Wednesday, December 5, 2018

New candidate for Houdini's first police station test

Our friend Bill Mullins has uncovered a new candidate for Houdini's first known police station handcuff escape. The below clipping from the Worcester Daily Spy includes a great description of the American Gaiety Girls performance on November 14, 1895, including how Houdini dealt with a "fresh" volunteer. The final paragraph mentions the station house escape on that same day. This is a week before our other candidate.

It would be poetic if this was Houdini's first such publicity stunt as Worcester was also the site of his last known publicity stunt in 1926 (the Summerfield's Department Store test). In fact, Worcester seems to have been a place where Houdini tried many firsts, including his Buried Alive.

Thank you Bill.



  1. What do you make of the comment Houdini did the old box trick which Harry Brown introduced last season?

    P;us we are getting endless request to prove we are not robots and had to attempt this about 4 times.

    1. Yes, that is intriguing! I don't know who Harry Brown is, but this is worth investigating.

      Sorry for the commenting issues. I don't have much control over that, but I've turned off all verifications for newer posts, so I'm not sure why you are being asked. :(

  2. Remarkable find! Yes that comment about Harry Brown is interesting.

  3. Harry Brown magician? Spent some time but could find no reference to a magician or vaudevillian in that era. There was an actor, and an established black entertainer by that name and an established song writer. Any thoughts?

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  4. What was Harry Brown's presentation like? It was an old trick according to the article. I've read about other magicians that escaped from a box. Others had the box locked first, then entered it. But I have never read about any magician doing the sub trunk exchange that Houdini later developed.