Google today celebrated the 137th birthday of legendary illusionist Harry Houdini with a doodle similar to the posters that announced Houdini’s magic acts.
Houdini was born as Erik Weisz in Budapest, Hungary in 1874, but his family moved to Wisconsin shortly thereafter. Houdini started out as an illusionist and a circus act at a very early age, but he gained notoriety for his escape acts, in which he was able to escape handcuffs, shackles, chains and straightjackets.
The most well-known Houdini stunt was his escape from the Chinese Water Torture Cell, in which he would escape a water tank while suspended upside down and shackled, while holding his breath for 3 minutes. The exact nature of Houdini’s torture cell and the way in which he escaped is still a mystery.
Houdini died of peritonitis, secondary to a ruptured appendix, on Halloween in Detroit, 1926.