“Houdini King Of Handcuffs”
Harry and Bess arrived in San Francisco June 2,1899.
To get everyones attention and make them all aware of his appearance of their opening night performance at the prestigious Orpheum Theater in San Fransisco, the birthplace of vaudeville on the west coast, Houdini walked into the police station and had everyone in an uproar at what they had all witnessed.
Newspapers reported the next day that Houdini, escaped from four pair of handcuffs and two sets of leg irons in less than 8 minutes. Everyone was so curious to how he was able to escape so quickly from the officers restraints, when they asked Harry how it was accomplished, Houdini replied, “Oh, I just sneak out of them.”
Houdini received excellent reviews for his performances at San Francisco Orpheum. He was now being billed as “Houdini King of Handcuffs”, abandoning his previous billing “The Houdini’s”.
Harry and Bess were at the early stages of their successful career and were on their first trial of performances at prestigious theaters fas a result a contract and big break from Martin Beck, an influential agency for the vaudeville circuit and all the national theaters, who discovered Houdini performing in the Palm Garden Beer Hall in St. Paul, Minnesota earlier in March.
(Read the previous post to read about the telegraph that changed the career of Houdini and the history of magic.)
Beck was closely following Houdini’s success as he alone was drawing the box office sales with his publicity stunts in each city he appeared.
During their visit to San Fransisco they experienced their first earthquake.
Their reputation was beginning to build and anticipations were catching wind for “Houdini The King Of Handcuffs” to appear in the next city.
The next stop and major opportunity to gain more success under his belt, filling the box office and maintaining his position with the Beck Agency would be his appearance in L.A……….Stay Tuned