Harry Houdini’s underwater box escape in the East River


Houdini`s underwater box escape made headlines every time he performed the stunt — and it was one of his most popular. Hundreds of people would gather to watch the master illusionist achieve what seemed to be impossible — like getting out of handcuffs and shackles, then working his way out of a wooden box that had been dropped into a river. Such a big crowd collected to see Harry Houdini, the “handcuff king,” nailed in a box and thrown into the East River that the police interfered and drove the vaudeville performer away in a boat. He kept the box on the boat, and shortly after the appointed hour, was shackled, chained, trussed and nailed in the box, which was thrown overboard off Governor`s Island. Harry Houdini came up in less than two and one-half minutes, two hundred and fifty feet away from where he had been thrown in, and was hauled aboard. It was not until he was back on the boat deck that the box floated to the surface.

Performance, July 7, 1912
Performance, July 15, 1914
Performance, Sept 20, 1925