Jim Stewart's Houdini Challenge Straitjacket
In 2006 Jim Stewart was moving and had a eBay liquidation of his own stuff including several truly great straitjackets from his collection. I was lucky enough to purchase his original Houdini Challenge Straitjacket prototype. This very formidable jacket is truly unique and a lot of fun to play with. It has loads of unique features which are well described on Stewart's own web page devoted this jacket. The text is quoted below:
The following text comes directly from Jim Stewarts own web page on his Houdini Challenge Straitjacket.
"From the earliest days of my interest in HOUDINI, designing a totally escape-proof jacket was always an ambition. While learning (and practicing) all the tricks of the Escape Artist's trade, my mind always lept at the idea of preventing escape rather than using tricks to effect an escape.
This formidable jacket is the result of years of discussing and experimenting. It was made for a TV programme as the ultimate 'Escape-proof' strait-jacket challenge - and nobody has yet escaped from it - but not for want of trying.
As one of the earliest
examples of my work, it is quite crudely hand-made but is as
robust as ever. Double canvas sail-cloth and tough rough-dressed
leather not only give it durability, but make it look (and feel)
like the heavy-duty restraint it
1. Deep leather yoke prevents
teeth getting to front arm-strap strap - so no gnawing the
As long as the wearer is not able to walk around or get any leverage, this remains a formidable challenge ..... HOWEVER
This unusual feature was added more recently as an
Double 'D' rings at each sleeve-end require a separate strap to close and link them together - a process which suggests a chance of escape - but because sleeves are extra long - once closed and tightened, this strap can not (usually) be re-opened without outside assistance.
Many people have tried to prove that the sleeves being open-ended reduces the efficiency of the jacket - but so far the jacket remains espcape-proof.
Since it was first made nearly thirty years ago this jacket has sucessfully provide the ultimate challenge - but there's always somebody eager to 'have a go". ...Jim Stewart