Friday, June 6, 2014

LINK: The Fenton Lock

Here is a must read article at the David De-Val Tribute Site about The Fenton Lock, which is claimed to be a lock that "beat The Great Houdini."

That designation is a touch misleading. Houdini was indeed challenged with The Fenton Lock (twice), but he refused the challenge (twice) because he was not allowed to examine it before hand. This was a standard condition of his when challenged with a non-regulation lock such as this.

Click here or on the headline to have a read at the David De-Val Tribute Site. You can also see video of The Fenton Lock HERE.

Thanks to Allan and Rebecca (below) for the photos and great work on this post.


  1. During the challenge phase of his early career, Houdini did indeed decline certain challenges that he thought were too risky. We don't know much about that probably because Houdini kept it under wraps. Declining too many challenges begins to look like a cop out.

    That would make a cool blog: The Challenges Houdini Declined.

    1. One of the biographies, I forget which one, discusses some of these refused challenges. Some crazy and sadistic stuff, like sowing his skin to the floor, etc. That would make a good blog post.

  2. I know that Silverman mentioned a few in his book. One challenger wanted to rivet two bathtubs together with Houdini trapped inside. Another wanted to blow a huge glass bulb while Houdini was still in it. I believe Steranko worked on that idea.

    That would by the way, be another great blog: Jim Steranko.

    1. Yes, it's probably Silverman I'm thinking about. I like the bathtub idea. Seems like HH could have worked that out.

      I did give Steranko some love HERE.

  3. Here is a link to the replica lock made by Ian McColl:

  4. I do not think Houdini was afraid of the challenge, but perhaps looked at
    it as being to simple.
    Being an escape artist, I see a major flaw in its construction, offering an easy way out. Perhaps so did Houdini.
    Deval went thru life trying to best Houdini by recreating Houdinis stunts.
    But he is still in his shadow. Jon Oliver