Hi, this is Jason for watchmojo.com. Today were going to be talking about Mr. Ehrich Weiss, Ehrich Weiss aka Harry Houdini. Harry Houdini was born March 24, 1874 in Budapest Hungary. At the age of four years old Cecilia and Samuel brought their five sons and one daughter to Appleton Wisconsin. At the age of 14 his going to go on and work as apprentice for a locksmith. Now as you probably do know, Erich Weiss, Mr. Houdini was a master escape artist and this is where he learned it. The name Houdini comes from Robert Houdin, Robert Houdin was a famous magician around the time. The age of 17 he falls in love with a young lady by the name of Wilma Runner, Wilma Runner changes her name to Bess. Now in 1898, the shows are going great but to kind of spice it up, him and Bess create this challenge effect. The challenge effect is pretty much anybody from the audience can come up, bring shackles, straight jackets, anything they like and can actually offer to him. He puts it on and escapes from it in a split second.
Mr. Houdini actually went once step further with the challenges. He started to do physical challenges, worldwide he placed a notice on Australia, he placed a notice in America, in Canada and in Europe that he can take the strongest punch to his abdomen anywhere in the world, so pretty much he was just looking for someone to punch him in the abdomen. His in Toronto and he has a doctor on his staff and his complaining of stomach ailments, his leaving for Montreal and his doctor says, You know what, you should go back to Appleton Wisconsin, you’re really not feeling well, you should go back and rest. Maybe go back to New York and he says no, I have to go. He goes to Montreal and what happens there is his reading some letters at Miguel College and a gentleman by the name of Jake Gordon Whitehead comes up behind him and says, Sir I heard you can take the strongest punch in the world to your abdomen and he says, yeah whatever mumbling it off. Not even thinking twice about it, Mr. Houdini stand up and Whitehead punches him in the abdomen and at that point it actually caused in inflammation of his appendix and this is actually what was hurting him before he left from Toronto to go to Montreal.
Now from Montreal his next set of shows was in Detroit, he made it through the shows in Montreal and ended up collapsing on stage in Detroit. He was performing for a live audience about 500 people and he was in the underwater torture, shackled and bound in upside down in 200 gallons of ice-cold water. At this point, he can’t escape, two minutes and a half into the illusions the stage crew comes into the stage, hacks open the glass, 200 gallons of water pours all over the audience in the Bayville stage and his dragged from it. Rushed to the Grace Hospital in Detroit and unfortunately on October 31, 1926 Mr. Houdini perishes to a ruptured appendicitis. That is the biography of Mr. Harry Houdini, Ehrich Weiss, thank you very much.