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July 13, 1990 - Image 31

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-07-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Adolph Barlow, Civil
War soldier. Below:
Barlow's last home.



name in honor of the French
magician Robert-Houdin,
performed no end of stunts
that baffled and delighted
audiences in the United
States and Europe. He asked
guards to lock him in milk
cans, in wooden crates
dropped to the bottom of the
ocean, in strait-jackets and
in prisons. Police designed
locks from which they said
no one could escape. Houdini
always did.
Houdini also was a master
illusionist. In one of his most
famous tricks, "Metamor-
phosis," a magician in-
troduces a young woman
who is then locked in hand-
cuffs, tied in a large bag and
placed in a trunk. A cur-
tain is held before the trunk,
and in less than an instant
the woman reappears —out
of her handcuffs and out of
the bag. When the trunk is
opened, a large bag can be
seen. It is untied and out
pops the magician, wearing
the handcuffs.
After the death of his
beloved mother, Houdini ap-
proached psychics and
mediums to make contact
with her spirit. In doing so,
he uncovered numerous
charlatans whose tricks he
would reveal in Miracle
Mongers and Their Methods
and other works.

While performing in 1926
in Montreal, Houdini met a
young man who asked if it
was true that the magician
often braved punches to his
stomach. Houdini suggested
he see for himself. But before
Houdini could tighten his
muscles, the visitor
delivered a sharp blow to
Houdini's stomach.
Houdini — though he
didn't know it at the time —
was severely injured.
Three days later Houdini
came to Detroit, where he
was scheduled to perform at
the Garrick Theater. He
checked into room 1108 at
the Statler Hotel.
Some historians say
Houdini asked to see a
physician while staying at
the Statler. Others say he
collapsed during a perfor-
mance for a Detroit au-
He was taken on Oct. 25,
1926, to Grace Hospital on
John R Street, where he was
admitted to Room 401 in
Corridor D. Surgery was per-
formed to remove Houdini's
ruptured appendix, but he
died 1:26 p.m. Oct. 31, 1946.
He was 52.
Houdini's body was flown
back to his home, New York.
He was buried at Machpelah
Cemetery in Queens.

Adolph Barlow was 16
years old when he put on his
cap, packed his bags and
went to fight for freedom.
The date: Sept. 9, 1861.
Barlow was one of 181
Jews from Michigan who
helped shape the country
through service with the
Union Army in the Civil
War. Among the other Mich-
igan soldiers were Ephraim
Lyon of Flint, who reached
the rank of major; Gustav'
Goldsmith, one of the
soldiers taken at Bull Run;
and Leopold Mark, Charles
Friedlander and Joseph
Myers of Detroit.
Barlow was typical of the
Jewish soldiers in the Union
Army. Born in Breslau,
Germany, in 1845, the son of
Morris and Pauline, he vol-
unteered for three years
with the 5th Michigan In-
fantry, Company C.
After the war, Barlow liv-
ed in Ionia and Flint. In
1875, he moved back to
Detroit, settling at 372 7th
Street and working as a
Barlow and his wife had
several children. Their son,
Myron, an artist, painted the
murals at the old Temple
Beth El on Woodward and
In his later years, Barlow
lived at 362 Woodland in
Detroit, which still exists to-
day. The Woodland home
was to be Barlow's last. He
died on Sept. 21, 1934 and
was buried in the Beth El
section of Woodmere

Grace Hospital, as it
appeared when
Houdini was taken
there with a fatal ail-
ment (left). The site of
the former Grace
Hospital, as it looks to-
day (bottom left).



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