- The Water Torture Cell
- The Milk Can
- Jail Breaks
- Murderers Row escape
- Siberian Transport Van
- Scotland Yard
- Bridge jumps
- Belle Isle Bridge jump
- Harvard Bridge jump
- Suspended Straitjacket
- The Overboard Box
- Mirror Handcuff Challenge
- Sea Monster Escape
- Weed Chain Tire Grip
- Buried Alive
- The Shelton Pool Test
- Full Bibliography
- By Houdini
- For Kids
- Wild About Harry Bookshelf
- Houdini His Life Story (1928)
- Houdini The Man Who Walked Through Walls (1959)
- Houdini The Untold Story (1969)
- The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini (1993)
- Houdini!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss (1997)
- The Secret Life of Houdini (2006)
- The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini (2012)
- The Witch of Lime Street (2015)
- Houdini interviewed by Louella Parsons (1918)
- Marie Rahner Hinson (Bess Houdini's sister)
- Karen Mann (Daughter of Jack Price)
- Anna Thurlow (Great granddaughter of Margery)
- Dorothy Young (Houdini assistant)
- Theo. Hardeen (radio interview)
- Rick Schmidlin (Grim Game restorationist)
- Michael Weston (Houdini & Doyle)
- Roger Dreyer (Houdini Museum of New York)
- Los Angeles Conference on Magic History (2015)
- Official Houdini Seance, San Francisco (2015)
- Houdini Historical Roast (2015)
- Midwest Magic History Weekend, Marshall (2015)
- The Grim Game premiere in Hollywood (2015)
- Houdini at Hollywood Heritage (2014)
- Official Houdini Seance, Fort Worth (2012)
- Magic Collectors Weekend, Chicago (2011)
- Tony Curtis at The Magic Castle (2009)
Jim Collins - the man who knew Houdini's secrets
Jim Collins worked as Houdini trusted chief assistant and mechanic from 1910 until Houdini's death in 1926. Collins was instrumental in the creation of many of Houdini most famous effects, including the Chinese Water Torture Cell.
Jim Collins is a bit of mystery. That's because he preferred to stay behind the scenes both during and after Houdini's career. But we do know he was born in the UK, possibly Portsmouth, on December 13, 1882. In 1902 he answered an ad in a London paper to become Hardeen's assistant. Houdini hired Collins on December 3, 1910 (at least this is date Collins signed his official oath of secrecy). It's speculated that Houdini needed Collins' carpentry skills in the construction of his Double Fold Defying Mystery box.
Eventually Collins replaced Franz Kukol as Houdini's chief assistant. Of his boss Collins said, "Many times, when there was no need for it as I was on regular salary, he gave me substantial presents and bonuses to show his appreciation...as far as I know no magician has ever paid an assistant what Houdini was generous enough to pay me."
According to the best sources, Collins was married twice. His first wife in England was Sarah Ann with whom he had five children; Lucy, Reginald, Nora, Sonny and Hilda. His second wife in America was a former showgirl named Maud Meyer. It's unclear if Collins was ever divorced from his first wife.
After Houdini's death, Collins went on to assist Hardeen during the 1930s and '40s. He even occasionally performed on his own. Jim Collins died in Philadelphia on March 6, 1942.
Jim Collins was played by Evan Jones in the 2015 Houdini miniseries which inexplicably portrayed him as a bumkin from Macon, Georgia. That same year Paul Zenon gave a far more accurate portrayal in a one-man play about Collins called Linking Rings.
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Family background information from The Magic Cafe.