The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Did Houdini perform hanging sj in London? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Roslyn
View Profile
Inner circle
UK
3404 Posts

Profile of Roslyn
Hello Houdini historians.

I was just wondering whether HH ever performed his hanging sj in London or elsewhere in the UK?

If he did do you know when and where?

Also does anyone have a date for his 1st performance of the stunt? Was it in New York?

Cheers,

Ros
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
My home online
Join me on Facebook
Follow me on twitter
The Donster
View Profile
Inner circle
4817 Posts

Profile of The Donster
I just seen this posted on the net somewhere but not sure where I saw it. or know if the information is correct. but did Houdini actully start performing the Hanging Upside Down by a SJ in 1908 ?
Mick Hanzlik
View Profile
Special user
Mick Hanzlik
588 Posts

Profile of Mick Hanzlik
The first mention of a Strait Jacket escape I have is September 23-28 at the Melini Theatre, Hanover, in 1901, but it is not mentioned whether it was a suspended escape. I would think it would have been a standing escape on stage, and not outdoors as a publicity stunt.

No mention of any outdoor stunts when he played the UK, until much later, but no mention of a suspended Strait Jacket escape in the UK at all.

First UK mention, was April 17-22, 1911, Burnley Palace Theatre, on stage in full view of the audience.

The next date I have is September 6th 1914 in Kansas City. Again no details about how it was presented.

September 30th, 1915, Minneapolis, still no details.

Now we come to DEFINITE outside suspended escapes;

January 17-22 1916...The News Building, Commerce and Lammar Streets, Dallas TX

March 16 1916...Milwaukee Journal Building. Out in 3 minutes

March 30th 1916...Longacre Square Battery, New York

October 31st 1916...Erie Canal and Exchange St, Rochester NY

November 6th 1916...Sun Building, Pittsburch PA

November 15 1916...Pickering Building, Cincinnati OH

November 29 1916...County Jail Room, Grand Rapids MI

December 20 1916...John Harkness Brown Building, Cleveland OH

February 28 1917...B.F.Keith's Building, Boston MA

March 7 1917...Bronwell Building, Providence RI

November 5 1917...Broadway and 45th to 46th Streets, New York. 50 feet in the air

There exists a few movie clips of suspended escapes, one particular one dated 1919, in Times Square New York.

All the above information can be found in the "Illustrated Houdini Research Diaries", by Frank Koval.

I also found this in Patrick Culliton's "Houdini Unlocked"

"When did he first perform the upside down jacket?...In late March, 1910, Houdini moved to the Tivoli Theatre, (later to be the Embassy Theatre)in Castleton Street, Sydney (Australia)...Possibly his most spectacular staunt was a straight-jacket escape while he was hanging by the heels at the end of a flagpole, from the Market Street exit of His Majesty's Theatre, which was but a few doors from the Tivoli Theatre"

Hope all this is helpful.(It sure helps sometimes having a Houdini library!!!)
houdinisghost
View Profile
Loyal user
287 Posts

Profile of houdinisghost
I'm pretty sure that Houdini started the suspended straight jacket release in 1915. He was in the states, and he repeated the stunt in city after city.
He only played England once after that, about 1920.
I don't recall seeing anything about an upside down straight jacket on that whole tour. He may have, but, I'm not aware of it.
Pat Culliton
Riley
View Profile
Special user
Darlington UK
949 Posts

Profile of Riley
My late Grandmother recalled seeing Houdini perform the suspended SJ escape in Oxford Street when she was a young girl. Unfortunately I don't know the date.

Riley
houdinisghost
View Profile
Loyal user
287 Posts

Profile of houdinisghost
I'm looking and looking, and the fact that I haven't found it yet means nothing. Houdini is a vast subject. He'd been doing the upside down s-j for five years by the time he returned to England for his last tour. He would go on to perform the upside down jacket after that tour. It only makes sense he would perform it in England, but, did he?
I know Murray performed a suspended straight jacket escape above Piccadilly Circus in 1925.
Riley's mom could only have seen Houdini do the suspended s-j in 1920 during that last tour of England.
houdinisghost
View Profile
Loyal user
287 Posts

Profile of houdinisghost
Kalush couldn't find Houdini doing the upside down straight-jacket in England. Doesn't mean he didn't.
I take Riley's grandmother's recollection very seriously. About what year might that have been?
One reason why Houdini might not have done the suspended jacket in England was that he badly injured his ankle early in the tour.
houdinisghost
View Profile
Loyal user
287 Posts

Profile of houdinisghost
Oh, I repeated a story from magicol that said Houdini did an upside down strait jacket while he was hanging by the heels at the end of a flagpole, from the Market Street exit of His Majesty's Theatre, which was but a few doors from the Tivoli Theatre. Houdini had moved to the Tivoli Theatre, (later to be the Embassy Theatre)in Castleton Street, Sydney (Australia). I think Alfred Hayes wrote it. The thing is, nobody has been able to corroborate this. As specific as the information was, something seems to be wrong.
It appears more likely that Houdini didn't begin performing the outdoor, upside down Straight jacket until 1915.
thorndyke
View Profile
Regular user
Canada
147 Posts

Profile of thorndyke
Oct 5th 1915, Winnipeg Telegram building. Suspension by ropes tied around ankles, no visible sign of stocks or harnessing.
Mick Hanzlik
View Profile
Special user
Mick Hanzlik
588 Posts

Profile of Mick Hanzlik
I listed September 30th 1915 as a date he did the Straitjacket Escape in Minneapolis. Thorndye has just listed October 5th 1915 as a definite suspended escape. This is less then a week after Minneapolis, so I suppose it is possible that the earlier escape could have been a suspended one.
Riley
View Profile
Special user
Darlington UK
949 Posts

Profile of Riley
Just checked with my mother re dates: my Grandmother was born in 1904. When I was around 13 or 14 years of age, she told me she had seen Houdini. She said she was around 8 or 9 years old, so this puts the date around 1912/13. Need to check where Houdini was then....

Riley
Roslyn
View Profile
Inner circle
UK
3404 Posts

Profile of Roslyn
You guys are great!

I hope Riley's right about his grandmother. Wouldn't that have been something. Actually seeing HH perform live... Truely awesome!

Anyway, thanks for your help so far guys.

Ros
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
My home online
Join me on Facebook
Follow me on twitter
Mick Hanzlik
View Profile
Special user
Mick Hanzlik
588 Posts

Profile of Mick Hanzlik
Although Houdini came to Europe in 1912, he never performed in Britain all the year. My listings show that his first London performance was Feb 24-March 4 at the Finsbury Park Empire.

Next London appearance was May 12-17 at the New Cross Empire

These are the only 2 appearances I have for London of that year. He may have done the suspended jacket escape in Oxford Street (for our non UK friends, that is London's busiest and most famous shopping street, almost 1 mile long!) as a publicity stunt to get folks into his theatre shows.

On another note, I just had an email from Pat Culliton, who tells me I am right about Minneapolis. The escape on September 30th 1915 was indeed a suspended jacket escape. He has located a newspaper clipping from the next day, but as Pat found it, it best if he gets the credit!

Mick
Roslyn
View Profile
Inner circle
UK
3404 Posts

Profile of Roslyn
So it could've been possible that Riley's grandmother did see Houdini in 1913.

So cool Smile

thanks again guys.
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
My home online
Join me on Facebook
Follow me on twitter
houdinisghost
View Profile
Loyal user
287 Posts

Profile of houdinisghost
And Riley's grandmother very likely saw him perform the straight-Jacket in 1913. But, it would have been onstage. In 1914, a teen-aged friend of Houdini's, a boy named Randolph Douglas--I can't remember where in England he lived--took Houdini up to his attic, where he hung by his knees from a rafter and got out of a jacket upside down. This was before Houdini ever did it, at least publicly.
Randolph Douglas may have given him the idea.
DavisG
View Profile
New user
Virginia
34 Posts

Profile of DavisG
My grandmother, who was born in 1902, told me that she saw Houndi perform in Baltimore, Maryland.
DavisG
View Profile
New user
Virginia
34 Posts

Profile of DavisG
Sorry for the misspelling of Houdini's name in my prior post. I couldn't find an edit function to correct it.
northmop
View Profile
New user
1 Post

Profile of northmop
I ran across this thread, and thought I'd give a little input with the little that I know. It is my understanding that Houdini hung upside down from the electric sign on the old Tribune building in downtown Minneapolis on 29 September 1915 to promote his show the next night (See Minneapolis Morning Tribune, October 1915). I also think that he preformed the trick the first time in the United States about a year earlier in Kansas City. It is my understanding that the first time he escape upside down was 29 April 1910 hanging from a flagpole on Market Street in Sydney, Australia (See MAGICOL Magazine, August 1990, pps. 3-6).
John Cox
View Profile
Elite user
Studio City, CA
494 Posts

Profile of John Cox
Quote:
On 2009-08-09 17:06, Mick Hanzlik wrote:
The next date I have is September 6th 1914 in Kansas City. Again no details about how it was presented.

September 30th, 1915, Minneapolis, still no details.

I'm trying to nail down when HH first did the suspended jacket escape. Kalush -- via a mention by Will Goldston -- says it was in Kanas City in September 1915. Silverman says it was the Sept 29, 1915 Minneapolis escape sourced to a newspaper clipping in the Stanley Palm collection.

Better sourcing for Silverman/Minneapolis.

Wondering now if Goldston/Kalush were confused by this (non-suspended?) jacket escape a year earlier in KC, or maybe HH did do a suspended escape in KC that year.
Please visit my blog

WILD ABOUT HARRY
dave_matkin
View Profile
Inner circle
4468 Posts

Profile of dave_matkin
Quote:
On 2010-07-11 22:42, northmop wrote:
I also think that he preformed the trick


There is no trick! Wrong word ......... Smile

Hey it's a minor point!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Did Houdini perform hanging sj in London? (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.13 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL