Welcome to our blog!

It's better than a bat in the eye with a burnt stick!

This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

And make sure to visit The Arnold Bennett Society for expert information and comment on all aspects of the life and work of AB.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Handcuff king

Saturday, March 4th., Rue de Calais, Paris.

Raphael and Co. dined with me at the Place Blanche and then we went to the Alhambra, and I was introduced to the manager, a young and extremely English man who could scarcely speak any French. Houdini (an American) the 'handcuff king' was the principal attraction. It appears that this man really has a gift for getting out of handcuffs and picking locks. he certainly did some extraordinary things last night - including one in which Raphael's overcoat took a share. Raphael told me that Houdini "had got out of all the principal prisons in the world". In Germany he challenged the police to put him in a cell that he couldn't escape from. They took the challenge and he won. But they denied that he had won (from motives of policy). he brought an action against them which lasted three years (costs £1000) and ultimately gained the day.

Houdini (and wife) Paris 1905
Harry Houdini (born Erik Weisz in Budapest, 1874 – 1926) was a Hungarian-American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. Houdini became widely known as "The Handcuff King." He toured England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Russia. In each city, Houdini challenged local police to restrain him with shackles and lock him in their jails. In many of these challenge escapes, Houdini was first stripped nude and searched. In Moscow, Houdini escaped from a Siberian prison transport van. Houdini claimed that, had he been unable to free himself, he would have had to travel to Siberia, where the only key was kept. In Cologne, he sued a police officer, Werner Graff, who alleged that he made his escapes via bribery. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to hold his breath inside a sealed milk can.

No comments:

Post a Comment