Friday, October 19, 2018

Bess never looked up

Here's a terrific article from the April 27, 1916 Baltimore Evening Sun. This ran the day after Houdini's suspended straitjacket escape from the Sun building before a crowd of 50,000. I'm always excited to find something like this that not only gives us fresh insight into Bess, but also provides untypical details about an outdoor stunt. And an awesome new photo!

While I'm sure Bess was able to act the part of the "worried wife/assistant" when called upon, there are details here, such as being concerned about his internal organs, that makes me think her anxiety about this particular stunt was genuine. And recall the postcard I recently shared written on the day of his suspended straitjacket escape in Kansas City in which Bess wished she was home in Brooklyn "where I belong."

Speaking of Baltimore, I will be appearing at The Jewish Museum of Maryland on November 4th with a talk about Houdini in Hollywood and screening of The Grim Game. If I have time, I will seek out the location of this escape. And I will look up!



  1. Well, lol, I need to re-record a piece from an upcoming podcast because I was using this same clipping, lol.

    1. Oops. Sorry about that! I've been sitting with this one for a while.

  2. There's a contrast in this photo. Bess looks serious while Harry grins for the camera. That man loved cameras.