PSYC 180 March 22 – Schwarcz
Houdini born as Erich Weiss, father – Rabbi Mayer Samuel Weiss. Maintained that he
was born in Appleton, Wisconsin but actually born in Hungary – Budapest.
He met his wife at the circus when they were 18.
The name “Houdini” originated from Robert Houdin the magician, who performed on
stage and in evening clothes – all new.
Ether introduced as an anesthetic and the world heard about it from Houdin – suspension
Houdin in Algeria – “took away” the strength of a strong rebel leader. This magic trick
came to the attention of Erich Weiss
Metamorphosis: someone in a chained trunk, someone outside, and then suddenly the two
people trade places.
Harry Houdini was a very good escape artist. His wife Bess would often kiss him before
he tried to escape out of handcuffs and she would have the key in her mouth.
Needles on the thread – he put needles in his mouth and then thread, then pull them out
with the needles on the thread.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes) and Houdini were friends.
Houdini extracted gallic acid from iron gall ink; first to use chemistry on stage.
Conan Doyle and Houdini had a falling out over the Cottingley fairies. Houdini knew it
was trickery but Conan Doyle believed it.
Conan Doyle‟s wife was a medium and said she could do it for Houdini when his wife
died. But obviously trickery.
Houdini wrote “A Magician Among The Spirits”
He campaigned against the spiritualists.
October 31 – becoming international magic day to