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Ian McColl
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To me, the only cuffs which are Houdini's are the Russian manacle, Mirror, French handcuff with letter lock and the Bell lock handcuff. The Séance handcuff is still a bit of a mystery as to it’s origin.

It is alleged by a certain magician and friend of the Houdini relatives that a renowned collector Houdini handcuffs once said "any handcuffs that pass through my hands belonged to Houdini". Well known for his association with Hardeen and having obtained from Hardeen the so called Houdini handcuff collection, the prominence has, it is also alleged given rise to other cuffs not belong to Houdini or Hardeen being sold off as having belonged to Houdini. With this in mind and the fact that there is no providence going directly back to Houdini or Hardeen for each individual handcuff, I would be sceptical of any.

Added to this as Mr Lauher has already pointed out, some cuffs didn’t even exist during Houdini’s time and that the Water torture cell was completely burnt (photos of the burnt cell showed only really the metal work) which I assume most would have been unserviceable due to the heat. This cell is advertised as restored when it should be said that the cell has been rebuilt. More likely it is probably 90% new.

Ian
Kevin Connolly
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Well, I never collected cuffs for the reason the provenance could always come into play. I know I only have one set off Houdini cuffs in all the years I collected Houdini and I must have seen seen a few hundred. The cuffs came out of his basemnet and were sold in the 1980 Houdini sale. They are stamped Houdini and are gaffed.

That's why I always stuck with ephemera or a legit autograph. Not the clipped pieces you see on Ebay etc. I rather have an item that you can see across a room and you know it's Houdini than a piece that could be even remotely suspect.

Don't forget that the Raymond trunk full of cuffs etc. are still in play. They're out there somewhere. Smile
Please visit my website.
www.houdinihimself.com

Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
The Donster
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What year did the McKenzie Mitts Come about. Don,
lauher
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The McKenzie Prisoner's Mitt was patented on March 10, 1925. So it is quite possible that Houdini own a pair or two. Even though he was no longer doing a handcuff act he would have been interested in such a novel cuff.
Joe
Lloyd McDonald
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Ian-

After reviewing the collection, I believe any equipment I wish to procure will be purchased from you.

Houdini's stuff just seems a bit over priced and looks pretty warn. Smile

Mac
Ian McColl
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Hi Lloyd, I hope to do more business with you in the future, my stuff is less expensive that the supposed Houdini items. It is a problem when time passes and the history and origins of the items are lost or the future seller, says he cannot really remember what the history is.

At the moment there are lots of escape related items being purchased off Ebay for a museum of escapes and I am sure that they will one day be sold off with obscure provenance. I am saving many of the pictures for the future just to see if my theory is right.

Ian
Lloyd McDonald
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Ian-

More than likely your theory is correct, as it is basic human nature.

But darn, there goes my idea about buying that steel straight jacket and declairing it was the one originally used by Tony Curtis. Smile

Best to you, and keep up the phantastique work.
Mac
The Donster
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Loyd go ahead and Do it Who will be the Wiser. or say its a Replica of the one from the Movie Houdini
Ian McColl
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Hi Lloyd, you do know that, that steel strait jacket still exists and it was owned by Houdini and was lent to make the movie by Hardeen.

I know it's some peoples human nature and I wasn't around to keep my eye on the SR collection but I will try to on current museums. It is sad when history is tainted by future generations. Some of us complain about what has been lost from the past and yet we allow it to happen in our own time.


Ian
Harry Murphy
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And yet more on the size Water Torture Cell, the “Stocks” that held Houdini’s locked around his ankles were really a box that was about 5 inches deep (giving a air pocket) and are not added to the measurement of the “cell” properly. So really you have a device that is about 5’ 5” tall from the floor, plus add the three or so inches for his feet and you have his head several inches off the floor of the Cell.

When Houdini performed it there was a metal “grid” placed inside. It was supposed to keep him safe from being pulled against sharp glass shards IF the glass had to be broken. It looked like a metal ladder (and it was!). Imagine doing a suspended-upside-down sit-up at a diagonal (one of the secrets of the escape). That grid/ladder is a big help. A photo of the Grid in place is at: http://members.tripod.com/~Houdinez/hou17.html

I had the opportunity to be suspended inside the cell that used to be part of the Houdini Museum at Niagara Falls once years (and years) ago. No water of course. I am a tad shorter than Houdini and found that I had plenty of room to play inside! I could not do the diagonal sit-up required to execute the escape. The grid had been long lost!

I was working with a fellow who was measuring the cell to build a replica. It was built, used, and who knows where it is today? I only hope that it is not being touted as "real".

Actually, I thought that Houdini was shorter than 5” 4” and lied about his height.

There were a number of items at the auction that I wish I had the money for. Alas, having a real piece of Houdini is not for me!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Kevin Connolly
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I never heard that the steel jacket was on loan from Hardeen to make the Tony Curtis movie. He was already dead 5-6 years by the time filming started. My feelings is that there were two steel jackets used in the movie. The legit one and a gaffed one. You can see the gaff at the end of the routine.

As for the Chines Water Torture cell, Houdini didn't always have the "grid" in the front. That came later after I guess tweaking by HH.
Please visit my website.
www.houdinihimself.com

Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
The Donster
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I heard Houdini was any where from 5 ft 2 in to 5 ft 7 in.
Lloyd McDonald
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I understand (from a reliable source) Smile that this very steel jacket originally was made for Houdini by none other than the noted mechanical artist, Robert Houdin, Smile who took meticulous measurements to insure a correct fit. However due to a misunderstanding over Houdini using Houdin’s name a rift in their relationship ensued. Leaving famed Houdini impresario, Dixie Dooley Smile to be contracted by Houdini to do the final assembly work for him, in Vegas Smile

Fortunately, Smile I am in the process of purchasing this rare find, and will be offering them "?" to the EA community by spring. :wink:

Ah humbug, ain’t it great?
The Donster
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LOL Has anyone Bought that Line.
Lloyd McDonald
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Well I just received two orders. Smile
The Donster
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LOL How Much are they going for why not place it on E-Bay
Ian McColl
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Dear Kevin, you are right, Hardeen was dead, I should have said Dunninger who got it from Hardeen.

Ian
Kevin Connolly
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Like I said before, cuffs, etc. are not my thing. Do you think there were a gaffed one and legit one? The last time I heard, one of these was in the UK.
Please visit my website.
www.houdinihimself.com

Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
Ian McColl
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Dear Kevin, if your message was in regard to the steel strait jacket (the original) there was only one and it was gaffed ( rather poorly ) part of which can be seen in the Tony curtis movie. David DeVal (UK) did have a design or two in his books to make a steel strait jacket but I am not aware if he did make one himself or use one ( UK readers might help me out on this)
the only SSJ's I know of are the ones I have been making. (some of which have been purchased in England)

regards

Ian
Kevin Connolly
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Ian,

I rememebr seeing one auctioned off a few years ago over here. I then heard it went to the UK. For all I know, it could be in Vegas at the lingerie store.

I still go with being at least two in the movie.

As for the movie, I'm looking to buy a working script or any paraphernalia from the Houdini movie with Tony Curtis. You can start by sending the Houdini poster that was used in the movie that Curtis in it at the last fade out. Smile

Best Always,
Kevin
Please visit my website.
www.houdinihimself.com

Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
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