Harry Houdini was born in Budapest, Austria on March 24, 1874. His real name was Erik Weisz whereas harry Houdini is the stage name he adopted later. He and his family moved to Appleton, Wisconsin after a few years of Harry’s birth. Harry had an appetite for the unusual antics at a very young age. At the age of 9, he was already performing as a trapeze artist for a local troupe. He was highly inspired by magicians Harry Kellar and Jean Eugene Robert Houdin whose names he combined to create his stage name. He started his career as a magician in 1891 as a 17-year-old.
He started off by performing card tricks at sideshows and museums. His tricks were not receiving much attention so he tried to experiment with dangerous escape acts which would bring in more audience to his shows. He got his first break in the year 1899 when he began being appreciated for his handcuffs act. He performed this act at many of the top vaudeville houses in the country. He became so popular that he went on a tour of Europe, going through cities like Germany, France, Russia, Scotland, England and Netherlands entertaining crowds with his handcuffs act.