Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Hardeen's Tacoma bridge jump

In 1908 Hardeen made a successful tour of the Pantages circuit in the western United States. Below is an account of a bridge jump in Tacoma, Washington, on October 12. There are not a lot of photos of Hardeen's outside stunts, so I was excited to see these images. It's also great to read the details of a Hardeen jump. Notice that he, like his brother, wore a red bathing suit.

Tacoma Daily News, Oct. 12, 1908.

I came across this clipping while working on my 1908 Houdini chronology. At the moment, I'm resisting adding Hardeen stunts to the chronology because I fear that will open a can of worms. But whenever I find something like this, it strikes me how feasible it would be for someone to write a proper Hardeen biography. It's all online to find!

By the way, Hardeen was popular in Tacoma. I'll share an example of just how popular next.


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7 comments:

  1. Wow--One minute and 30 seconds underwater...Hardeen really "milked it".

    Houdini was more of a "15 - 30 second man", no?

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    1. I've read varying accounts of how long Houdini stayed underwater. In the 1907 footage he comes up in seconds. But some news accounts say he stayed under longer. Once so long people started diving into the water to save him.

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  2. It's late 1908 and Hardeen is doing...the Milk Can. WTH? Harry must have given him permission early on. A rival doing the Milk Can in 1908 was out of the question. You had to be Harry's bro to perform this.

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    1. Yep, Hardeen started doing it on this tour. Believe it or not, he advertised it as "his own original invention."

      Houdini also allowed Leonard Hicks to perform the Milk Can on the Burlesque circuit at this time. But the circuit had to pay HH big bucks for the privilege.

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    2. That's funny. The Milk Can wasn't even Houdini's invention. The amount of BS in show business is mind boggling.

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    3. Wait, you meant the Milk Can wasn't Hardeen's invention, right? Houdini and Hardeen shared the same basic wording in many of their ads, so not a big surprise to see this.

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    4. I tell you, the ad similarities, and Hardeen's early access to the Milk Can indicates that the two brothers were collaborating more than I had previously thought. I thought Hardeen had his touring act and was living his own life. It appears there were frequent meetings between them.

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