VIDEO ♦♢ Houdini's Greatest Tricks ♢♦

As master magician Harry Houdini's 137th birthday is celebrated with some Google artwork, we take a look back at his most famous tricks, from the Chinese Water Torture Cell to hanging upside down in a straitjacket and breaking free.

Milk Can Escape
It takes a brave man to be handcuffed and sealed in a big milk can full of water, but the inimitable Houdini used to do just that – and escape. Even when the can was sealed inside a wooden chest.

The act was advertised with dramatic posters that read 'Failure Means A Drowning Death'. He laughed in the face of failure, though.

Chinese Water Torture Cell
Or, as Houdini called it – The Upside Down. So named because the illusionist would be lowered down into a tank filled with water, upside down and with his feet locked in stocks, which were fixed to the ceiling. The audience could see him through the glass front of the cell. However, they never saw how he escaped, because he'd do that behind a curtain.

Suspended straitjacket escape
Being suspended upside down in a straitjacket, while hanging from a crane, was child's play for the master-wriggler. Watch the YouTube video below to see him amaze a huge crowd in New York by defeating the close-fitting coat.

Crate stuff
Houdini loved soaking up the applause for his river-based crate escape. This involved him breaking free from a packing crate that was nailed shut and bound in rope. He first performed it in New York's East River in 1912. Oh, and he was handcuffed and in leg-irons, too. Surely there must have been easier ways to make a living!

Rope trick
Once again, Houdini escapes the seemingly inescapable after being completely bound up with rope.

More Houdini's Greatest Tricks

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