This book is dedicated to my fellow researchers in the fields
of magic, locks, escape-artistry, and Houdini.
This book is also dedicated to all the finks, rats, squealers,
and thieves who sought to learn and tell Houdini's secrets, and
to those who kept those secrets alive until I could write them
down. Also, all the snoops who got close to the props and the
plagiarists who endeavored to imitate every nuance of
I dedicate this book to those who sought to sell the sacred
Houdini secrets for a profit, especially Houdini himself and his
brother Theo Hardeen. We owe them an enormous debt.
Hardeen, in particular, was a hero because, as inheritor of the
Houdini props and handcuffs, he was ordered by the terms of
Houdini's will to destroy all of them, and he didn't. I dedicate
this book to the preservers who acquired the magic and
escape props and cuffs and kept them, sometimes performed
with them, repaired and restored them.
Finally, I dedicate this book to Bessie Houdini, who kept the
Mirror Cuff, the Russian Manacle and other vital Houdini props
and to those who have preserved them since Bessie's time.