Handcuff Invite Poster Digital Restoration

By Tom Interval

John Cox of Wild About Harry today posted a beautiful Houdini poster that, to my knowledge, has never been published before. It’s from the New York Public Library Digital Collections.

While some historians might cringe at the notion of digitally restoring this image, I couldn’t resist. I wanted to see what it might have looked like back in Houdini’s day, without the tears and missing lettering. Honestly, I had trouble figuring out precisely how the original gray border fit into the design, but then I realized it might not have been part of the original poster. In any event, the poster on the right (see below) is the restored version—my interpretation of how the undamaged art probably looked.

My belief is that this poster is in the public domain, not only because of its age but because the source is a public library. If I’m mistaken about this, please let me know.

Before and after (Source Image: New York Public Library Digital Collections)

Before and after (Source Image: New York Public Library Digital Collections)

Part of the "Eclipsing Sensation" series of Houdini posters (Source Image: New York Public Library Digital Collections)

Part of the “Eclipsing Sensation” series of Houdini posters (Source Image: New York Public Library Digital Collections)

Animated Comparison:

Animated comparison of original vs. restored poster

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This entry was posted in Art, Collecting, Collections, Digital, Escapes, Handcuffs, New York Public Library, New York Public Library Digital Collections, Photoshop Art, Posters, Posters and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Handcuff Invite Poster Digital Restoration

  1. Leo Hevia says:

    Nice job Tom! It looks as good as new!

  2. JG says:

    Beautiful restoration work.

  3. I love it! I wonder why the NYPL didn’t do restoration on this one like they did their “American’s Sensation” poster? I guest they have to pick and choose. But I’d love to see them eventually do to the real poster what you’ve done here, Tom.

    • Houdini says:

      Thanks, John! How wonderful it would be if the NYPL restored the original. I wish we had a picture of Houdini standing in front of it, as he sometimes did with other posters/theater entrances.

      Tom

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