Thursday, January 11, 2024

The Russian Manacle is returning to Whittier

The S.A.M. Hall of Fame collection will once again be exhibited at the Whittier Historical Society & Museum in Whittier, California. The exhibit includes an impressive Houdini display with three rare handcuff boards, one holding the original Russian Manacle! Below are details about the special launch day celebration on January 27.

The Whittier Museum is excited to welcome back the Society of American Magicians Hall of Fame for a one-of-a-kind exhibition on the history of magic and famous magicians! You do not want to miss this display!

Were you lucky to have seen this exhibit ten years ago? Well, it's back and BIGGER than the last time! You'll see illusions, props, costumes, and more kinds of memorabilia from the early 1900s to the present day. Including items belonging to Harry Houdini!

This exhibit will be on display till the end of December 2024, on the second floor of the Whittier Museum. We will be hosting a grand opening ceremony and show on Saturday, January 27th, beginning at 12 PM. This is a FREE grand opening for everyone to attend! The magic show will begin at 2 PM.

Several other magicians will be present throughout the exhibit to explain and demonstrate various illusions and tricks.

Mark your calendars for January 27th and tell your friends!

I'll be attending. Hope to see you there!

Check out the S.A.M. Hall of Fame Facebook page for more information and pics.

Want more? You can see an unpublished photo of Edward Saint with these three handcuff boards as a member of my Patreon.


  1. A great photo of Saint with the three manacle boards! Thanks for posting it on Patreon! But I'm left with a question:

    1. How did this collection of manacles travel from NYC to Los Angeles? HH must have stored his collection of manacles in 278 in trunks. Hardeen must have showed up to 278 after his death to collect this stuff since HH had willed him the magic and escape collection. Did Hardeen loan this out to Bess and Saint for the Final Seance? Or did Bess manage to keep this stuff with her instead of letting Hardeen take it? Doubtful. I think she traveled light with Saint and only kept a few things like the Mirror Cuffs and the silver replica.

    1. He could have asked Hardeen to ship him an assortment of display cuffs.

    2. ...and don't forget to see the "Die Box", attributed to Houdini. For this new exhibit, it has been moved to a waist-high display case - for easier viewing.

    3. If Hardeen loaned out the manacles to Ed Saint, then he never got them back.

    4. Yes, J. Fox, the Die Box! Back in 2012, I don't we realized HH did the Die Box. But we sure know that now.

    5. The Die Box is in Silverman. Read the chapter on Marie Blood's recollections. HH brought her on stage with him and he did the Die Box. Marie incorrectly answered his questions during the routine and cried because she thought she ruined it for HH. He picked her up and consoled her. C'mon man it's in Silverman!

    6. Page 425. It was the last time little Marie saw HH alive: At the 44th Street theater performing the Die Box.

    7. Nice, thanks. I guess I did know about the Die Box back in 2012 then. I've since read many accounts of him doing it during special shows for children. There's a fairly lengthy description in a Cleveland paper in 1925.

    8. You're welcome! Marie called it the Domino Box, but based on her description about it sliding inside the box, it has to be the Die Box. Get this--there's a photo in Christopher's Pictorial History of HH performing the Die Box at at an outdoor setting in a children's hospital. I think it's the Die Box but I'm not sure, going on memory here.