thin model sawing

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Postby Jerry Harrell » 07/05/07 10:06 AM

Who invented the thin model sawing a woman in half, and when? Was it John Daniel?
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Postby Guest » 07/05/07 11:50 AM

According to Metin And's scholarly HISTORY OF MAGIC IN ISTANBUL (1978), the great Turkish illusionist Sati Zungur (b. 1898) invented the illusion. He traded the secret to Hungarian illusionist Tihanyi in 1945 when the latter was performing in Turkey, and it then entered the repertoire of American magicians when Tihanyi had one built for his South American tours.

Postby Jerry Harrell » 07/05/07 12:36 PM

Thank you Richard. Recently, I was discussing seeing the illusion performed at the 1961 PCAM convention by John and Irene Daniel, and thought I remembered him saying it was his. My friend insisted that Virgil first performed it. I appreciate getting the correct answer.
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Postby Guest » 07/05/07 02:33 PM

This illusion was debuted at either the 1957 or 58 PCAM Convention at the Disneyland Hotel. It was performed by John Daniel with his then-wife Irene as the "sawee." It stunned the audience. I know, I was in the audience. It was one of the great moments of magic that I've experienced in my life.

I believe this was well-before Tihany had one. Indeed, I believe he did a double sawing - originally developed for Channing Pollack by Bill Taylor - built by Les Smith at Owen Magic many years later.

While Zungar may deserve the credit for the origination of the effect, it was John Daniel, doubtless with contributions by Carl Owen, who brought a strong sense of design to the prop, adding the Queen Anne legs, a top class paint job and other design changes to the prop. Pictures of the Zungar prop that ran in Genii showed something far below the quality of the prop that John built. I just walked past a new one yesterday at Owen Magic and it remains one of the most gorgeous props in magic.

Kirkham, with the help of Jim Summers, built his own version using an wedge-design Asrah table as a base as his wife was bigger than Irene. It was also quite deceptive and the boxes folded down into the table for ease of transport.

Later models incorporated radio-controlled feet.

It should be noted that Carter the Great had a Thurston-style Sawing (the big boxes) that had the sides drop down to supposedly show the girl laying there in two pieces. I don't know if more than Carter's one model were ever made as that's the only one I've ever seen or heard of.

Postby Guest » 07/05/07 04:05 PM

From the Carter book Carter had a sawing that was not the Thurston-style Sawing. His was different and he could and did separate the two boxes and walk between them. Like the thin model and the in my opinion the Carter sawing could be called the thick model sawing. Because the effect and method was very close to a thin model. But the boxes were bigger.

I don't have the book handy but I think it was a Thayer built.

Postby Guest » 07/07/07 12:01 AM

Having played with the Carter prop in the mid-60s in San Francisco, it did have large boxes like the Thurston Sawing and they could be separated on the table like the Thurston Sawing, but the sides of the boxes could be dropped to see through. There were "forms" that folded down from the sides of the box nearest the audience that gave the illusion of the girls body. It was rather crude.

Since the prop had been in storage for decades when I had my hands on it, the "forms" were in need of repair, although they were backed with steel and hinged to fold down.

I've always wondered if it looked good enough to fool people. Of course, this was an illusion meant to be presented on a full stage, with the necessary distance and lights, so it probably was sufficient for the work. I do not know if Carter dropped the side of the boxes and left them down for a period of time or if it was just a quick flash.

I believe the prop was built by Thayer.

Postby Blair Marshall » 07/15/07 09:16 AM

You can see John perform the Sawing on the trailer for Http:// a doc. by Dante Larsen's wife.

It is from the original "ShaZzam!" show, about 1970.

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"ShaZzam!" - From the 1960's to the present.
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Postby NCMarsh » 07/15/07 04:21 PM

While, to the best of my limited knowledge, John Daniel came up with the thin sawing that has been picked up by so many performers; Guy Jarrett had not only uncovered the thin model pricinple, he exploited the idea in a way that is far superior to the modern version, and he did it by 1936.

For my money, it is one of very best stage illusions ever invented...

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