Harry Houdini Performs In Chains

Harry Houdini Performs in Portland.


Above is a picture of the world famous magician Harry Houdini as he prepares to perform one of his death-defying escapes. The photograph was taken in the year 1924 during Houdini’s performance in Portland Oregon.

Although his performance with this escape act of being thrown into the river in chains and swimming up without them before he drowns went without a hitch, the audience was reported to be disappointingly small. Part of this is due to the fact that the event fell on Election Day, so a large number of citizens were out in town awaiting the results of the election.

This was one of many stops on a tour of Houdini where he went across the country in an attempt to find a medium that could actually talk to the dead. It was around this time that the trend of séances was beginning to take hold and Houdini thought this was merely an act. It was his desire to go from town to town offering a check for $5,000 to any medium that could actually resurrect the spirit of a dead man. Sure enough he once again held auditions here in Portland to find his channeler only to leave without finding a suitable medium. Houdini would continue this tour eventually offering up to $ 10,000. Unfortunately, this tour would put so much stress on the magician that it would lead to his premature death. Ironically, after Houdini’s passing at the age of fifty two, his wife Bess would offer that same sum to any medium that could let her speak to her husband.