Thursday, November 1, 2007

Unlocking the truth of the Mirror Handcuff challenge

Master Locksmith and Houdini historian Mick Hanzlik has published a terrific booklet, Houdini’s Mirror Handcuff Challenge, Getting Closer to the Truth, which lays out his investigation of the 1904 Mirror Handcuff Challenge, one of Houdini’s most famous and celebrated challenge escapes.

Hanzlik helped authors William Kalush and Larry Sloman research the Mirror Challenge for their book, The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of Americas First Superhero. The authors concluded that the escape was a set-up, citing evidence that the cuff was made a full year before the escape and appeared to be custom-made for Houdini’s wrists.

Hanzlik has now gone on to discover the man he believes actually manufactured the Mirror cuff, Thomas Froggatt, and has found evidence that Froggatt was indeed a friend of Houdini.

It’s all terrific stuff, but the full truth is still elusive. Mick says he’ll continue his investigation and will publish an updated book with new findings.

UPDATE: Mick has released a new book about the making of his Mirror replica: Looking into the Mirror.


  1. I'll be interested to hear what he comes up with. It's an amazing story, this.

    Even if it was a set up, the ingenuity of the man was amazing. He had a vision in his head for how he wanted to be seen and remembered and he knew how to make it happen.

  2. Mick released his latest book, Looking into the Mirror, in 2010.

  3. Ah I was wondering if that was the follow up. Thanks.

  4. Be for my gand parents sold mirror handcuff I used to play with them,before she sold them in 1972.