Mysteries: Doyle and Houdini Pictures

Host Don Wildman examines a captivating portrait, a medal that was awarded to a man whose controversial experiments changed American dinner tables forever, and a key used by a shady impostor.
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The Houdini Museum

Owned by a couple of seasoned magicians, the the Houdini Museum has helped put Scranton, PA, on the map with a veritable treasure trove of objects related to the performer, such as mirror handcuffs, a collection of locks and a straitjacket.

The Houdini Museum

The most haunting artifact at the Houdini Museum is a piece from the magician’s private collection. It’s a portrait of a white-haired woman wearing a high-necked, black gown and a stoic expression. This photograph was the catalyst for a bitter tale that tormented the great illusionist right up until his untimely death.

Chemical Heritage foundation

Philadelphia was once the capital of the United States, so it’s no wonder that the "City of Brotherly Love" offers a plethora of cultural and historic sites, such as the Liberty Bell and the Reading Terminal. One institution that isn’t always high on people’s to-do list is the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Inside, there are displays highlighting the role chemistry has played in our lives, including an antique chemistry set, an infrared spectrophotometer and portraits of prominent chemists.

National Food and Drug Adminstration

An item in the museum’s collection celebrates one of our country’s great scientific pioneers. It is made of bronze, is about 2 inches in diameter, features elaborate engraving and is nearly a century old. The medal speaks to an outlandish and controversial experiment, that called for participants with a strong stomach and a brave set of bowels.

Walls Unit

Huntsville, TX, is the headquarters of the Texas criminal justice system, and looming large on the outskirts is the Huntsville Unit of the Texas State Penitentiary. It’s the largest and oldest prison in the South and is known as the “Walls Unit” for its imposing red brick walls covered with ivy.

Lock and Key

This seemingly commonplace key is for the maximum-security ward at the Walls Unit. A prison guard who once owned it was at the heart of one of the most astounding deceptions of all time.

Countway Library of Medicin

Serving Harvard’s prestigious Medical School, School of Public Health and School of Dental Medicine is the Francis Countway Library of Medicine in Boston. With more than 630,000 volumes and 3,500 journals, this institution is the largest academic medical library in the world. It houses an extensive collection of 15th-century medical literature and a large portrait gallery featuring individuals instrumental to advances in health and medicine.

Murder at Harvard

Carefully packed away among the medical collectibles at the Francis Countway Library of Medicine is a peculiar-looking object that is considered to be the most historically significant specimen in the library’s collection. At more than 160 years old, it is browned with age, and one side is marked with intended lines. This specimen was a key piece of evidence at the climax of a compelling 19th-century murder investigation that still bears relevance today.

Bradbury Science Museum

Situated in a harsh desert landscape, nestled between a canyon and a volcanic caldera, lies a small town named Los Alamos, NM. It is known as "the place where discoveries are made." And nowhere is that more apparent than at the Bradbury Science Museum, which features exhibits on nanotechnology, supercomputing and space science.

World's Most Famous Bomb

On display at the Bradbury Science Museum is arguably the most famous bomb in the world. However, what isn’t so well known is the intriguing story of the double-crossing child prodigy who helped build it.