Showing posts with label Hardeen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hardeen. Show all posts

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Houdini Tramp Chairs

In the photo above, is an unusual item from the Salon De Magie, the collection of Ken Klosterman. I'm not sure of the origins, as far as where Ken got this, but he is very thorough in his documenting items that he puts in his collection, so I have no doubt it's authentic. My guess is that it's a challenge that Houdini received. I do know it's featured in his book Salon De Magie, unfortunately, it's one of the few books I do not have. In the photo above, you'll need to excuse the leather device underneath the chair and the orange/red box sitting on the chair, as they are not part of the Tramp Chair.

I did some general research on this type of chair and they were basically made in small jails when there was no space for extra prisoners. These could sit in a hallway or outside the cells and still contain a prisoner because they would be handcuffed to the chair. I have a feeling the neck collar was added just for Houdini, and for all I know, it may have been added BY Houdini.

The was this would look in performance or in challenge performance is Houdini would have both wrists handcuffed to the chair section and his neck would be put in the neck collar and locked up. This would prevent Houdini from bending down, so he couldn't use a key in his teeth. He also would be unable to lift a hand to help undo either the neck collar or the other hand. At least this is how it would appear by the audience. Whether he did this in full view or behind a cabinet I do not know, though my guess is with this particular device he probably presented it behind some sort of curtain.

His brother Hardeen also encountered a Tramp Chair which was dubbed the Maine Tramp Chair. This is a very different device. The Maine Tramp Chair is like a portable jail cell, or a chair on wheels surrounded by a jail cell. It's a very strange relic from the 19th Century. Hardeen successfully escaped from one of these at the Bijou Theatre in Bangor Maine, in 11 minutes 54 seconds.

Houdini also claimed to have escaped from a Maine Tramp Chair in Boston, but he called his a 'Witches Chair'. For historical purposes, there was something called a 'witches chair' but it was not the same as the Maine Tramp Chair, it was a wooden chair with spikes embedded in the seat and back cushion so as to cause the sitter extreme pain. I think that Houdini's Witches Chair however, was not this, but in fact was another Maine Tramp Chair or one similar. The description of the Maine Tramp Chair can be found in Houdini's Magic & Escapes by Walter Gibson.

Maine Tramp Chair
You can check out ALL the various articles from 30 Days of Houdini HERE!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Houdini's Brother Figures Prominently In Upcoming Auction

Theo Hardeen - Library of Congress Photo

August 23rd is only a couple days away. Potter and Potter Auction is holding a very special HOUDINIANA Auction. There are some incredible pieces in this auction. But one thing that really stands out to me is the amount of Hardeen material.

Theo 'Dash' Weiss, Houdini's brother was known as Hardeen. For many years he performed a similar act to Houdini. He never achieved the same fame as his brother, but he sure kept busy. He inherited all his brothers props upon the death of Houdini and according to the Will, all of this stuff was to be burnt/destroyed when Hardeen died. But it wasn't, THANKFULLY!

I'd like to focus on a couple of the Hardeen items, or the ones where Hardeen contributes something but were actually Houdini items. The first is a Letter Lock that Houdini was Challenged with. This is Lot#46 and has a estimated price of $7000/$9000. It comes with a letter from Hardeen and signed by Hardeen that explains where Houdini first got this lock. In 1905 Houdini was performing at the Alhambra Theatre in Paris when a spectator throws this lock on the stage and challenges Houdini to open it. Houdini says it would take too long but tells the spectator that if he can come backstage after the show, he will open it. This happens and Houdini opens the lock. However, you must read the full write up of the letter in the Potter and Potter Auction Catalog to find out the whole story. It's worth checking out!

Lot#51 is very interesting to me. It is a hand written letter describing a presentation for the escape from Bean Giant Handcuffs. The letter is front and back on Hardeen's stationary. Bean Giant cuffs, are extremely formidable cuffs because they are rigid. If they are placed on with the keyhole facing inwards towards the prisoner, they are virtually impossible to get out of even with the key. Houdini devised a method to escape from the Bean Giants and this was no doubt handed down to his brother Hardeen. I'd love to read this letter and find out what the routine was like.

Lot#53 A lot of 64 Letters to Sid Radner from Theo Hardeen. Can you imagine??? Wow, this is absolutely amazing. The wealth of information in these letters has got to be unreal! One of the things mentions, and I'm not sure I knew this, is that Hardeen had the Robert-Houdin Antonio Diavolo Automaton in his possession. Hardeen also mentions probably throwing away the apparatus for the Walking Through a Brick Wall due to this size and trouble with shipping. What??? There is so much to learn about Houdini and Hardeen from these letters. This is a real gem!

Lot#81 16mm Film of Hardeen's Overboard Packing Box Escape. It also comes with a digital DVD copy. I'm not sure this has every been seen. What an amazing piece of history, being able to see Hardeen in action!

Lot#187 Lithograph of Hardeen. This dates to 1908 and is probably cut out of a larger lithograph. I've never seen this image before so it might be the only surviving piece of a larger litho.

There are quite a few other Hardeen items in the auction, but the ones above are by far my personal favorites. Don't forget to register for the auction which begins this coming Saturday, Aug 23, 2014

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tracking the Body of Houdini

Grace Hospital Detroit (Library of Congress photo)
With the recent controversy and chatter over the History Channels DECODED Episode regarding HOW Houdini Died, I thought I'd go in a slightly different direction and follow his body after his passing. We know Houdini died on October 31, 1926 in Detroit Michigan. What follows is a description of the events following his death right up until his burial. There are photos of the various places his body stopped along the way and the article concludes with the short 20 second recording of the Houdini Funeral.

DETROIT Oct 31, 1926
Wm. R. Hamilton Funeral Home
He died at 1:26 p.m. in Room 401 at Grace Hospital in Detroit. From there his body would have gone to the hospital morgue and then to Wm. R. Hamilton's Funeral Home on 3957 Cass St. The photo here shows the white house which was the original building for the funeral home and is where Houdini's body would have been. There is a larger brick building connected to it on the left but this was not completed until the 1930s. This is where Houdini was embalmed by John Fraser, one of the employees at the funeral home.

While this was happening the Houdini Show and all it's props and equipment were being crated and shipped back to NY. However, oddly, one piece did not make the trip. It was a bronze coffin with a glass lid which Houdini had intended to use for a buried alive stunt during the 1926-27 Tour. After the embalming at Wm.R. Hamilton's Funeral Home his body was put into this coffin and then into the crate for the coffin. Houdini's body now fully crated was taken by truck to the Michigan Central Station. An extra Pullman Car had to be added to the train for Houdini's casket and for his family to travel back home.

Newspaper accounts of the time report the body leaving Detroit on the 1st to arrive on the 2nd in the morning at Grand Central Station in NYC. In the photo (left), you can see the crate containing the casket with Houdini's body. One thing I never noticed before was the fellow standing on the far left hand side with his hat in his hand. That is Servais LeRoy, the illusionist and friend of Houdini. In fact, hundreds of people were at the station to see the casket arrive. Houdini had been the President of the Society of American Magicians as well as one of the most famous and beloved entertainers in the world, his death came as a shock to everyone.

Location of West End Funeral Home W 91st
Upon arrival at Grand Central Station, the casket was taken by Samuel Rothschild to his West End Funeral Chapel, 200 West 91st Street. The casket was to remain in state at the funeral parlor until November 4th. There had been talk of having the casket lie in state at the Hippodrome Theatre but this did not happen.
A letter Houdini had written several years before was discovered outlining the details of his funeral and they followed his instructions. Per Houdini's wishes the funeral would take place at the Elks Clubhouse Lodge No.1 in NYC. According to news reports, thousands of people came by to pay their respects at the funeral parlor.  By the way, the photo to the above/right shows the location of the West End Funeral Chapel, but today it is the Plaza Jewish Community Chapel.

On the morning of November 4th, 1926, the casket made it's second to last stop, this time the Elks Clubhouse on West 43rd near Broadway. It took three cars to move all the flowers from the funeral parlor to the Elks Clubhouse. Houdini would have been proud as the room was packed  for  his funeral. Close to two thousand people showed up for the service.

The service began at 10:30 a.m. and was officiated by Rabbi Bernard Drachman and Rabbi B.A. Tintner. Eulogies and remembrances were given by numerous fraternal groups, magicians and others in the theatrical community. The very first Broken Wand Ceremony was conducted by a member of the Society of American Magicians. This is where a magician breaks a wand to signify that the magic of the deceased individual has ended. It's a great ceremony, but I'm actually not sure how fitting it was for Houdini as his magic kinda continued on, even till today.

Kenneth Silverman's book HOUDINI!!! says that Bess held up well until the casket was sealed at which point she broke down in tears. Incidentally, the casket that Houdini's body traveled in from Detroit to NYC was actually a bronze casket liner. It was placed inside a larger casket and the entire thing hermetically sealed before it was carried out to the hearse. Houdini's male assistants acted as the pallbearers, with some very notable individuals being listed as honorary pallbearers; Martin Beck, his former manager and theatrical impresario, Bernard Gimbel, one of the originators of the Gimbels Dept. Store, William Morris, of the famed entertainment agency,  and Adolph Zucker, a film mogul who started Famous Players Film Company which eventually became Paramount Pictures. These were just a few of the high profile names listed as honorary pallbearers.

As the casket was carried to the hearse, the mourners could see for the first time that the streets were jammed with 2,000 spectators who had all come out to say their last goodbye to the master of mystery.

Houdini Funeral Procession
According to The Secret Life of Houdini, the funeral procession to Macapelah Cemetery contained twenty five vehicles.  How long it took to travel from the Elks Clubhouse to the cemetery, I do not know. Silverman's book HOUDINI!!! says that the funeral procession was scheduled to drive through the theatrical district before heading to the cemetery.

Finally at the cemetery, the two rabbis were present at the grave site as well as Houdini's family and widow Bess and one hundred+ mourners. Houdini made it clear in his final burial instructions that he was to be placed next to his mother. After the final words and prayers were given by the rabbis, the casket was lowered into the ground. According to the Silverman biography, Theo Weiss, Harry's brother tossed a flower onto the lowering casket and as if my magic a shower of flowers were tossed by the grieving graveside friends. This can be seen on the longer 1 minute plus footage of the Houdini Funeral, but I've only seen the shorter video (below).

Below is a short 20 second video of footage from the Houdini Funeral. It's obviously second or third generation because of the poor quality.
RIP Houdini

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Galvanized Iron Can

It's January 6th, 1908, Houdini is starting a run at the Columbia Theatre in St. Louis. He is doing his Handcuff Escape Act and the receipts are no longer what they once were. With so many imitators and rip-off artists out there, audiences had grown tired of seeing this kind of act. Even though Houdini was the one who made it famous, now he was facing a crossroad in his career. The manager of the theatre called Houdini into his office and basically gave him a thrashing about the low attendance. I believe he said something like "your act is not worth a plug nickel, or even a normal nickel" (not sure what a plug nickel is, lol). That is what Houdini was faced with in January 1908.

So what does he do? He brings out what he calls at the time "the best thing he has ever invented." That invention was 'The Galvanized Iron Can Filled with Water'. The newspaper ads promoting the escape referred to it as The Galvanized Iron Can Filled with Water and clearly Houdini referred to it as that. It wasn't until April 1908 that a newspaper referred to the can as 'looking like a giant Milk Can'.

The Milk Can
The debut of the Milk Can Escape took place at the Columbia Theatre in St. Louis, January 27th, 1908, (exactly 103 years ago today!) After theatre manager Tate told Houdini his act was worthless, Houdini came back with the Milk Can. The opening night of this performance all the area press was invited to witness Houdini's latest invention. However, not one single person from the press showed up. This was a pivotal moment in Houdini's career and no one was there to record it. We do know the "Failure Means a Drowning Death" concept was a huge hit for Houdini as he continued to use the Milk Can Escape as his closer until 1912. In 1912 he would present for the first time another new invention combining elements of his water escapes and upside down outdoor escapes, the Water Torture Cell. Though the Water Torture Cell was more spectacular, Houdini did continue to perform the Milk Can escape in a different capacity.

On occasion Houdini would use his Milk Can with a challenge. He would allow challengers to fill the can with something other than water. A dairy filled it with milk and he escaped. But it was in England in 1911 that Houdini had trouble. He allowed the Tetley Brewery to fill the can with beer.  He was overcome by the fumes from the alcohol and passed out and had to be unlocked and removed from the can. However in Columbus Ohio of the same year, he did the same stunt, can filled with beer and placed inside a wooden container (see The Double Fold Death Defying Mystery above) and escaped with no problem.

On April 18, 1916 Houdini was at Keith's Theatre in Washington D.C. The challenge came from the employees of Abner and Drurys Brewery. In the article they refer to the device as a large cask, but the description clearly the Milk Can. Houdini escaped in two minutes. The Washington Times article finishes with this line "In exactly two minutes he was out of the cabinet, wasting a lot of good beer that dripped from his body." So while the Water Torture Cell took over as the closer, the Milk Can moved into the spot of 'challenge' escape. Perhaps, he referred to the device as different things depending upon what was inside. Milk inside it was the Milk Can Escape, water inside it was the Galvanized Iron Can with Water, beer inside it was a large Iron Cask Escape.

The Inventor

I just found out through Pat Culliton's book HOUDINI-The KEY, Houdini didn't invent it, a guy named Montraville Wood did. This fact was also pointed out in the Kalush Biography as well. Wood pitched the idea to Houdini and they apparently discussed it for a while in letters. Mr. Wood eventually developed eight different ways to escape from the Milk Can.  I wonder what they were? Actually, they are listed in a patent Houdini applied for in Sept 1908. Interestingly, none of Houdini's Milk Cans featured the straps that are prominent in the poster. However, a method of using straps was one that was listed in the 1908 patent.

Who was Montraville Wood? He was an inventor, scientist, lecturer and magic enthusiast. He was an associate of Thomas Edison and was the district engineer for the Edison Company on the Pacific Coast. He was also the Aeriel Postmaster for Chicago. During his lectures he would demonstrate how gyroscopes could be used in airplanes and monorail cars. He begins with offering an audience member a chance to wrestle the gyroscope. If you recall your magic history, P.T. Selbit had a routine he called "The Mighty Cheese" which was essentially a hidden gyroscope that could not be pushed over, no matter how hard you tried. This demonstration was part of Wood's talk on the gryoscope. He also gave a demonstration of ultra-violet rays and explained the different ways it could be used, including the treatment of diseases.

Wood's association with Edison is interesting, in fact he very much resembles Thomas Edison. Among his nearly 100 inventions, was the two-button electric switch. This was the common household electric switch prior to the more modern lever switch that we are familiar with today. Among Wood's contributions to magic were a mechanical card rise, a Spirit Hand and Skull, Houdini's Iron Box Escape and the Milk Can Escape.

The Can(s)
How many Milk Can's there were is anyone's guess. I have discovered several different versions online. I'm only posting links to cans that I believe were used by Houdini. I know other manufacturers produced the Milk Can escape after Houdini and those I won't include.
Milk Churn: The Milk Churn was a Challenge that Houdini faced several times. It may have been the inspiration for the Milk Can.
Smaller Milk Can: I had seen this once in an eBay Auction. It appears to maybe be a prototype. By the way, on the link you'll need to scroll down a bit to find the image of the Milk Can among all the Titanic memorabilia.
Copperfield Milk Can: This Milk Can came from the Sidney Radner Auction. It has the identical shape to the can seen in pictures with Houdini but is missing the upper handles. I believe this was on display at the Houdini Exhibit in Appleton Wisconsin at one time.
The Lund Milk Can: This is the can that is on display at the American Museum of Magic. It's also the can that was on display during the MAGIC! Science and Wonder exhibit in Houston Texas and is currently on display at the Houdini Art and Magic Exhibit in NYC.
The Lund Milk Can+: This photo shows not only the Milk Can but also the traveling case. The brass buckets were for water.
The Bell Milk Can: This is shown on page 448 of HOUDINI-The Key by Patrick Culliton. This Milk Can is owned by collector Randall Bell and was originally found in the basement of Houdini's home on 278 West 113 th. St. This can is unusual because of the length of the shoulder/sloped part of the can. It's twice as long as every other can and may be the same can as the 'Smaller Milk Can' that I have listed though I'm not 100% sure. They both have a similar slop to the shoulders.
The Double-Fold Death Defying Mystery: Apparently escaping from a water filled can wasn't good enough for audiences. Actually, by Spring of 1913, Houdini knew he had to improve the Milk Can because it was already being copied by others. So he added a wooden crate that the Milk Can would go into. The can with Houdini inside would be sealed and then the lid of the crate would go on and be locked as well. Houdini featured this at Hammerstein's Victoria in NY for only two weeks. I get the impression that he this only on special occasions or with challenges.  Hardeen would later feature this effect in his show. Where is this crate today?
HOUDINI Milk Can: Of course all of these cans were Houdini's. But the photos with Houdini and the Milk Can show a slightly different can than those above. The difference can be seen in the position of the handles. The handles are on the angled/shoulder part just below the neck of the can and they are in the same position as a traditional real milk can. I'm not sure where this can is today.
I think there might be more Houdini Milk Cans out there. I remember hearing about a can being sold at auction maybe 10 or 15 years ago and I don't think that is one of the cans I have listed. It's anyone's guess how many of these there are total.

There is one other can that makes me wonder if it isn't a Houdini original and that is The Amazing Randi's Milk Can. This can was used on the Houdini Special in which Dean Gunnarson filled in for Randi. It's certainly the spitting image of the Lund and Copperfield Can, but it too is missing the handles on the shoulder. It could simply be a very good copy. This is not the same can that Randi supplied on the TV Show Happy Days however, again, the handles are the give-away. The majority of copied Milk Cans are easy to point out because of the shape or size being different than the Houdini can.

For some reason this seems to be the one Houdini effect that gets exposed online and in books and even in movies. But only one method is ever exposed and Houdini had eight different methods, which could mean that there are eight different cans, or MORE! Houdini even had plans of being put into the can and having the can turned over and placed into another can or box. This would certainly mean the exposed method would not work.

The Columbia Theatre St. Louis
The Columbia Theatre in St. Louis was located at 421 N. 6th Street. I previously was led to believe that the Columbia Theatre was at a different location. It appears the previous theatre wasn't built until 1926. The old Columbia where Houdini performed was built prior to 1899 and was torn down in 1925. Today there is an office building and mall on the location of one of Houdini's most historic events. It's called One City Centre. I spent hours trying to locate a photo of the old Columbia but so far nothing.
One City Center sits on the location of the Old Columbia Theatre St. Louis

Update: There may be yet another Milk Can out there because from 1906-1909, Leonard Hicks, with Houdini's training and permission presented Houdini's act in America, complete with Milk Can Escape. No idea where that can is today.

UPDATE 2: The Double-Fold Death Defying Mystery has been located. It was in a private collection all these many years. It is available to bid on in the upcoming Potter & Potter Houdini Auction on Aug 23rd, 1914.

UPDATE 3: There is ANOTHER authentic Houdini Milk Can out there. I've seen a photo of it, and trust me it's the real deal. And that is all I can say, as I am sworn to secrecy.

Please be sure to check out the New York Public Library for all the great preservation work they do.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hardeen's Commercial Endorsement

Before there was Michael Jordan or Tiger Wood there was Hardeen! It seems Hardeen was way ahead of his time. Here is an ad that appeared in the October 20, 1905 edition of the London Daily Mail paper. The huge ad is for Zam-Buk Medicated Ointment and there is a drawing of Hardeen on both the left and right sides plus his name is in the headline at the top of the ad. If you're interested you can still get this produce today at
Click on the image above to see a larger version and find out what Hardeen has to say about Zam-Buk!
(by the way, Hardeen's brother, some guy by the name of Houdini, also was a spokesman for the product)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hardeen Presents Houdini's Temple of Mystery

In 1918 Houdini was a busy man. Among his many projects was the creation of a Temple of Mystery. This was going to be a theatre in NY devoted to magic. Part theatre and part museum, the Houdini Temple of Mystery would employ all the latest gadgetry and gizmos to make the experience fun and educational for all who attended. However, it was not to be. Friends cautioned Houdini not to get involved in such an expensive project during war times.

The idea apparently was not completely dead. Jump ahead fifteen years and Houdini has long passed on. Hardeen however is now the busy performer. During a 1933 summer run in Atlantic City Hardeen opens The Houdini Temple of Mystery on the Steel Pier.  From reports of the time, the hall was very large and his run was quite successful. Jim Collins was his chief assistant and Mrs. Collins acted as stage manager.

The entrance to the Temple is on the far left of the photo
Hardeen presented a full show of escapes, magic and illusions. Much of the material was Houdini stuff but there was a lot of Hardeen magic there too. Bess Houdini visited the show once and was acknowledged by the crowd. There was more than one theatre on the Steel Pier and at one point Hardeen was competing with the comedy duo of Amos & Andy for tickets. One Sunday afternoon, Hardeen had 67,000 people show up during his shows that day. I don't know how many shows he did but that's a crazy amount of people. It was a record setting day for the Steel Pier and he beat out the crowds that attended Amos & Andy's show.

Hardeen, who was in his late 50's at this point, was doing the Underwater Packing Crate Escape, TWICE DAILY from the Steel Pier, this according to a blurb in the July 1935 Issue of The Sphinx.

The Temple of Mystery ran from , at least from 1933-1935, I can't find any record past that.
The Steel Pier originally opened in 1898. It was an important Atlantic City landmark and a popular place for entertainers to play. Some who worked the Steel Pier besides Hardeen include: W.C. Fields, Benny Goodman, The Three Stooges, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Glen Cambell and many more. The Pier was destroyed by a fire in 1982 and was rebuilt by the Trump Organization in the 1990's and is still there today.

*One note. I understand the Nov. Genii has an article on Hardeen appearing on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. I haven't read it or seen it and I HOPE I have not duplicated anything that was in the article, though I have a feeling the article just dealt with having Hardeen's character in this TV show.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hardeen the Illusionist

Hardeen, brother of Houdini. I was unaware that Hardeen was the creator of The Book of Life Illusion. This came as quite a surprise to me actually. I found it in The New Conjurers Magazine Vol 1. Number 6, which is an issue devoted to Hardeen. There is a big two page spread on the Book of Life Illusion by Hardeen. Apparently he got the inspiration from seeing Thurston walk through a giant book to be introduced. However, Thurston's was not an illusion but just a unique way of introducing the magician.

Hardeen wanted to turn the idea into something magical so he devised a Giant Book that would open so that you could see nothing inside. The front and back covers would be closed and instantly a person would magically appear! I will state for the record it's a beautiful effect and it works like a charm. I know because I own the one that once belonged to Harry Blackstone Jr.! I used to use it at the Underground Magic Theatre all the time and it never failed to astound.

1906 Boston Houdini More

During Houdini's run in Boston 1906 he offered a number of exciting one of a kind stunts to his audiences. I found in the Silverman book a mention of Houdini's escape from a Witches Chair. Though, from the description 'an iron out house', I think perhaps the device was a Tramp Chair. Both would make interesting escapes. Both are devices that could be found in the New England region. I learned from Norman Bigelow that Hardeen presented an escape from a Maine Tramp Chair at one point.

The top photo is an actual Witches Chair. It's a torture device to get witches to confess that they are indeed witches. The Tramp chair was usually in the shape of a chair with an iron cell built around it. This was invented by Sanford Baker of Oakland Maine which is why I'm sure it's often called a Maine Tramp Chair.

Now take a look at this picture from the Secrets & Mysteries booklet put out by 'OUDINI'. Notice the shape of the device matches the description from the Silverman book, 'an iron out house'. My guess is that Houdini made his escape from some version of a Maine Tramp Chair rather than a Witches Chair.
One other note of interest. The address to Keith's New Theatre where Houdini performed was 547 Washington St. Boston. There is an address on the cover of the Oudini book which is 230 Washington St.

The new Culliton book says that Oudini was really Frank Rowan and was an actor. I noticed the drawings used for the book are the same as some I've seen in other Houdini books.  Was this really Houdini drumming up more controversy to sell tickets? I'm sure all these things were revealed long after Houdini performed them. Either that, or given the fact that Rowan was an actor, perhaps he had access to these contraptions. The Oudini book lists the Iron Boiler Escape, The Glass Box escape and others that Houdini did perform in Boston.

***Just found a little bit more out about Hardeen's Tramp Chair Escape. He was performing at the Bijou Theatre in Bangor Maine when he was challenged by the Director of Public Safety. Hardeen claims he had never seen nor heard of the device before. The following night the Tramp Chair was brought to the theatre and Hardeen was locked up in it. He escaped in 11 minutes 54 seconds.

I discovered there is a Police Museum in Bangor and within the museum is a Tramp Chair. I can't help but wonder if this is the very chair that Hardeen was challenged with.
 ***One finale update: Take a look at the left side of this poster. You'll see the Maine Tramp Chair that Hardeen escaped from!

Just added another Boston related item here