Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Doug Henning does Houdini's Conradi Lamps

Dean Carnegie has shared a real treat over at The Magic Detective blog. It's a short clip of Doug Henning performing the Conradi Lamps. This was an effect Houdini performed in his 3 Shows in One. This appears to be from Doug's fifth special in 1982 and is beautifully done as you might expect. Click the image below to check it out.

Watch at The Magic Detective.

The lamps Doug used were provided by John Gaughan, who still owns them today. They are not Houdini's actual lamps, but vintage and still operational. Below is a photo of Houdini in his workshop where you can glimpse his own Conradi Lamps.

So along with the Water Torture Cell, the Vanishing Elephant, and Walking Through a Brick Wall, we can add the Conradi Lamps to the Houdini effects that Doug revived in his television specials.

Thanks to Jim Steinmeyer.



  1. That's a great effect!!! Very clean. Dean describes them as Houdini's lamps--not Gaughan's. I always wondered who the other two guys were in Houdini's shop.

    1. Yeah, I was wondering if they were Houdini's lamps. So I asked Jim Steinmeyer, who worked with Doug, and he told me they were John's. (You can see in the pics they are different.) John still has them and can still perform them.

  2. Wasn't there a story about them not working one night and Houdini went on a rant blaming Conradi from the stage? Any truth to that?

    1. Yep, I've heard that story. Apparently true.