Houdini Museum was in decay by 1978

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby JohnCox » 05/19/11 12:23 PM

Though this letter to the editor from of an old Genii was interesting...but depressing.

http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2011/05 ... -1978.html
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Postby SquareCircle » 05/19/11 01:14 PM

Decay followed by a fire. ;)
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Postby JohnCox » 05/19/11 06:45 PM

Some interesting comments on my site re the museum, including one person who said he stepped over the rail and actually worked the torture cell for 15 minutes and discovered the gaff. I believe him, because when I went there in 1990 I also had the place all to myself. The USD sat right there at the exit. I could have walked out the door with it on my back. Thank goodness no-one ever did that, although according to Sid, the inner cage was "lost" at the museum.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 05/20/11 09:20 AM

I was there a few times and it was always depressing. I recall there was some sort of illusion that used a mirror at a 45 degree angle, but the mirror had never been cleaned, so it appeared that dust motes were simply suspended motionless in the air. Not the effect I assume was intended.
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Postby magicrobharv » 05/20/11 01:36 PM

I remember going to Niagara Falls when I was 12 yrs old, around 1972. They had the Alfred Hitchcock museum, one of the Madame Tussauds museums, and of course the Houdini Museum. The magic bug hadnt quite bitten fully yet (that would happen in a couple of years, even though a couple of years prior I had a disastrous experience performing a magic trick at a cub scout event, the memory still haunts me to this day!). The Houdini museum, if I remember correctly, was still interesting for 12 yr old boy. Seeing the handcuffs up close was cool. The best part was when we stepped out into the magic shop. My dad didnt want to hang around, but we stayed long enough to see a demonstrator do the plastic paddle trick with the magic hat empty and then a rabbit appears in it. I still remember being blown away by that moment. Good memories. Good times.
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Postby houdini's ghost » 05/20/11 10:05 PM

I never saw the inner cage at the museum. Someone stole one of the marine safety plugs from the Torture Cell but the guy tried to sell it and it was recovered.
The Dunninger Six Chicks illusion got left in the alley and picked up by the trash collector when the Museum moved to Clifton Hill.
The bars on Kellar's Flyto were wood and some were warped.
The cuffs, keys, escape artist hardware, the Milk Can, the Torture Cell--a lot of good stuff.
I think the dirty mirror in the Hermann decapitation wasn't so much dirty as ancient.
Quite a few props from the Tony Curtis movie.
Beautiful photo of Houdini in front of the brick wall he walked through.
A clunky Dunninger illusion that Houdini and later Jimmy Collins featured "Dividing a Woman in Eighths."
Good stuff.
Henry Muller opened the place for me, my stepdaughter, Calista Carradine and Michael Bowen on a winter's day when we were in Canada filming an episode of Kung Fu the Legend Continues.
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Postby JohnCox » 05/20/11 11:32 PM

I was surprised when Sid told about the inner cage as in all the pics of the cell pre museum and of it arriving at the museum show no cage inside. Also, I had assumed that Houdini abandoned the cage in later years.
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