Saturday, March 18, 2023

Houdini bares all for Fair Harvard

During Houdini's run in Boston in May 1908 he gave a special performance for students at Harvard University. But there was a slight snafu. This is a story that appears in several Houdini biographies, but it's nice to read a primary source and see there was a bit more to it. The below account is from the May 7, 1908 Boston Globe:

Click to enlarge.

While the article doesn't explicity state that Houdini did the escape naked, I think it's pretty clear that he did!

Even after he left town the campus still seemed to have Houdini fever. It even inspired some pranksters, as reported in the May 22, 1908 Boston Globe:

Click to enlarge.

You can read more about Harvard's infamous "Med Fac" society HERE.



  1. We finally get the skinny on Houdini's skinny dip into the can! Thank you for the newspaper article! The bios never mentioned that it was put to a vote. The faculty made the students repeat the vote again! That was great! You have to wonder if there were any women in the auditorium who had snuck in before the show. Another retirement announcement from a workaholic.

    1. The Hardeen can at the Bob Lund American Museum has air holes all around the lid. I don't see air holes on the lid of this can.