This section is from the book "The Adventurous Life Of A Versatile Artist: Houdini", by Harry Houdini. Also available from Amazon: The Adventurous Life of a Versatile Artist; Houdini.
Broke out of the Siberian Prison Van in Moscow, Russia, in May, 1003.
Leaped, heavily handcuffed, in zero weather, from Belle Island Bridge, *n Detroit, Mich., in December 2nd, 1906, and released himself undo the icy water.
Leaped into San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, Calif., on August 26th. 1907, handcuffed with hands behind his back, with more than 75 pounds of ball and chain locked to his bodv.
Escaped from a plate glass box made by the Pittsburg Pinto Glass Co., and did not even scratch the glass. Boston Mass.. Jan. 20th 1907.
After being rivetted into a laro-e hot water boiler bv the omplovees of the Marine Boiler Works, of Toledo, on March 15th, 1907, Hondini escaped without leaving any traoos of his exit.
Escaped from paper bags, zinc lined piano boxes, packing oasos. padded cells, straight-jackets, insane cribs, willow hampers, iron cages, a U.S. Mail Pouch furnished with a rotary lock belonging to the U.S. Government, a large Football, made by Reach Company, of Philadelphia, a large Derby Desk, with secret locks, Burglar-proof safes, etc., etc. Handcuffed nailed into a packing case, 200 lbs. of iron weights chained to the box and was then thrown overboard into New York Bay.
The biggest-little mystery feat-the East Indian needle masterpiece, wherein Houdini swallows 100 needles, 20 yards of thread, and brings up the needles th/ended.
Houdini has escaped from cells in almost every city in America, the most notable one being from the Murderers' Cell in U.S. Jail at Washington, D.C., which confined Guiteau, the murderer of President Garfield.
Houdini presents the largest, the smallest and most perplexing mystery in the world and history of magic.
The smallest. The East Indian Needle Mystery, in which he swallows 50 to 100 needles, 20 yards of thread, and brings them all up threaded, after his mouth and throat have been examined by a committee of Surgeons. In Boston, at Keith's Theatre, 1906, at special morning performance, he performed this feat before sixteen hundred physicians, and not one could give a correct solution as to his method.
The largest and one of his original inventions being the complete vanishing of a Ten Thousand pound Elephant, in full glare of the light and right over the tank of a Quarter of a Million Gallons of Water on the stage of New York Hippodrome, 1916-1917. He performed this the entire season, creating the greatest amount of talk ever caused by any Illusionist with any vanishing mystery.
The greatest mystery ever presented, original inventions of Houdini, one of the Chinese Torture Cell, and the Escape from a Packing Case which being weighted with 300 lbs. of pig iron is thrown overboard into the ocean, and from which he releases himself in less than two minutes.
Kansas City, Mo., April n, 1900.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN : We, the undersigned, do hereby certify that we saw Harry Houdini stripped nude, thoroughly searched from head to foot, and his mouth sealed up, making it an utter impossibility for him to have anything concealed on his person. We saw him handcuffed and leg-ironed with five different cuffs, and his hands locked to his feet.
He was led into a cell, which was also securely locked with what is known as the three-bond lock, guaranteed by the makers to be burglar proof. Nevertheless, Houdini succeeded in making his escape out of all the irons, also from the cell, in less than 8 minutes. There was no possible chance of confederacy.
Signed and sealed by John Hayes, Chief of Police.
John Halpin, Inspector of Detectives. J. C. Snavly, Jailer.