The Overboard Box

The Overboard Box was Houdini's signature outdoor escape from 1912 to 1916. In this feat, Houdini would be shacked and nailed into a heavy packing crate. The crate would be wound in ropes and weighed down with steel weights. It would then be sent down a plank or lowered via block and tackle into the water. In a few minutes, Houdini would come to the surface free. The box would be retrieved and found to still be sealed.

Houdini's first overboard box escape was on July 7, 1912 off Governors Island in New York. In 1914 he repeated the stunt off New York's Battery before a crowd numbering 15,000. Houdini performed the escape several times (see below a list of known escapes), and also did it on-stage in the water tanks of Hammerstein's Victoria Theater in 1914 and the New York Hippodrome in 1918. The overboard box also appears in two of his movies, The Master Mystery (1918) and Terror Island (1920).

After Houdini's death, his brother Hardeen made the overboard box his own signature outdoor escape, performing it several times from Atlantic City's Million Dollar Pier.

July 7, 1912: First overboard box escape off Governors Island, NYC
Aug. 21, 1912: Overboard box at private party at Belmont estate, Newport, RI.
July 15, 1914: Overboard box off Battery Park, NYC.
1914: Overboard box in Sandy Hook, NJ.
July 28, 1915: Overboard box from Garden Pier, Atlantic City, NJ.
Aug. 17, 1915: Overboard box at Ward's Baths, Coney Island, NY.
Nov. 6, 1915: Overboard box in San Francisco Bay, CA.
July 25, 1916: Overboard box escape (in rain) off Parkway Baths, Brighton Beach, NY.
1918: Houdini films overboard box escape for The Master Mystery in NJ. 
1919: Houdini films overboard box escape for Terror Island in CA.

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