Two men are standing on a stage in front of you. One climbs into a box. The other
locks it. The man outside of the box goes behind a curtain and claps three times. Then,
the man who, moments earlier was inside the box, emerges from behind the curtain. He
opens the box and the second man comes out. This is what watching a show by Harry
Houdini would have been like. Read on to find out more about his amazing life and
First Ill tell you about his childhood. He was born as Ehrich Weiss on March 24,
1874, in Budapest, Hungary. In 1878 he moved to Appleton,Wisconsin with his family.
When he was 9, he and some of his friends set up a small circus where he performed as
Ehrich, Prince of the Air.
Throughout his life Houdini did shows with friends, his brother, and his wife. His
signature trick was the metamorphis. Harrys father died in 1892 at 63. Three years later
Houdini started to do public handcuff escapes. In 1898 he opened Harry Houdinis
school for magic. In 1900 he got a job from a theater manager in St. Paul named Martin
Beck. There he did tricks for police and reporters. In 1902 he won a slander case by
revealing some of his tricks to the court. He advertised as The only artist to whom the
German police have given the Imperial Certificates.
Houdini did card tricks, made a handkerchief come from a candle, and
regurgitated Ivory balls. He would also swallow needles and thread then when he took
them out the needles would be threaded. One trick took an hour and forty minutes. He
was covered with bloody welts by the end.
Houdini died of appendicitis when a boxer punched an unprepared Houdini three
times. That night, magic lost its greatest maker.