HHCE has uncovered a better quality image in the Harry Ransom Center (right). A point of discussion has been the wooden slats that make up the lower portion of the box. The number of slats appear to be different from what we see on the box in auction and in the famous photo of Hardeen performing the escape. (Check out those pics here.)
It's possible Jim Collins enlarged the lower portion of the box so Hardeen could better fit in the escape. Or the wood could have been swapped out during repairs. Consider how wet this device would get. Or it's possible the photo is playing tricks with the light and the box is exactly the same.
What I'm more excited about is how this photo appears to confirm something that I've suspected for some time. In the 1971 BBC documentary, The Truth About Houdini, there is a shot of two Milk Cans sitting side by side, most likely on display at the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame in Canada (which originally displayed two cans). The can on the left is clearly recognizable as the can owned by Sid Radner and now in the David Copperfield collection. But the can on the right, which remained in the museum for many years, is a bit of a mystery.
Below is a photo of this Can in the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame that I took in 1990. At this point, a mannequin was housed inside, and Sid Radner told me Henry Mueller had "lost" the lid (Jesus). But take a good look at the base of the can. There appears to be a secondary rim and a large wing nut that drives downward. Maybe to secure the can to the bottom of the Double Fold box? Further evidence that we have our can.
|Click to enlarge.|
UPDATE: The mystery of what happened to this can is now solved! Check out: Houdini relics resurface in Santa Monica.