Harry Houdini was the stage name of Mr Erik Weisz; he was born in the 1830s. He was to become one of the most celebrated escapologists the world has ever known. He was the first global superstar, his fame stretching across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He put on show-stopping world tours and was mobbed wherever he went. He was also known for debunking fake mediums. Whilst he did not dispute an afterlife, he was more than happy to expose the people who claimed they could communicate with those who had passed on.
Houdini began his career as a man who could escape from handcuffs. In a display of lovely alliteration, he would tour the Vaudeville theatres of America and Harry Handcuff Houdini. He would challenge the local police force to place him in handcuffs from which he would escape. This spread to being locked up in a prison cell. His timing was impeccable. After escaping from countless law enforcement agencies, he took on a particular pair produced by the Daily Mirror newspaper. He announced he would free himself “within the hour”, which he duly did with 1 minute to spare.
These escape acts spread to being suspended over waterfalls, flaming pits and even skyscrapers. Many suggested that Houdini was merely a showman, and the acts were faked. This was an interesting point of view, given that the man devoted his life to exposing fake mediums and suing anyone who tried to copy him. He was a shrewd businessman, soon realising the potential of the emerging global media and making the most of it. One thing he would not be able to escape is the attention of this Locksmith Exeter based firm.