I generally have myself suspended by the ankles, in a strait-jacket, from some high building of lofty height, and then extricate myself in mid-air, so to speak. All my public escapes from a strait-jacket have been made by me high in the air for two reasons: first the sensationalism of the feat, to be sure; but, secondly and more important, for the reason that, being so far up, with the crowd below be rather than on a level with me, as was the case of the camera in the present picture, it is impossible for the people to follow the movements employed by me to effect the "escape," I might just as well get out of the jacket in a cabinet.
A strait-jacket is made of canvas to which heavy smooth leather is riveted at such points as the wearer would naturally strive to employ his teeth upon in order to tear the fabric. The Jacket fits closely from the neck to the lower hips. The sleeves are longer than coat sleeves by several inches and are closed, the ends continuing on the one with a heavy strap, and on the other with a strap that finishes with a buckle.
The jacket buckles all the way down the back and another strap for the
men in front passes between the legs and is caught in a buckle in the hem
of the garment in the back. When worn the arms are placed in a "folded"
position and the straps extending from the closed sleeves are drawn tight
and buckled at the back.
If you will compare the position of my arms in Picture No. 2 with their position in Picture No. 3, you may be able to trace the first movement. The last movement I do very quickly with a jerk of head, neck and dislocated shoulders. The result is a freedom of my arms, as in Picture No. 4. Then I reach up my back and, though my hands are still inclosed in the sleeves of the jacket, I fumble the back buckles loose, as in Picture No 5. This done, I am entirely free, as in Picture No. 6.
This article originally appeared in the "Ladies Home Journal," May, 1918.