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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Interesting Handcuff Facts (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tod Todson
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Am interested in any interesting Houdini facts in this area:

1. First handcuffs/shackles he escaped from?
2. Hardest handcuffs he claimed to escape from?
3. His favourite hancuffs?
4. Handcuffs he never could escape from, or didn't dare publically?
[5. Any other trivia along these lines you can think of]

Thanks in advance to all you history buffs out there!
Mystifier, Youth Speaker
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Mick Hanzlik
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Mick Hanzlik
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Hardest handcuffs he claimed were The Mirror Cuffs, but these were one-offs. He always claimed publicly that Bean Giants were the most difficult production cuffs because it they were fitted with the keyhole facing the ground, it made it much more difficult to get at the lock. But he had his method!

I also think the Bean Giants were his favorite.

He had trouble one time when a policeman filled the lock with lead shot. Houdini only just noticed that and snapped them onto the policeman. They had to be cut off! Since then, to avoid any more sabotage, he always made sure they were in working order before they were put on his wrists.

Not sure about first handcuffs used. Obviously in 1900 when he came over to the UK, it would have been English Darbies, as that was all we used over here. He would have had experience with these before he left the US, so there is a fair chance that Darbies may have been some of the first he tackled. I know that Darbies were turned into "Bridge Jumpers" for his water dive escapes, for obvious safety reasons.

In the new Handcuff Annual, which is out very soon, Ian McColl has written a piece all about Houdini's Handcuffs, so that might prove useful.

I have written a piece about the Mirror Handcuff Challenge, so there will be plenty to keep you occupied!

The Annual will be available from http://www.cannonsgreatescapes.com in a few weeks. More details on http://www.handcuffs.org.

Hope all this helps

Mick Hanzlik
Tod Todson
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Mick,

So he considered the toughest private cuff to be the Mirror.

And he considered the toughest commercial cuff to be the Bean Giant.

You state his rationale behind the Bean being it's keyhole facing the gound.

I'll read the refered to article on why the Mirror was deemed difficult.

P.S. Thanks for your posting!
Mystifier, Youth Speaker
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Ian McColl
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Hi, At the magic castle in LA, there is a pair of Cobb handcuffs with a signed letter from Houdini to his friend Todd, the letters states that the cuffs were rigged and he ( Houdini) failed to get out of them but was happy that he didn't do it publicly.

If I can find the copy of the notes on the exact wording I wrote down in 1983, I will post it here.

Ian
Leo H
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Are those Cobb handcuffs still at the Castle?
Moxahalla
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That signed letter was a fake; and the Cobb handcuffs belonged to a former member/collector.

The Seance Room has been under renovations for the past 6 months...No telling at this time - whether the displays and artifacts that were on the walls - will remain there when the room reopens.
Leo H
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Thanks Mox!
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