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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Did Houdini do the bullet catch? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

John Cox
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This is a Joe Fox discovery. Pretty interesting. Did Houdini do the bullett catch in the 1893 and 94? Jack Hyman says he did.

http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2011/03/......90s.html
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houdinisghost
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John,
Houdini told about performing the bullet catching trick to the Club of Odd Volumes in Boston in 1922. It's on page 77 of Tao of Houdini.
"I had a rather unique experience performing the bullet-catching feat. It was customary for me to present this with a large horsepistol, allowing the committee to load it with a marked bullet, so that I never really touched the gun. There was a thick plank on the table leaning against the back wall. The committee were given the option of firing at the board, which would be smashed to splinters, or at me. However I exacted the promise that, once having announced their decision, they would not, on their word of honor, change their minds. For the infinitesimal fraction of a second there would be an awe-inspiring and breathless silence after the resounding crash of the bullet had made havoc of the plank, which brought home to the committee the seriousness of their decision, had I been chosen as target. The effect of the illusion showed the miraculous appearance of the bullet between my teeth, after having smashed the plate which I held in my hand. Never once, in all my experience, has the committee failed to fire at the board first."
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mtpascoe
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This has a ring of truth to as Houdini's aim early on in his career was to be "like Houdin." And of course he knew very well that his boyhood idol Robert-Houdin did the bullet catch in Algiers.
John Cox
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Thank for that quote, Patrick. I've updated the article with it. Looks like Houdini did indeed do the bullet catch early in his career. Don't think it can be called anymore "the trick so dangerous even Houdini wouldn't try it."
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Tony Ellis
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But is it true he was afraid to do Buried Alive?
jerome96114
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Oh come on ... Houdini even did a trick where he had to dislocate one of his shoulders, to remove a jacket, while hanging as much as 400 feet off the ground. I do not believe that this guy was afraid of Anything.

Btw: http://artofmanliness.com/2010/12/20/les......houdini/
houdinisghost
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Hear that all you straight-jacket escapists?
You ain't been dislocating your shoulder? You ain't a man!
The art of manliness? Yeah, okay.
John Cox
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Quote:
On 2011-03-23 08:39, Tony Ellis wrote:
But is it true he was afraid to do Buried Alive?

No. He did a few versions of the Buried Alive. In fact, I wondering if he was the first person to do the Buried Alive.

http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2011/01/......ive.html
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Bill Palmer
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The "dislocating the shoulder" thing was a piece of publicity nonsense that either Houdini or one of his promoters cooked up. It's not necessary to dislocate your shoulder to get out of a straitjacket.

As far as the Buried Alive is concerned, I think he was inspired to do this by reports of a fakir who performed such a stunt.
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John Cox
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Quote:
On 2011-03-24 23:25, Bill Palmer wrote:

As far as the Buried Alive is concerned, I think he was inspired to do this by reports of a fakir who performed such a stunt.

The was the 1926 Shelton pool test. The fakir was Rahman Bey, and he didn't do a Buried Alive, he just remained in a casket without air. Houdini repeated and bettered him.

Houdini was working on a stage version of Buried Alive as early as 1914. Then he did an actual Buried Alive in CA in 1917, and *** near killed himself. He apparently planned to revive the stage version as part of his full evening show, but died before he was able to get it up and running.
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houdinisghost
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In California in 1917, huh?
And--Houdini had to dislocate his shoulder to escape from a straight jacket 400 feet in the air--400!--upside down!
Who wrote this stuff? Brooke Rappaport?
jerome96114
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Smile I knew you would like it ...
John Cox
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Quote:
On 2011-03-25 01:46, houdinisghost wrote:
In California in 1917, huh?

Yeah, the Santa Ana test. The "weight of the earth is killing" test.

Do I have the date wrong? Is it 1916?
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houdinisghost
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NO! But you're getting closer.
The Great Heathini
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I found this link on the site earlier today. I was trying to find where to found it to thank the person who posted it so that I could thank him. It is a link to "Houdini Speaks."
I have always been a HUGE fan of Harry Houdini, and I couldn't believe that I was able to hear him speak.
Like I said, somebody else posted the link, but I will post it as well in hopes that it makes others as happy as it has made me.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUKyaji79zI
Brent.
John Cox
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Quote:
On 2011-03-25 22:35, houdinisghost wrote:
NO! But you're getting closer.

Ah, 1915. I should have checked my Culliton first. Smile

Looks like I got 1917 from the timeline in Gibson's Original Houdini Scrapbook, which is certainly wrong. But I did more checking and people are all over the map with this. Gresham says it was 1916. Kalush opens the book with it, but doesn't date it, not even in the Laid Bare notes. Silverman doesn't mention it at all. Christopher also doesn't date it, but writes about it right after Jess Willard (so 1915). Kellock doesn't date it, but puts it after the coffin escape in Salt Lake City which he say happend "after Christmas 1915" (which suggests 1916). Randi doesn't date it, but says the Salt Lake City escape took place "the previous year", which again puts it in 1916 (but he's probably just sourcing Gresham). Koval doesn't list it at all.

I take it 1915 is on the diary entry or in Houdini's 1925 Collier's article? Or is it just logical that this must have taken place during his SoCal engagement in 1915?

There's also always the possibility that it didn't really happen.
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MakenU1der
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Smile
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