DORDRECHT - The world famous buoy king Harry Houdini gave a short demonstration of his skills in the town hall in Dordrecht this afternoon. It was a foretaste of the Circus Carré show that can be seen in theater Kunstmin in the coming weeks.

The demonstration was for a select group of a few dignitaries, such as mayor Zimmerman of Dordrecht, the Public Prosecutor and the Chief of Police. Two journalists were also allowed to attend.

The location of the demonstration was the old police cell in it town hall in Dordrecht.

Houdini had brought several buoys and locks himself, but they were not used in the demonstration. Only buoys were used the police themselves, describes a journalist from the Dordrechtse Courant.

Announcement Circus Oscar Carré performance – Dordrecht Courant – september 1903

After an extensive check, the American became king of buoys naked with his arms tied behind his back.

“Investigated with the most rigor, the artist in Adam's costume was handcuffed with his hands behind his back and then closed in a cell entirely alone in the dark, of which the key was taken from the outside and within minutes he succeeded, without any means to open his bonds and open the door. "

(The Dordrechtse Courant, 05-09-1903)

It was not the only escape that Houdini showed. He also managed to escape from a straitjacket, the one with padlocks on his wrists was attached, while crammed into a small cupboard.

 “Although the little man looks muscular, everything showed that no brutal violence is involved in his arts, for there was not the slightest damage to be found in shackles and ditches. ”

(The Dordrechtse Courant, 05-09-1903)

According to the reporters on the spot, it is a complete mystery how Houdini managed to escape.

"Great was the astonishment and in silence the officials of justice and police will have expressed the wish that Houdini's skill will continue to be one of the rarities."

(The Dordrechtse Courant, 05-09-1903)

But the Buoy King had even more in store for the audience. He let, without flinching, stick a needle right through his cheek. Then he swallowed several needles, that were strung on a thread. Then all those needles came out again in their entirety.

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The 29-year-old Hungarian-American Buoy King is engaged in a long tour through Europe. Last year he was already in The Hague and earlier this year he gave a series of performances at the Rembrandt Theater in Amsterdam. Last month it was also in Delft, as part of a funfair. In the three cities Houdini also gave a demonstration for a small audience, with some representatives of the police.

Houdini is part of Oscar Carré's Circus in Dordrecht, that tomorrow night has the big gala opening performance. Houdini is one of the crowd pullers, in addition to the special horse show with 150 trained horses, a ballet with fifty ladies and the "world record for cyclists company", that holds competitions on the "smallest racecourse in the world".

Much of the horses are still being sought shelter, let the circus know.

Hoe ging het verder?

As praising as the newspaper was for Houdini's private show, they were also full of praise for the tranquility of the circus performance. “What happened is going to be, is by nature first class ”, the local newspaper wrote 7 september over premiere. In addition, the newspaper no longer discusses the act from Houdini. But "all in all worth a visit.", writes the newspaper.

During his tour with the Circus Oscar Carre, Houdini came also in Groningen (oktober). In Hilversum he gave a one-off performance in a theater.

Then Houdini came, as far as is clear, no more to The Netherlands. He died in 1926, but he was world famous.


The Dordrecht newspaper - 02-06-1902 – The Kooning of the Breakers

The Dordrecht newspaper - 14-01-1903 – Houdini the King of Cuffs

The Dordrecht newspaper - 22-01-1903 – The Buoy King

The Dordrecht newspaper - 05-09-1903 – Local news

The Dordrecht newspaper – 07-09-1903 – Local news

Thanks to JA and HB