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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » What makes Houdini different? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Kevin Connolly
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Houdini definetly the first to fly in Australia.
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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]
Rennie
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He is also in the Dictionary ;
HOUDINIZE, v.t. To release or extricate oneself ( from confinement, bonds and the like), as buy wriggling out, "Funk and Wagnells' New Standard Dictionary, issued in 1920. On the streets "to do a Houdini" had become a common expression for vanishing, breaking away. Through the length and breath of the land Houdini was regarded as the symbol of elusiveness and illusion.
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ursusminor
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Quote:
On 2006-05-17 11:55, magicusb wrote:
Basiclly he invented it all, or brought it to the fore.


Hmmmm????

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Steven True
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I have heard the story about his aviations in Australia. I also heard that even though he was into aviation he was supposed to be affriad of driving. Does anyone know anyting about this? I think I read it in one of the Gibson books. He had a picture of Houdini sitting in his new car but said he didn't drive because of the fear of it? Mybe wrong here,I have been before. He was a great showman and there is still that strange thing about him dying on Halloween. Kind of a strange day for someone like him to die on that day. He went after so many fake mediums and spirtialsits there was once a rumor out that he die on that day because they had something to do with it. Which we know is false. We will always wonder what else he would have done for our art if he had lived many more years. Tv,movies,newspapers will keep his name alive for many more years to come. I am glad that he was here and was able to give so many today the desire to want to learn and grow in the art of magic.

Steven
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2005-06-07 20:33, saranacbo wrote:

A really weird note: An old guy in my town, originally from NYC, and pretty much a B.S. artist, while passing himself off as a man of the world, cornered me (this may be 20 years ago or so). He knew I did magic and proceeded to tell me the story of Houdini and the packing crate escape from one of the rivers in NYC.

In the movie, it had the packing crate crash through the ice and Houdini escape, only to be trapped under the ice and blah blah blah. He in fact had done a packing crate escape in that river, but the river was not frozen over (obviously, he knew more than to take that chance).

Anyhow, this guy told me he was a young fellow at the time, but he was there and saw Houdini go through the ice and all.

Of course he also claime to be Admiral Byrd's personal secretary as well.


This wouldn't have been Louis L. McCoy, would it?
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2005-06-20 20:56, God-glorified wrote:
He was the first
THerefore
HE was teh best
case closed for me


The first at what?

There is, for example, a certain amount of doubt that he really was the first person to pilot a plane in Australia.

How did it get there?
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2006-05-24 19:46, Rennie wrote:
He is also in the Dictionary ;
HOUDINIZE, v.t. To release or extricate oneself ( from confinement, bonds and the like), as buy wriggling out, "Funk and Wagnells' New Standard Dictionary, issued in 1920. On the streets "to do a Houdini" had become a common expression for vanishing, breaking away. Through the length and breath of the land Houdini was regarded as the symbol of elusiveness and illusion.


This was another example of self-promotion, a brilliant stroke, in fact. Consider this. "Houdinize" never made it into any of the other dictionaries, such as the Merriam-Webster or the OED. Why? Dr. Saint, who was Houdini's manager PAID Funk and Wagnall's to put the entry in.

See if you can find it in any later editions.

One of the ironies of Houdini's life was that he invented very little. He called himself "The Handcuff King," but he did not invent the handcuff escape.

He also stated that to call oneself a magician, one must master the cups and balls. There is no record of his ever performing the cups and balls.
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Kevin Connolly
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Houdini was in a Funk and Wagnalls in 1917 and he(Houdini) never knew about it till 1918. Eddie Saint wasn't even in the picture.

Houdini brings his plane and cameras. Where is the other guy's proof? Sounds like grassy knoll stuff to me.

And yes, Houdini was the Handcuff King. Then, now and in the future.
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Bill Palmer
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When do you hold services at the First Church of the Perpetual Houdini?
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MagiClyde
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Houdini, as far as I know, wasn't afraid to drive. Like many of his other interests, he would pursue it with a passion for a time and then abandon it completely.

Perhaps the best biography I have read on the man is from Milbourne Christoper. I believe the title is The Illustrated History of Houdini.

The one thing I know that Houdini actually feared was going on an ocean voyage. He suffered greatly from sea-sickness!

Houdini actually thought that people would remember him for his pioneering work in aviation, not for his escapes. History, it seems, has a sense of irony as well as humor.
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MagiClyde
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As for who flew first over Australia, I am reminded of the words I read from an astronomer. He used to document everything from any project he worked on because 'If it isn't recorded, it never happened.' Just like in America, there was supposed to have been another man who flew a plane before the Wright brothers. No pictures, no proof. It's as simple as that.
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bear trees
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I also read in a book by jc cannell I think that he taught soldiers how to fly a plane whilst in germany.
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The main difference between all of us ...PRESENTATION.
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2007-05-14 09:18, bear trees wrote:
I also read in a book by jc cannell I think that he taught soldiers how to fly a plane whilst in germany.


J.C. Cannell did not teach soldiers to fly a plane whilst in Germany. Houdini may have.
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Bill Palmer
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Houdini's real secret was that he was determined to be the absolute best at everything he did. He spent a huge amount of money on advertising. He fabricated at least one of the awards he was presented when he was in Europe. He was a publicity hound. He knew how to sell himself. And he guarded what he considered to be his act with a passion.
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gardini
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Houdini, with his planet sized ego, sharp eyes and great knowledge base on how things were down, drive to learn, were his greatest traits. The story I always liked about him he would find out if an magician was buried in the area that he was going to perform in and he would pay he's repect to him. Just how much of it was out of respect or for pulbicity, I don't pretend to know, but I do know this that it captured the hearts and minds of people where ever he went.

Gardini
Marshall Thornside
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Behind every sucessful magic man,
there's a very strong and an extremely
wise woman.

Mrs. Harry Houdini made sure her her
husband's name would stick around long
after she was gone.

Her goal after his death was to perpetuate
his name...probably also to keep her pretty
well healed in moola too.

A great self-promoter? Only when he was
alive. Otherwise, every great self-
promoter would hold just as high of
value on items signed, used or worn.

I think I'm close to be a great self-promoter,
but I'm sure that when I die, my music will
and so my name.

so that's not the reason.

Its the woman behind the man...
That's the secrete behind reason.
you will remember my name

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airship
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Houdini kept moving. He would develop something and perform it, and when the market became swamped with imitators, he would re-invent himself. He moved from magician to escape artist to spiritualism exposer, always keeping a few steps ahead of the crowd.
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MagiClyde
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One thing that stands out, for me, was how hard working he was. One would almost have to paint him as obsessed with trying to squeeze every last ounce he could out of living.

Another thing that few people realize is that Houdini was extremely generous without seeking publicity for certain people or causes. He was definitely a more complex man than people give him credit for.
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Banester
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The defining moment I think is what the poster was looking for. What was it that broke the ice and catapaulted him into the lime light.

I would have to say his first escape. Jim Stienmeyer has a great book called "Hiding the Elephant". I read it quite some time ago and I can't remember the specific point it turned his career around, but Jim does mention it.

Why is he remembered today. Well I would agree with everyone else who stated that he was a great promoter. Bess also helped Houdini and she worked very hard after he died to keep his name in the public eye making him a legend.

I have an audio tape of the last Seance where Bess finally agreed that Houdini could not come back. There were people tuned in from all over the world that night and groups set up all over the world. His brother was in New York, one of his friends had a group set up in London, and Australia, etc. And I would have to say that Houdini dieing on Halloween of all days even gives me chills.
The art of a magician is to create wonder.
If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives
become filled with joy
-Doug Henning-
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