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August 13, 2019 02:41 pm PDT

Footage of Houdini preparing for a straight jacket escape

Wild About Houdini shares the details of Houdini's suspended straight jacket escape in Los Angeles.

For years I've been trying to uncover details of Houdini's first suspended straitjacket escape in Los Angeles. While his 1923 escape is well represented in photos and newspaper clippings, his 1915 escape has proven strangely elusive. This would have been a major event with a massive crowd and snarled traffic, yet there's no mention of it in either the Los Angeles Times or the Herald. How could that be? If fact, the only clue that it ever happened at all is this short undated film clip:

This has been especially vexing as L.A. is my home and I've tasked myself with uncovering all the Houdini connections I can. I've actually been entertaining the idea that the above film is misidentified and there never was a 1915 Los Angeles escape. Maybe this is Oakland? We know Houdini did an escape there before coming to L.A.

But on a recent visit to the Magic Castle, librarian Joe Fox finally helped me crack the case. He showed me a flyer from the 1987 televised sance The Search For Houdini. Joe wondered if I had ever seen it. I told him had. In fact, I own one myself. But I haven't looked at it in years, so I popped it open anyway. There, much to my astonishment, was a paragraph about Houdini in Los Angeles with key details about the 1915 escape. As if to mock me, it referred to it as one of Houdini's "best documented" escapes.

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Original Link: http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/LoqAgHqEGmg/footage-of-houdini-preparing-f.html

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