Once there was a man from Hungary who wanted to join the world of entertainment. His wish was granted in 1891 when he joined a traveling circus. He became known, for a short time, as “King of Cards.” His fellow magicians saw him as a man with some skill, although nothing he did really impressed them.
He Begins To Strut His Stuff
Maybe his card skills did not impress his fellow magicians, but he went on to show audiences across the world his considerable abilities to escape. Put him in a straitjacket; he would escape. Put on handcuffs; he would escape. The same for ropes – he would just wiggle out of them. His goal eventually became to determine how he could make each of his tasks more difficult.
His Reputation Continues To Grow
It was not long after his escape antics became so great, when he became so obsessed with tricks, that people became to know him as Harry Houdini. As time passed, and he became even more famous, he was simply called “Houdini.” He was well-known for several tricks. In one of them, he swallowed needles and thread and then had himself buried alive on stage. Moments later, he burst out of his casket and regurgitated the needles – threaded with the cotton.
Handcuffs Became His Thing
Houdini often got a kick out of challenging the police to lock him up on the street. If any of them agreed to handcuff him, no matter what, he would escape from the cuffs. He would even jump into a river handcuffed and exit the water totally free. He then challenged anyone in the world to build a pair of handcuffs that could hold him. One company spent five years designing a unique pair. They felt confident they would win the prize – wrong, Houdini escaped in minutes.
Houdini Gets Into The Water
Not only could Houdini perform with a degree of speed, he then started having himself submerged in water and then escaped. In 1912 Houdini was secured by his feet upside down, followed by being dunked in a watertight chamber. He fascinated his audiences by escaping in minutes – one time, he did break his ankle. He wanted the container he was submerged in to be burned after he died. However, his brother kept the contraption intact. In 1995 it burned, but it happened because of a museum fire.
Houdini’s Last Act
The magician faced death countless times with some of his different acts. He was known to have a high pain tolerance. After one performance, a fan asked to punch Houdini in his stomach as hard as he could. Houdini allowed the fan to do so. He didn’t see a doctor for several days, even though he was suffering from appendicitis. This turned out to be his final stunt, and he died as a result of it.
Houdini was known as a great performer; unfortunately his last act could seemingly have been prevented had he used a little common sense.