Friday, May 1, 2015

The color of Houdini's bathing suit?

Here is a colorized image of Houdini created by Dana R. Keller ( Dana previously colorized another image of this same escape -- Houdini's 1914 overboard packing case escape off Battery Park -- but this time the artist has made an interesting new choice in regards to the color of Houdini's bathing suit.

As you can see, Houdini is wearing red bathing trunks here. In Dana's earlier image it was gray and black. While we know Houdini wore an all-white bathing suit during his 1912 NY overboard box escape, the color of the 1914 suit was never recorded (as far as I know.) But in a description of a 1908 bridge jump in Philadelphia, a newspaper described Houdini as wearing "a bright red swimming suit," so red is a possibility here. It also makes sense that Houdini would wear a color that would make him visible among the crowd and in the water.

The color of the bathing suit Houdini wore onstage during his Water Torture Cell is recorded as having been a light blue.

You can buy a print of the above image at Dana Keller's Redbubble page.

UPDATE: We now know Houdini wore a "cerise-colored" bathing suit during his famous jump from the Harvard Bridge in 1908.

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  1. Wow, love this.

    Go to Dana Keller's Redbubble page, click on this image to enlarge it. Then, on a Mac, go to the top and under "View", pull down the tab to "Zoom in". And keep zooming in. You'll be blown away at how much detail you can see.

    1. Hey, that's a nifty trick. I'd never noticed the guy with the camera on the second level shooting down at him. What ever happened to those pics, I wonder?

    2. I was thinking the same thing.

  2. Click on the link that says "earlier image" and you will see the shot of HH was taken from the second level. Could have been that cameraman.

    1. I thought about that, but it's from an entirely different angle. It's not directly above him looking down into the box, which is what I'd love to see. But I guess it's possible the cameraman moved. Or it could have been a different cameraman. I'm sure there were many.

      BTW, this escape was filmed by Houdini and newsreel cameras. Not a frame of film survives as far as I know. That's the real loss.


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