Sunday, March 22, 2020

Houdini's 1923 San Francisco straitjacket escape in photos

On March 19, 1923, Houdini did a suspended straitjacket escape from the Hearst Building in San Fransisco. The story of the escape and its preparation were well told in photos that ran in the San Fransisco Examiner, some of which may be new to folks. Click to enlarge and enjoy!

Happily, the Hearst building still stands at the corner of 3rd & Market Street in downtown San Fransisco. Below is the building as it appears today with the location of Houdini's escape marked.

Below are links to some other notable suspended straitjacket escapes.



  1. Nice! That's the Pawn Stars jacket again.

  2. Really great coverage and very nice photography; that shot of Harry "testing his knees" on the fire escape ladder is especially interesting. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Wait a minute. Is that HH dangling from the Hearst Building in the color photo?

  4. I've updated the photo as I now have a better understanding of exactly where Houdini dangled.