Harry Houdini

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[[Harry Houdini]] (March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926) whose birth name in Hungary was Erik Weisz (which was changed to Ehrich Weiss when he immigrated to the United States), was a Hungarian American magician, escapologist (widely regarded as one of the greatest ever), stunt performer, as well as a skeptic and investigator of spiritualists, film producer, and actor.   
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'''Harry Houdini''' (March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926) whose birth name in Hungary was Erik Weisz (which was changed to Ehrich Weiss when he immigrated to the United States), was a Hungarian American magician, escapologist (widely regarded as one of the greatest ever), and stunt performer, as well as a skeptic and investigator of spiritualists, film producer, and actor.   
{{Youtube Thumb|mUbytEgTXZQ}}
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Initially, Houdini's magic career resulted in little success. He performed in dime museums and sideshows, and even doubled as "the Wild Man" at a circus. Houdini initially focused on traditional card tricks. At one point, he billed himself as the "King of Cards". But he soon began experimenting with escape acts. In 1893, while performing with his brother "Dash" at Coney Island as "The Brothers Houdini", Harry met and married fellow performer Bess ([[Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner]]). Bess replaced Dash in the act, which became known as "The Houdinis". For the rest of Houdini's performing career, Bess would work as his stage assistant as well as get married.
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== Biography ==
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Initially, Houdini's magic career resulted in little success. He performed in dime museums and sideshows, and even doubled as "the Wild Man" at a circus.
  
Harry Houdini is the one of the most famous escape artists/magicians who has ever lived.  He changed it to Harry Houdini because [[Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin]] was one of his biggest inspirations.
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Early in his career, Houdini focused on traditional card tricks. At one point, he billed himself as the "King of Cards". But he soon began experimenting with escape acts.
  
[[Houdini's unique escapes|Houdini escaped from many unique situations]] and invented some of the most memorable escapes in the history of magic like the "[[Chinese Torture Cell]]", "[[Metamorphosis]]" and much more.
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In 1893, while performing with his brother "Dash" at Coney Island as "The Brothers Houdini", Harry met and married fellow performer Bess ([[Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner]]).<ref name=Kellock1/> Bess soon replaced Dash in the act, which became known as "The Houdinis", and in 1894 they were married. For the rest of Houdini's performing career, Bess would work as his stage assistant.<ref name=Kellock1>Harold Kellock - ''Houdini: His Life-Story; from the recollections and documents of Beatrice Houdini'', Harcourt, Brace Co., June 1928.</ref>
  
Houdini published his [[Conjurers' Monthly Magazine]], that only ran for one year from September 1906 until August 1907 as a competitor to the [[Sphinx]].
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He had changed his name to Harry Houdini because the French conjurer, [[Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin]] was one of his biggest inspirations.<ref name=Kalush1/>
  
The magazine touted Houdini's importance to the world of magic, gossip about magicians he did not like and criticism of his imitators.
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{{Youtube Thumb|mUbytEgTXZQ|250||left}}
  
During his career, Houdini inspired many [[Houdini imitators|imitators]], men and women. Some duplicated his escapes and others during the height of his fame were just trying to capitalize on his name.  Houdini often ruthlessly defended his domain by challenging these imitators, advertising that his act was "patented" with threats to sue them, exposing them, or training someone of his own liking (including his brother [[Hardeen]]). <ref>The secret life of Houdini: the making of America's first superhero By William Kalush, Larry Sloman (2006)</ref>
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==Legacy==
 +
 
 +
Harry Houdini is the one of the most famous escape artists/magicians who has ever lived.
 +
 
 +
[[Houdini's unique escapes|Houdini escaped from many unique situations]], and invented some of the most memorable escapes in the history of magic, such as the "[[Chinese Torture Cell]]", "[[Metamorphosis]]" and a number of others.
 +
 
 +
During his career, Houdini inspired many [[Houdini imitators|imitators]], men and women. Some duplicated his escapes and others during the height of his fame were just trying to capitalize on his name.<ref name=Kellock1/> Houdini often ruthlessly defended his domain by challenging these imitators, advertising that his act was "patented" with threats to sue them, exposing them, or training someone of his own liking (including his brother [[Hardeen]]).<ref name=Kalush1>William Kalush and Larry Sloman - ''The Secret Life of Houdini: the making of America's first superhero'' (2006).</ref>
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{{clear}}
  
 
== Quotes ==
 
== Quotes ==
"It's not the trick. It's the magician." --Harry Houdini
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"''It's not the trick. It's the magician.''" --Harry Houdini
  
 
==Books==
 
==Books==
 
* [[The Right Way to Do Wrong]] (1906)
 
* [[The Right Way to Do Wrong]] (1906)
 
*[[The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin]] (1908)
 
*[[The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin]] (1908)
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* [[Handcuff Secrets]] (1910)
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* [[Magical Rope Ties and Escapes]] (1921)
 
*[[Miracle Mongers and Their Methods]] (1920)
 
*[[Miracle Mongers and Their Methods]] (1920)
*[[Houdini's Paper Magic]] (1922)
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*[[Houdini's Paper Magic]] (1922)  
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*[[Elliott's Last Legacy]] (1923)
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* [[A Magician Among the Spirits]] (1924)
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* [[Exposes the tricks used by the Boston Medium "Margery"]] (1925)
 +
 
 +
==Periodicals==
 +
Houdini published his [[Conjurers' Monthly Magazine]], that ran for one year from September 1906 until August 1907, as a competitor to the [[Sphinx]].
 +
 
 +
The magazine touted Houdini's importance to the world of magic, and contained gossip about magicians he did not like and criticism of his imitators.
  
 
{{References}}
 
{{References}}
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* Cover [[Genii 1999 December]]
 
* Cover [[Genii 1999 December]]
 
* Cover [[Genii 2011 January]]
 
* Cover [[Genii 2011 January]]
 +
  
 
* Bess [[Genii 1938 October]]
 
* Bess [[Genii 1938 October]]
 
* Hardeen [[Genii 1943 October]]
 
* Hardeen [[Genii 1943 October]]
  
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==External links==
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* [http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/p/bibliography.html Wild About Houdini Bibliography]
 
* [http://www.magicnook.com/forum/bioHIJ.htm Brief Biography] at The Magic Nook
 
* [http://www.magicnook.com/forum/bioHIJ.htm Brief Biography] at The Magic Nook
 
* [http://catalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?Search_Arg=%22houdini+Coll%22&Search_Code=GKEY^*&PID=0eBz-YnOu6Av1FhiZp9feeUj9&SEQ=20100406081908&CNT=100&HIST=1 Houdini Collection catalog at Library of Congress]
 
* [http://catalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?Search_Arg=%22houdini+Coll%22&Search_Code=GKEY^*&PID=0eBz-YnOu6Av1FhiZp9feeUj9&SEQ=20100406081908&CNT=100&HIST=1 Houdini Collection catalog at Library of Congress]
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* [http://houdinihimself.com  Kevin Connolly's Houdini site]
 
* [http://houdinihimself.com  Kevin Connolly's Houdini site]
 
* [http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/ Wild About Houdini Blog]
 
* [http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/ Wild About Houdini Blog]
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* [http://www.findacadabra.com Findacadabra] - World map of magic places, featuring points of interest related to Harry Houdini.
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* [http://houdinispeaks.com/houdini-in-foreign-languages.html Foreign language bibliography]
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 +
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Latest revision as of 09:57, 25 July 2015

Harry Houdini
BornErik Weisz
March 24, 1874
Budapest, Hungary
DiedOctober 31, 1926 (age 52)
Detroit, Michigan
CategoriesBooks by Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini (March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926) whose birth name in Hungary was Erik Weisz (which was changed to Ehrich Weiss when he immigrated to the United States), was a Hungarian American magician, escapologist (widely regarded as one of the greatest ever), and stunt performer, as well as a skeptic and investigator of spiritualists, film producer, and actor.

Contents

Biography

Initially, Houdini's magic career resulted in little success. He performed in dime museums and sideshows, and even doubled as "the Wild Man" at a circus.

Early in his career, Houdini focused on traditional card tricks. At one point, he billed himself as the "King of Cards". But he soon began experimenting with escape acts.

In 1893, while performing with his brother "Dash" at Coney Island as "The Brothers Houdini", Harry met and married fellow performer Bess (Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner).[1] Bess soon replaced Dash in the act, which became known as "The Houdinis", and in 1894 they were married. For the rest of Houdini's performing career, Bess would work as his stage assistant.[1]

He had changed his name to Harry Houdini because the French conjurer, Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin was one of his biggest inspirations.[2]


Legacy

Harry Houdini is the one of the most famous escape artists/magicians who has ever lived.

Houdini escaped from many unique situations, and invented some of the most memorable escapes in the history of magic, such as the "Chinese Torture Cell", "Metamorphosis" and a number of others.

During his career, Houdini inspired many imitators, men and women. Some duplicated his escapes and others during the height of his fame were just trying to capitalize on his name.[1] Houdini often ruthlessly defended his domain by challenging these imitators, advertising that his act was "patented" with threats to sue them, exposing them, or training someone of his own liking (including his brother Hardeen).[2]

Quotes

"It's not the trick. It's the magician." --Harry Houdini

Books

Periodicals

Houdini published his Conjurers' Monthly Magazine, that ran for one year from September 1906 until August 1907, as a competitor to the Sphinx.

The magazine touted Houdini's importance to the world of magic, and contained gossip about magicians he did not like and criticism of his imitators.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Harold Kellock - Houdini: His Life-Story; from the recollections and documents of Beatrice Houdini, Harcourt, Brace Co., June 1928.
  2. 2.0 2.1 William Kalush and Larry Sloman - The Secret Life of Houdini: the making of America's first superhero (2006).
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