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Needle Trick

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Needle Trick is an effect where the magician swallows sewing needles and a piece of thread and regurgitating them strung together on the thread. Also has been called over the years "The Great Needle Swallowing Trick", "Needle Swallowing", "East Indian Needle Feat", "Hindoo Needle Trick" and "The Hindu Needle Trick".

The trick was derived from the Bead Trick from East India.

Houdini began performing it in 1899 and continued to do so until his death in 1926. In 1917 Houdini gained the exclusive right to present the Needle Trick in vaudeville, by decision of the National Vaudeville Artists Arbitration Board. [1]

Magicians also started performing it safety razor blades around 1929 as Razor Blade Trick. See ad in The Linking Ring, Vol. 10, No. 6, August. 1930, page 736.

Other well known performers of the Needle trick are:


  • How to Swallow a Number of Needles and Yards of Thread, page 242 in Amateur Amusements by Professor Lorento (1878)
  • MUM, No. 53 Vol. 6 New York, August, 1917, page 4