Mega collector Arthur Moses has miraculously unearthed the two complete 3:30+ minute recordings of Houdini doing his Water Torture Cell patter, and played them in their entirety, along with on-screen text transcriptions, for the stunned convention attendees. In essence, what we heard tonight was good five and half minutes of Houdini's voice that has NEVER been heard or broadcast publicly.
I almost fainted.
What's revelatory, and what makes this a true "game changer," is that Arthur was able to demonstrate how the familiar 1:20 minute speech is actually an edited and highly abbreviated amalgamation of both these recordings. So it is not Houdini's authentic USD patter. In the authentic recording heard tonight Houdini describes the USD "apparatus" in detail, including the inner cage and the steel bands that encircle the cell, and very craftily teases out the danger of the effect. We also hear his invitation for a committee of "10 to 15 gentleman" to join him on stage. In one of the recordings he signs off by saying: "This record spoken by Harry Houdini."
I'll have more on this and the entire Magic Collector Weekend when I return. Keep following me on Twitter @HoudiniWild for the latest.
|Arthur and his crew study the Houdini voice recordings transcriptions.|
UPDATE: REPORT: Houdini haunts The 43rd Magic Collectors Weekend.
UPDATE 2: Arthur Moses posts transcripts of the full Houdini voice recordings.