A quick perusal of Stamford residents reads like a Who’s Who of American culture. A river of well-known personalities from all areas — art, business, entertainment, government, literature, journalism, music, religion and sports — has passed through Stamford since its incorporation in 1640. Some of these names include Gutzon Borglum (1867–1941), sculptor of Mount Rushmore, Alex Raymond (1909–1956), creator of the Flash Gordon comic strip, Vince McMahon (born 1945) and Linda McMahon (born 1948), founders of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE),William F. Buckley, Jr. (1925–2008), founder of National Review magazine, J. D. Salinger (1919–2010), author of The Catcher In The Rye, Jackie Robinson (1919–1972), baseball star (one of the Stamford little leagues is named after him), and Sandra Diaz-Twine, two-time winner of Survivor!
Among these notables was a man named Harry Houdini (1874-1926). Houdini was a Hungarian-born American most well-known as an escape artist. Harry Houdini started his career as a locksmith. Houdini worked in a locksmith’s shop at age 11 and the young apprentice quickly learned how to pick any lock available at the time. Without lock and key technology, the world may have never experienced the man who some consider to be the greatest illusionist who ever lived.
Among the many magic tricks and illusions he performed, he was most widely known as “The Handcuff King.” While travelling around Europe, he challenged local police to bind him with shackles and lock him inside one of their jails cells after being carefully searched. In Moscow, he escaped from a Siberian prison transport van, claiming that, had he been unable to free himself, he would have had to travel to Siberia, where the only key was kept. In Germany, he sued a police officer who claimed that he made his escapes by bribing various accomplices. Houdini won the case when he cracked the judge’s safe.
From 1907 and throughout the 1910s, Houdini performed with great success in the United States. He freed himself from jails, handcuffs and other lock-ups. Because of imitators, Houdini stopped performing the handcuff act and, on January 25, 1908, began escaping from a locked, water-filled milk can. The possibility of failure and death thrilled his audiences.
Obviously, Houdini’s antics were of tremendous interest to locksmiths around the world. After each of Houdini’s escapades, they wanted to know and understand how he broke even the most complex and strongest locks, often with his hands tied behind his back! Even though he explained some of his tricks in Handcuff Secrets (1909) among others, he revealed how many locks and handcuffs could be opened with properly applied force, others with shoestrings. Other times, he carried concealed lockpicks or keys.
The last thing any locksmith wanted was for someone to break in so easily to their carefully calibrated locks!
Locksmith companies such as Sure Lock & Key do their very best — and succeed — in ensuring the highest level of impenetrability. With their fast, professional expertise, they will analyze your security needs and install them using only the most up to date, state of the art equipment. Whether you are locked out of your car or looking to secure a 30-room mansion and its surroundings, Sure Lock & Key will make sure they are Houdini-proof. You can count on it.