In 1908, in a promotional effort, representatives of the Weed Chain Tire Grip Company challenged the master magician Harry Houdini to escape from a prison created by their product. According to “The Secret Life of Houdini,” by William Kalush and Larry Sloman, Houdini was enmeshed in a series of looped, locked tire chains, then chained into two steel-rimmed automobile tires. At one point during the escape, the chains had to be moved lower, as Houdini was turning blue from one of them binding his throat; he was then able to release himself. Houdini performed this famous stunt during a weeklong engagement at Hammerstein’s Theatre in New York.

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