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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Hardeen and the Maine State Tramp Chair (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

drwilson
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Bar Harbor, ME
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My colleague in the Theater of Marvels, Professor Miller, recalls reading an old article about Hardeen and the official "Tramp Chair" for the State of Maine. Apparently, this was a challenge escape, and Hardeen almost fainted dead away when he saw it. There is a Tramp Chair, possibly even the very one, on display at the Bangor Police Museum. Hardeen escaped from this at the Bijou Theater, since demolished, not far from where the Tramp Chair currently resides.

If anyone has more information on this event or on the Tramp Chair in general, I would greatly appreciate it. Feel free to send a PM if you want to speak freely. I have not yet examined the device.

Yours,

Paul
Harley Newman
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Hmmm.

It appears to fastened with padlocks.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Cindi
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Palm Bch, FL
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Hi Paul
I have a photo of myself in the Tramp chair (Could'nt they pick a better name Sheeesh!) at American Police Hall of Fame.
I will be happy to e mail it to you if you'd like. It is a file large enough that you can examine it closely. There is more room in the chair to move than it appears.
Need your e mail addy again please if you want the Pic.

Regards,
Cindi
DavidEscapes
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I think I remember reading somewhere that Houdini had one, and that it is now in a private collection in Ohio, I will see if I can dig the info out for you.

David
David Victor - The artist formally (and still occasionally) known as David Straitjacket.

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thorndyke
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Hardeen mentions this escape in his pitchbook (thats 'Pitch', folks!) and it is featured on one of his posters as well. The method of escape was to rap the padlocks open, the truthfulness of which you can take or leave.
Anyone seen any mention of Houdini escaping from one of these chairs? I honestly can't recall reading of it.
DavidEscapes
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Hi guys

I found the link I remembered. Though on re-reading, it seems that this tramp chair is made of wood:

http://www.worldandijournal.com/subscrib......um=24867

David
David Victor - The artist formally (and still occasionally) known as David Straitjacket.

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drwilson
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Bar Harbor, ME
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Thanks for the article, David!

My guess is that the Houdini Tramp Chair in the Klosterman collection is a stage prop meant to evoke the historical iron ones. First, it's wood. Second, it has the neck shackle and handcuffs, which I haven't seen on the photos of the historical ones. The writeups I've found on the old tramp chairs referred to them as mobile jails. Padlocked into these, the tramps would spend an unpleasant night, take the hint, and leave for another town the next morning.

I hope that I can get access to the historical one here.

Yours,

Paul
thorndyke
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I am wondering if the chair in Klosterman's colection is the electric chair that Houdini bought at an auction? I can't find my copies of the Christopher Bio so I am maybe misremembering.
drwilson
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There is a book coming out on the Klosterman collection soon, right? I'm looking forward to seeing that. I imagine the chair will be featured in the book.

Yours,

Paul
drwilson
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The Tramp Chair at the National Police Museum looks great on
Cindini.

Thanks to record-breaking escape artist Cindini for the photo!

Yours,

Paul
Cindi
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Palm Bch, FL
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Heyyyyy Paul,
Just back from sizing up "Chattahoochee" here in Florida. If you get a chance you should see the Movie. It features Dennis Hopper. Interesting to say the least & with a rather bizarre twist to how they would search inmates Smile
Of course things are different now. (so they say)

Well, Bless your Heart! Glad you can make use of the Photo. Have sent you a couple more from other angles. Good luck with your pursuit!
:goodluck:
Cindi
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