Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hear a snippet of unreleased Houdini voice recording

Homer Liwag recently toured David Copperfield's amazing magic collection in Las Vegas for Alumni Spotlight. This video is worth watching no matter what, but what makes it extra special is we get to hear snippets of Houdini's voice NOT heard in the available recording.

As Arthur Moses first revealed in 2012, the Houdini voice recording that is publicly available is actually an edited combination of two different recordings Houdini made introducing his Water Torture Cell in 1914. For those who have the recording burned into your brains, have a listen starting around 4:08 and you'll hear the differences.

For those who don't know the recordings as well, highlighted below are the differences:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I take great pleasure in introducing my latest invention: The Water Torture Cell. Although there is nothing supernatural about it, I claim that it is absolutely impossible..."

I should point out that Tom Interval used the first sentence in his excellent clean-up and restoration of the original recording (which can be heard here), so that may sound familiar. But the last line -- "I claim that it is absolutely impossible" -- has largely gone unheard.

I've had the pleasure of hearing both the full recordings on a few occasions. Click on over to Arthur Moses official website to read transcripts of those two unedited recordings.



  1. Wow that was a real thrill to hear that. Thanks for the post John!


  2. John, I realize that some of what I find to be stiffness in HH's delivery is a combination of overenunciation for the recording apparatus and the stage, but in the longer version, does he loosen up any? Or is the whole thing as precise as in the excerpts? And do you think there's any chance Mr. Copperfield will release the full versions one day?

    1. No, Houdini sounds exactly the same throughout both recordings.

      Man, it would be great if Copperfield released the full recordings (along with the never heard other recording of HH and his sister), but I don't see it happening.