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Harry Houdini Scrapbook [James Hanley Brewing Co. Challenge Letter to Harry Houdini, March 1, 1915] | by Boston Public Library
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Harry Houdini Scrapbook [James Hanley Brewing Co. Challenge Letter to Harry Houdini, March 1, 1915]

File name: 09_03_000057

 

Title: Harry Houdini Scrapbook [James Hanley Brewing Co. Challenge Letter to Harry Houdini, March 1, 1915]

 

Creator/Contributor: Quincy Kilby (1854-1931), creator; Harry Houdini (1874 –1926), contributor

 

Created/Published:

 

Date created: 1904-1926

 

Physical description: scrapbook

 

Summary: In the early 1900s, Houdini expanded his act to include challenge escapes, in which he invited the public to devise contraptions to hold him. He successfully escaped from nailed packing crates (some lowered into water), riveted boilers, wet sheets, mailbags, and even the belly of a “sea monster” that had washed ashore in Boston.

 

The James Hanley Brewing Company of Providence, Rhode Island, issued a challenge in 1915 “to escape from a large cask after we have filled the same with our famous ‘Half Stock Ale’ and our men have locked you in the cask.” Houdini’s handwritten note at the bottom of the page reveals the outcome of this particular test: “I accepted & escaped. Houdini. (and I do not drink). HH.

 

Location: Boston Public Library, Rare Books & Manuscripts Department

 

Rights: Rights status not evaluated.

 

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Taken on October 9, 2009