The famous magician and escapologist, Harry Houdini (real name Erik Weisz) was born on 24th March, 1874. He died 31st October, 1926. To mark the occasion of his death we have an article from the Brighton & Hove Society describing Houdini’s performances at the Brighton Hippodrome for a week in July 1909.
Houdini Scores Again
The Brighton Hippodrome could hardly have held another person last night, so full was it crammed with people anxious to see Houdini meet his latest challenge. The challenge was from a Brighton firm of harness-makers to escape from a jacket made by them for the confining of the murderously insane. When strapped up in this jacket, enveloping him from shoulders to feet, his arms held round him, Houdini looked as helpless as a trussed fowl. He had a desperately hard struggle for a quarter of an hour, especially to get off a band rounds his knees: but his extraordinary capacity for contracting himself so that he could get his legs under his strapped arms, and his strength of hand, were more than the makers bargained for, and at last he was free. The audience cheered him to the echo.
Before starting he observed that he felt somewhat nervous. The challenge had been signed at Waterloo Street; and he wondered if this would be his Waterloo.