1913 Book Handcuff Tricks


March 25, 2016 by houdiniandhardeen

2016-03-20 11.15.21My latest escape artist find. ‘Handcuff Tricks’ written by Hereward Carrington published in 1913 by A.M. Wilson M. D. 32 pages exposing many escape artist secrets.

What is interesting about this book is that the author Hereward Carrington would later rival Harry Houdini during the Margery “The Medium” tests conducted by the Scientific American in 1924. Carrington sat on a committee alongside Harry Houdini, Malcolm Bird, William McDougall, Walter Franklin Prince and Daniel Frost Comstock. In the end Carrington was the only one on the committee that believed Margery’s Medium powers were real. Houdini strongly disagreed and was convinced she was a fraud.

“Eventually only Carrington inclined to the belief that her powers were genuine, although subsequent evidence of possible fraud again led him to express doubts about her writing that he maintained a “perfectly open mind” about such phenomena pending the arrival of better evidence one way or the other”

The book includes very similar Handcuff Escape methods to that of Harry Houdini’s Handcuff Secrets published in Conjurers’ Monthly and again in 1910 in book form as Handcuff Secrets.


Carrington goes so far as to thank Harry Houdini for “giving him tips”.  I doubt Houdini actually helped him personally. Most likely Carrington copied directly from Houdini’s original writings and was cashing in on him.

Hereward giving Houdini credit:

2016-03-20 11.17.20

In the book he exposes methods of escaping Handcuffs, Straitjackets, Milk Cans, Mail Bags, Packing Cases, Ropes and others. Carrington was not known as an escape artist so I can only conclude he wrote this to expose these methods for monetary gain. I wonder what Houdini thought about it?

Pictured below is Carrington in Darby handcufs.

2016-03-20 11.16.41

Read more about Carrington on Wikipedia HERE, and on Genii magazine – magicpedia HERE.



3 thoughts on “1913 Book Handcuff Tricks

  1. Leo Hevia says:

    I don’t think Carrington thought Margery’s powers were genuine. She may have given him some noogie which rendered him a willing accomplice. When a man gets noogie, he can easily become putty in the hands of an attractive woman such as Margery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree Leonard. Silverman’s book says that possibly years later Carrington told an associate that he and Margery had carried on a several months affair. On another occasion in 1930 that he admitted to have seen her use her feet in one of the sittings with Houdini, and she asked Carrington to ring the bell box for her!


  2. Ring the bell box for her! Which goes to show the power that woman had over men. I would say she certainly had powers. Agreed about the info in Silverman’s book. She thought Carrington held up well in the heat of those summer sittings.

    Liked by 1 person

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