Houdini, Harry: Miracle Mongers and Their Methods
©1920 E.P. Dutton and Co., NY
Hardcover, 240 pages
Miracle Mongers and Their Methods
Image courtesy GranHoudini.net


Comments (Stephan Sparks): From the book: "A complete expose of the Modus Operandi of Fire Eaters, Heat Resisters, Poison Eaters, Venomous Reptile Defiers, Sword Swallowers, Human Ostriches, Strong Men, etc. This book has been written from the inside, and is probably the first authentic account and explanation of the wonders of the side show faker, the mountebank and the market place exhibitor. The secrets of all of these are laid bare in the most interesting fashion, and the illustrations, many of them obtained from rare sources, assist in making this one of the most varied and entertaining books in a generation."

Contents:

v Preface
1 Chapter I
1 Fire worship
1 Fire eating and heat resistance
6 The Middle Ages
7 Among the Navajo Indians
8 Firewalkers of Japan;
15 The Firey Ordeal of Fiji

17 Chapter II
17 Watton’s Ship-swabber from the Indies
17 Richardson 1667
21 De Heiterkeit 1713
22 Robert Powell 1718-1780
30 Dufour 1783
35 Quackensalber 1794

37 Chapter III
37  The Nineteenth Century
37 A "Wonderful Phenomenon"
41 The Incombustible Spaniard Senor Lionetto 1803
41 Josephine Girardelli 1814
47 John Brooks 1817
49 W.C. Houghton 1832
51 J.A.B. Chylinksi 1841
51 Chamouni the Russian Salamander 1869
52 Professor Rel Maeub 1876
53 Rivelli (died 1900)

54 Chapter IV
54 The Master: J. Xavier Chabert 1792-1859
67 The Fire King and His Challenger 1829

79 Chapter V
79 Fire-eating Magicians
79 Ching Ling Foo and Chung Ling Soo
80 Fire-eaters employed by magicians
80 The Man-Salamander 1816
80 Mr. Carlton Professor of Chemistry 1818
83 Miss Cassillis aged nine 1820
83 The African Wonder 1843
84 Ling Look and Yamadeva die in China during Kellar's World Tour 1877
87 Ling Look's Double 1879
87 The Salambos Electrical Effects
88 Bueno Core, Del Kano, and Bernello
89 Edwin Forrest as a heat-resister
90 The Elder Sothern as a Fire-Eater
96 The Twilight of the Art

98 Chapter VI
98  The Arcana of the Fire-eaters
99 The Formula of Albertus Magnus
100 Of Hocus Pocus
102 Richardson's Method
104 Philopyraphagus Ashburniensis
106 To Breath forth sparks, smoke and flames
107 To spout natural gas
108 Professor Sementini's discoveries
110 To bite off red-hot iron
111 To cook in a burning cage
112 Chabert's Oven
112 To eat coals of fire
113 To Drink burning oil
114 To drink molten lead
116 To chew burning brimstone
117 To wreathe the face in flames
117 To ignite paper with the breath
118 To drink boiling liquor and eat flaming wax

121 Chapter VII
121 The Spheroidal Condition of Liquids
123 Why the hand may be dipped in molten metals
125 Principles of heat resistance put to practical uses - Aldini 1829
129 In early fire-fighting
132 Temperatures the body can endure

137 Chapter VIII
137 Sword-swallowers
138 Cliquot
142 Delno Fritz
142 Dedota
143 A razor-swallower
144 an umbrella swallower
145 William Dempster: failed knife swallowing
146 John Cumming: knife swallowing
147 Edith Clifford
151 Victorina

154 Chapter IX
154 Stone-eaters
154 A Silesian in Prague 1006
155 Francois Battalia ca 1641
156 Platerus' beggar boy
157 Father Paulian's lithophagus of Avignon 1760
158 The Only One In the World, London 1788
160 Spaniards in London 1790
161 A secret for two and six
161 Japanese training
162 Frog-swallowers
162 Norton
164 English Jack
164 Bosco the snake-eater
165 Billington's prescription for hangmen
165 Captain Veitro
166 Water-spouters
166 Blaise Manfrede ca. 1650
167 Floran Marchand 1650

176 Chapter X
176 Defiers of Poisonous Reptiles
176 Thardo
178 Mrs. Learn dealer in rattle-snakes
179 Sir Arthur Thurlow Cunynghame on antidotes for snake-bite
179 Jack the Viper
182 William Oliver 1735
183 The Advice of Cornelius Heinrich Agrippa (1480-1535)
183 An Australian Snake Story
188 Antidotes for various poisons

192 Chapter XI
192 Strongmen of the Eighteenth Century
193 Thomas Topham (died 1749)
201 Joyce 1703
205 Van Eskeberg 1718
214 Barsabas and his sister
216 The Italian Female Sampson 1724
217 The "little woman from Geneva" 1751
218 Belzoni 1778-1823

220 Chapter XII
220 Contemporary Strong People
220 Charles Jefferson
221 Louis Cyr
222 John Grun Marx
223 William Le Roy the Nail King
224 The Human Claw-hammer Alexander Weyer
225 Mexican Billy Wells
226 A Foolhardy Italian
226 Wilson
226 Herman
227 Sampson
227 Sandow
227 Yucca
228 La Blanche
228 Lulu Hurst the Georgia Magnet, The Electric Girl, etc.
228 Annie Abbot
230 Mattie Lee Price
239 The Twilight of the Freaks
239 The Dime Museums


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