974, on the seventh séance held at the museum, medium Ann Fisher asked Houdini to make his presence known. Immediately a pot of flowers fell from a shelf along with a book about Houdini; the book opened to a page featuring a Houdini poster entitled Do Spirits Return? In 1995, a tragic fire destroyed the museum and the majority of its contents. Perhaps Houdini's final wishes were finally carried out.[citation needed]
  • The City of Appleton constructed Houdini Plaza on the site of their home in 1985.
  • The myth that a cousin of Houdini married Three Stooges member Moe Howard is false.
  • Harry Houdini appears in issues #19 and #20 of Todd McFarlane's Spawn (comics), where he acts as a mysterious time travelling performer with the ability to manipulate the universe.
  • A musical of Houdini's life written by Michael Martin and Brian Bazala premiered Off-Broadway in 1999 at the Judith Anderson Theatre.
  • Houdini even has his last name as a word in the dictionary; to do a Houdini is to escape somehow.
  • Houdini is a central character in Wonder of the Worlds and is the main protagonist in the remaining two volumes of the adventure trilogy by Sesh Heri, featuring a conflict between Earth and Mars.
  • Houdini is the main character of Walter Satterthwait's polar Escapade, which also features Arthur Conan Doyle.

Image File history File links Mastermystery-1919poster. ... Image File history File links Mastermystery-1919poster. ... The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent establishment of the executive branch of the United States Government (see ) responsible for providing postal service in the United States. ... A selection of Hong Kong postage stamps A postage stamp is evidence of pre-paying a fee for postal services. ... July 3 is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 181 days remaining. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... Benjamin Albert Rolfe (October 24, 1879 - April 23, 1956) was an American musician known as The Boy Trumpet Wonder who went on to be a bandleader, recording artist, radio personality and film producer. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... B.A. Rolfes Houdini Serial, 1919 Rolfe Photoplays Inc. ... The Paramount Pictures logo used from 1987 to 1995. ... A screenplay or script is a blueprint for producing a motion picture. ... A band plays on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. ... Roger Moore and Tony Curtis in The Persuaders! Tony Curtis (born June 3, 1925) is an American film actor. ... green is good This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Paul Michael Glaser (born March 25, 1943) is an American actor. ... For the film, see Starsky & Hutch (film). ... Highly fictionalized made-for-TV movie biography of Harry Houdini featuring TV stars Paul Michael Glaser (Startsky and Hutch) and Sally Struthers (All in the Family) and based on a novel by Melville Shavelson (who also directed the film). ... Harry Houdini (March 24, 1874 - October 31, 1926) was the stage name of Ehrich Weiss (born Weisz Erik in the native Hungarian), one of the most famous magicians, escapologists, and stunt performers of all time. ... Sally Ann Struthers (born July 28, 1948) is an American actress and spokesperson, best known as Carroll OConnors and Jean Stapletons daughter, Gloria Bunker Stivic on All In The Family. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Ruth Gordon (October 30, 1896 – August 28, 1985) was an American actress and screenwriter who was perhaps best known for her role as the oversolicitous neighbor in Roman Polanskis adaptation of Ira Levins novel Rosemarys Baby, for which she won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Supporting... Ragtime is a musical with a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty. ... E.L. Doctorow, photograph by Jill Krementz, from back cover of Doctorows 1975 novel Ragtime Edgar Lawrence Doctorow (born January 6, 1931, New York, New York) is the author of several critically acclaimed novels that blend history and social criticism. ... Gary Mark Gilmore (December 4, 1940 – January 17, 1977) was an American career criminal who gained international notoriety as the first person executed in the United States after the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 after Gregg v. ... Dick Brooks (14 April 1942 – 1 February 2006) was an American NASCAR driver. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Joseph Frank Keaton Jr. ... Clifton Hill is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. ... Niagara Falls, Ontario from Niagara Falls State Park in winter Location of Niagara Falls in the Niagara Region Niagara Falls, Ontario (2001 population 78,815) is a city on the Niagara River, in the Golden Horseshoe region. ... October 31 is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 61 days remaining. ... Harry Houdini (March 24, 1874 - October 31, 1926) was the stage name of Ehrich Weiss (born Weisz Erik in the native Hungarian), one of the most famous magicians, escapologists, and stunt performers of all time. ... Moe Howard, Curly Howard and Larry Fine The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy act in the early to mid 20th century. ... Moe Howard (June 19, 1897 – May 4, 1975) was the leader of the Three Stooges. ... Spawn (real name Al Simmons) is a fictional character in Image Comics comic book of the same name. ... Cover Art by Bob Aul & W Bosley Wonder of the Worlds by Sesh Heri, published 2005 by Lost Continent Library, is the first in a trilogy of novels featuring secret agent Harry Houdini facing off against a Martian invasion in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. ... Wonder of the Worlds By Sesh Heri From graphic novel illustrated by Sesh Heri Sesh Heri (born 1955) is a theorist, illustrator and an author of fiction and non-fiction. ...

Publications

Houdini published numerous books during his career (some of which were written by his good friend Walter Brown Gibson, the creator of The Shadow [5]): Walter Brown Gibson (September 12, 1897-December 6, 1985) was an American author and a professional magician best known for his work on The Shadow. ... Who knows what evil lurks. ...

  • The Right Way to Do Wrong (1906)
  • Handcuff Secrets (1907)
  • The Unmasking of Robert Houdin (1908)
  • Magical Rope Ties and Escapes (1920)
  • Miracle Mongers and their Methods (1920)
  • Houdini's Paper Magic (1921)
  • A Magician Among the Spirits (1924)
  • Under the Pyramids (1924) with H.P. Lovecraft, as part of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.

Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, (December 6, 1805 - 1871) was a French magician, born in Blois, France, where he also died. ... Under the Pyramids, also known as Imprisoned with the Pharaohs, is a short story ghost-written by American horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft for escape artist Harry Houdini in February/March 1924. ... Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American author of fantasy, horror and science fiction, noted for combining these three genres within single narratives. ...

References

  1. ^ US National Archives Microfilm serial: M237; Microfilm roll: 413; Line: 38; List number: 684
  2. ^ Saml M. Weiss, Cecelia (wife), Armin M. (daughter), Nathan J., Ehrich, Theodore, and Leopold. 1880 US Census
  3. ^ *The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero by William Kalush and Larry Sloman, 2006
  4. ^ Arthur Ford: The Man Who Talked with the Dead, by Allen Spraggett with William V. Rauscher, New American Library, 1974
  5. ^ Mediums, Mystics and the Occult by Milbourne Christopher, Thomas T. Crowell Co., 1975, pp. 132 & 133
  6. ^ Houdini: The Untold Story, Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1969, page 258

Milbourne Christopher (1914 - 1984) was one of Americas foremost illusionists, performing in sixty-eight countries. ...

Biographies

  • The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero by William Kalush and Larry Sloman, 2006 ISBN 0743272072
  • Houdini!!!: The Career of Ehrich Weiss by Kenneth Silverman, 1997 ISBN 006092862X
  • Houdini: His Life-Story by Harold Kellock, from the recollections and documents of Beatrice Houdini, Harcourt, Brace Co., June, 1928. Houdini code on page 105.
  • Houdini: The Untold Story by Milbourne Christopher, Thomas Y. Crowell Co, 1969

Milbourne Christopher (1914 - 1984) was one of Americas foremost illusionists, performing in sixty-eight countries. ...

Further reading

  • Mediums, Mystics and the Occult by Milbourne Christopher, Thomas T. Crowell Co., 1975, pp 122-145, Arthur Ford-Messages from the Dead, contains detailed information about the Houdini messages and their disclosure. (Recommend compare)
  • Arthur Ford: The Man Who Talked with the Dead by Allen Spraggett with William V. Rauscher, 1973, pp 152-165, Chapter 7, The Houidni Affair contains detailed information about the Houdini messages and their disclosure. (Recommend compare)
  • Sixty Years of Psychical Research by Joseph F. Rinn, Truth Seeker Co., 1950, Rinn was a long time close friend of Houdini. Contains detailed information about the last Houdini message (there are 3) and its disclosure. (Recommend compare)

Milbourne Christopher (1914 - 1984) was one of Americas foremost illusionists, performing in sixty-eight countries. ...

See also

Arthur Ford (January 8, 1896 – January 4, 1971) was an American psychic spiritual medium, clairaudient and in 1955 founded the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship. ... James Randi (born August 7, 1928), internationally billed as The Amazing Randi, is a stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a debunker of pseudoscience. ... Hotel Roosevelt Scene of reported ghost sightings Haunted Hollywood is a term used to describe the places in the Los Angeles, California area that are believed by some to be haunted by the ghosts of celebrities and others. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Joseph Dunninger (1892-1975), known as The Amazing Dunninger was one of the most famous and proficient mentalists of all time. ... Dai Vernon Dai Vernon (born David Frederick Wingfield Verner June 11, 1894 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - died 1992 in Hollywood, California) was a Canadian magician. ... Cover Art by Bob Aul & W Bosley Wonder of the Worlds by Sesh Heri, published 2005 by Lost Continent Library, is the first in a trilogy of novels featuring secret agent Harry Houdini facing off against a Martian invasion in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. ...

Timeline

See Budapest (band) for the British melancholic post-grunge band. ... March 24 is the 83rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (84th in leap years). ... Theodore Hardeen(born Ferencz Deszo Weisz; March 4, 1876 - June 12, 1945) was a magician and stunt performed, best known as Houdinis brother. ... See Budapest (band) for the British melancholic post-grunge band. ... July 3 is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 181 days remaining. ... June 6 is the 157th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (158th in leap years), with 208 days remaining // 1508 - Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, is defeated in Friulia by Venetian forces; he is forced to sign a three-year truce and cede several territories to Venice 1513... Nickname: Big Apple, Gotham, NYC Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs The Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island Settled 1613  - Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area    - City 1,214. ... Appendicitis (or epityphlitis) is a condition characterized by inflammation of the appendix[1]. While mild cases may resolve without treatment, most require removal of the inflamed appendix, either by laparotomy or laparoscopy. ... This article is about the holiday. ... Motto: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus (We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes - this motto was adopted after the disastrous 1805 fire that devastated the city) Nickname: The Motor City and Motown Location in Wayne County, Michigan Founded Incorporated July 24, 1701 1815  County Wayne County Mayor...

External Links

Persondata
NAME Houdini, Harry
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Weiss, Ehrich (birth name); Weisz, Ehrich (birth name, alternate spelling)
SHORT DESCRIPTION magician, escapologist, and stunt performer
DATE OF BIRTH March 24, 1874
PLACE OF BIRTH Budapest, Hungary
DATE OF DEATH October 31, 1926
PLACE OF DEATH Detroit, Michigan, USA

  Results from FactBites:
 
Encyclopedia: Harry Houdini (3717 words)
Harry Houdini (March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926) was the stage name of Ehrich Weiss (born Weisz Erik in the native Hungarian), one of the most famous magicians, escapologists, and stunt performers of all time as well as an investigator of spiritualists.
Houdini was born on March 24, 1874 in Budapest, Hungary, of Jewish background.
Houdini died of peritonitis from a ruptured appendix on Halloween, October 31, 1926, at the age of 52.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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