След Нации Category: HungaryСлед Нации Tags: Harry Houdini, Гарри Гудини, иллюзионист, фокусы, цирк, and чудеса
In addition to his main activity, he gave acting lessons and wrote scripts, but was unable to achieve much success in this. Moreover, as a passionate aviator, he bought his own plane and became the first person to fly an airplane over Australia. He wanted to be remembered as an aviation pioneer, not as a legendary magician.
The early years of the magician
Harry Houdini claimed to be born on April 6, 1874 in Appleton, Wisconsin. The truth was that his name was Eric Weiss, he was born on March 24, 1874 in Budapest, Hungary and was the youngest of the three sons of Rabbi Samuel Weiss. In search of a better life, the Weiss family left Hungary and settled in America. They immigrated to the United States in 1878, where they changed their surname to German Weiss, and his future magician’s name was changed to Erich.
In his youth, Erich was dedicated to his mother, and looked for ways to make her difficult life easier. At one point, he even begged on the street. He hid coins in his hair and clothes, and then said to his mother: “Shake me, I am magic.” When she fulfilled the request, a fountain of coins poured from the young man. However, the family remained poor and at the age of eight, Erich began selling newspapers and shining shoes.
The young man was very interested in magic. After he started working as a circus acrobat, he began to study locks and the skill of breaking them with the help of improvised means. To make money for his hobby, he also worked as an assistant in a garment factory. At the age of seventeen, Erich entered show business, receiving a stage name in honor of the nineteenth-century French magician Robert-Houdin. The nickname “Harry” was the Americanized version of Erich. At twenty, the illusionist married Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner, who became his partner on stage.
Career American King of Illusions
Harry Houdini began to gain recognition in 1899 when he performed handcuffs at the best venues in vaudeville organized by entertainment manager Martin Beck. These actions made him the highest paid performer on the American stage. In the early 1900s, he performed throughout the United States, expanding his trick repertoire. His performances included getting rid of handcuffs and straitjackets, escaping coffins, nail boxes and closed water-filled tanks.
Gradually he took his show to Europe and, after an initial competition, was produced by Dundas Slater, who booked performances at the Alhambra Theater six months in advance. Harry Houdini’s supernatural agility and quick thinking took him to scenes in Scotland, France, Germany, England, Russia and the Netherlands, where he was arrested by the local police more than once, which did not prevent him from making successful escapes. At each performance, he invited police officers to the stage, who examined his props to make sure they were real. In addition, Houdini was a master at hiding things. When he had to part with his clothes, he would sometimes hide small tools in a fold of leather on the sole of his foot. In 1908, he began performing a performance in which he was locked inside a large iron tank filled with water. He could escape from it within three minutes.
Biography of works by Harry Houdini
Houdini made his debut in filmmaking with the documentary on his escape The Wonderful Feats of Celeb Houdini in Paris (1901) and played in a wide variety of films such as The Dark Game, The Master of the Mystery, The Isle of Terror and The Man from the Outside. He launched his film production company Houdini Picture Corporation and founded The Film Development Corporation, but none of these projects were successful. In 1909 he created the film “Secrets of Handcuffs”, which showed techniques for opening locks using the appropriate force or using hidden locks, laces and keys.
Several books have been published in his literary career, such as The Miracle Traders and Their Methods (1920), The Magic Knotted Rope (1920), The Houdini’s Magic Magic (1921) and The Wizard Among Spirits (1924). In 1916, he convinced local magic clubs to join the Society of American Magicians (SAM) in various cities in the United States, and went on to create the richest and longest-lived organization of magicians in the world.
Magician’s Trick Facts
In 1904, Houdini, during a 90-minute struggle, freed himself from special handcuffs made by a locksmith from Birmingham and considered this the most difficult escape of his career.
In 1908 he invented the Milk Can Escape technique, where he was handcuffed and locked inside a tank filled with water (later milk).
Among his most memorable incidents was an underwater escape in 1912. It took the illusionist 57 seconds to unlock the handcuffs and escape the crate, loaded with 200 pounds of lead and submerged in water.
In 1912, he introduced the China Torture Chamber. In this performance, he was suspended upside down in a closed steel tank filled with water and held his breath for more than three minutes to escape.
Staying immersed in a sealed bronze coffin for an hour and a half, he broke the record of Egyptian performer Rahman Bey, claiming that he breathes calmly without using any supernatural powers.
Spiritual World of Harry Houdini
In 1913, after the death of his mother, Harry Houdini became interested in establishing contacts with psychics and people who “went beyond the limit.” His attempts in this area led to an acquaintance with the writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the Sherlock Holmes character. In 1908, as a publicity stunt, Harry Houdini wrote a letter to Holmes asking for help in finding the scammers who had stolen his techniques. By 1920, the two creators had formed a friendship based on their talent and their grief – just as Houdini lost his beloved mother, Doyle lost his son, Kingsley.
Gradually, the friendship began to weaken. Harry Houdini was not as strong as Doyle. Part of the illusionist’s career has been devoted to exposing psychics who pretended to communicate with spirits. At the time, Houdini felt that Doyle was too blinded by grief to maintain his clarity of mind. At one time, Doyle believed that Harry Houdini was not open enough and was too eager to expose the fraud. This was the end of the friendship between the two men.
Death of the legend
The legendary magician’s affection for his mother was deep, her death was the only thing from which he could not escape. In the last years of the illusionist’s life, there were legends about his meeting with the spirit of the mother. There was never any evidence of real contact with Harry Houdini’s mother, but her death haunted the artist until his own death. This event was overshadowed by the myths that always accompanied it.
What actually happened was that Houdini, while on tour in Montreal, was resting behind the scenes, where students came to him. Harry Houdini often urged people to punch him in the stomach with all their might, and he agreed to let one of the students take another punch. But the student struck while Houdini was still lying on the couch, not having time to prepare for the strike. The result was a ruptured appendicitis and damage to other internal organs. Within two days without treatment, an infection developed that struck Harry Houdini while performing in Detroit.
On October 24, 1926, he was operated on at Grace Hospital, Detroit. During a second operation and the injection of an experimental serum, Harry Houdini died on October 31, 1926. He was flown from Detroit to New York in a bronze capsule that was engineered for his stunt in 1927. He was buried in Machpelah Cemetery in Glendale, Queens on November 4, 1926, in the presence of 2,000 mourners. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1975.
Even after Houdini’s death, he knew how to create interest in his personality. His widow made headlines announcing that on the anniversary of her husband’s death, she was going to try to make contact with his spirit. This went on for about ten years, and although the wife once stated that contact had taken place, she later retracted her words. Nevertheless, Harry Houdini continued to live in the public’s imagination. After a life claiming to be a mythical nature, Houdini himself became a myth.
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