Wednesday, February 7, 2018

New image of Houdini in straitjacket

Here's a terrific photo of Houdini in a straitjacket that I've not seen before. This comes from the March 15, 1908 Pittsburgh Daily Post Sun. It's always exciting to find something like this. Now if we can just find a better version of this shot.


During that same search I also turned up what I believe to be a new portrait shot. This is also from the Pittsburgh Daily Post Sun, March 8, 1908.


Related:

14 comments:

  1. LOVE when these little gems show up.

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    1. By the way, that jacket looks like the one sold by Christies for $49,980

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    2. It does. But it's amazing to think HH was using the same exact jacket in 1908 and 1923. He may have had several of the same design.

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  2. Wow you gotta love it when you find new pictures like these. That does look like the Christies SJ.
    Jack

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    1. How much you wanna bet that he also took a reverse shot showing the back?

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    1. Haha. Indeed not! (I almost put that in as the last line of the post.)

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  4. Leo I was waiting for someone to call out no SJF!
    I hope you find that reverse shot John. Do you think this model was created by Houdini or a standard SJ used by insane asylums? I think he at least added the leather and rivets to make it look more cruel and torturous.
    Jack

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    1. I don't know where the idea comes from that Houdini made any of his straitjackets. It's my understanding these were the regulation straitjackets of the day.

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  5. All the hospital and insane asylum jackets I've seen are plain white canvas. It makes you wonder if Harry had them custom made to make it look more dramatic as Jack pointed out.

    We know he had some jackets specially made with longer sleeves and a shorter body for the outdoor hanging escapes.

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    1. Well, today they are white, but we're talking about the turn of the century.

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    2. Yes--it was the turn of the century but still seems like an added expense to have jackets made with leather parts and rivets. At some point institutions must have decided the leather material did not justify the expense--if indeed they did use leather canvas combo jackets.

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  6. The second photo, with arms folded, seems to have been a favored pose of Houdini's. You can see it in the US postage stamp of him.

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    1. Indeed it was. You might know the postage stamp image comes from a famous 1911 lithograph some call the "Houdini for President" poster (I hate calling it that). In fact, this portrait is so close, I almost thought it might have been used as the model for poster. But the clothes are wrong and there's another more likely pic of HH taken later.

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