By Tom Interval
This morning, NPR’s Pam Fessler interviewed a gentleman by the name of Chris Shweie, coauthor of The Voice of the City: Vaudeville and Popular Culture in New York and collector of all things vaudeville. Shweie said he recently purchased this unpublished photo from a “celebrity Houdini collector” (David Copperfield?). Yes, that’s Harry Houdini escaping from a straitjacket—suspended from the Empire State Building! In all my years studying Houdini, I’ve neither heard nor read anything about him doing this stunt from the famous skyscraper, the tallest building in the world at the time. You can read the story and hear Shweie talk about acquiring this incredible picture on the NPR website here. I also tracked down the actual story in the New York Post, which you can read here.