Harbin: Eight inches of thread

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David Kaplan
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Boston

Harbin: Eight inches of thread

Postby David Kaplan » March 13th, 2017, 3:49 pm

One of my very early magic books was Robert Harbin's, "How to be a Wizard". (Oldbourne Press, London, 1957)

Harbin wrote something in a chapter on escapology that caught my attention and which puzzles me to this day: "I could teach you a way to tie up a person with eight inches of button thread, and he'd never escape until he was cut loose. Perhaps some day I'll reveal this ingenious method of securing a person...."

I would guess that the person's thumbs are tied behind their back, although that's hardly ingenious. Did Harbin ever explain? Or are there any other ideas as to what he may have been thinking?

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Joe Pecore
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Favorite Magician: Paul Harris
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Harbin: Eight inches of thread

Postby Joe Pecore » March 13th, 2017, 5:45 pm

Will Dexter describes how to tie someone up with "nine inches of button thread" in "Secrets of The Conjurer's Craft" (c. 1955) which was republished as "This Is Magic: Secrets of the Conjurer's Craft" (1958).

He also states in there: "Houdini used to say there was only one tie that he couldn't escape from, and that could be made with nine inches of button thread."
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David Kaplan
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Harbin: Eight inches of thread

Postby David Kaplan » March 13th, 2017, 7:58 pm

Thanks for the reference Joe. Harbin's finesse evidently improved on Dexter by 1 inch!

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Q. Kumber
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Location: Manchester, England

Re: Harbin: Eight inches of thread

Postby Q. Kumber » March 16th, 2017, 9:37 pm

Will Dexter ghosted some books for Harbin.


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