In the shadow of a legend, Harry Houdini’s brother was a skilled magician too

December 18, 2017

The whims of history can be oh so fickle. Why is it that Harry Houdini endures as such a monumental figure in magic, while his younger brother, another accomplished magician, barely makes a blip? Who can say for sure. But if you’re not familiar with Theo “Dash” Hardeen, now’s the time to get acquainted.

Messy Nessy Chic has published a feature about Hardeen, known in his performing days as the “Monarch of Manacles.” He was a skilled escape artist, and actually pioneered the concept of the straightjacket act. The brothers performed together for many years, although Theo went solo when Houdini began working more closely with his wife. After Houdini’s death, Theo inherited much of his magic collection and gear and continued performing many of the same iconic tricks, such as the milk can escape.

You can learn more, plus take a look at loads of old photos and handbills, here.