The concept of spoonbending

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Postby Pekka Gunst » 02/17/04 11:19 PM

Uri Geller popularized spoon bending. Is he the father of the effect or was there spoonbenders before him?
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Postby Guest » 02/20/04 03:48 AM

I can't believe we have such a learned group here and no one knows who invented spoon bending!
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Postby Guest » 02/20/04 10:34 AM

In a very early volume of the Jinx, there's a bending swizzle stick effect.
from
Ford
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Postby Guest » 02/20/04 06:05 PM

Geller was NOT the inventor of it BUT he was the one that made it so famous.
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Postby Guest » 02/20/04 09:43 PM

"The earliest published reference for metal-bending would seem to be a coin-bending effect, "Atomic Penny" in Ben Bergers _Highlight Magic_, 1941."

It was posted by Max Maven on the Magic Cafe about a year ago.
I hope it's ok to repost it.
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Postby Guest » 02/21/04 02:18 PM

Guy Bavili, while lecturing at The Magic Castle, noted that spoonbending is unique in it's appeal as it is seemingly a new effect in magic, different from what commonly done by magicians. He said in Israel, if people find out you do magic, they are more likely to say, "Do you bend spoons?", rather than expecting you to do card tricks, etc., as many would in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Certainly, master showman, Uri Geller, made it important, and identifiable with him. Taking a rather simple/boring effect, and getting the world to take notice...praise and argue about it, even enabling others to create careers for themselves, knocking him.
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Postby Guest » 02/25/04 12:57 PM

Originally posted by Diego Domingo:
Guy Bavili, while lecturing at The Magic Castle, noted that spoonbending is unique in it's appeal as it is seemingly a new effect in magic, different from what commonly done by magicians. He said in Israel, if people find out you do magic, they are more likely to say, "Do you bend spoons?", rather than expecting you to do card tricks, etc., as many would in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Certainly, master showman, Uri Geller, made it important, and identifiable with him. Taking a rather simple/boring effect, and getting the world to take notice...praise and argue about it, even enabling others to create careers for themselves, knocking him.
Yep... and it certainly does stink when you're a Mentalist trying to invoke that investment of belief from your audience whilst doing a feat every 12-year old kid is now doing at the drop of a hat. It will be a great day when Magicians stick with doing magic and leave the Mentalism and Bizarre work to those that specialize in it. Then again, it would be a great day if they'd just listen to what's been said about the difference between presenting solid mentalism vs. doing tricks... :eek:

Oh well, some things will never change!
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Postby Guest » 03/08/04 04:44 PM

I am neither a Geller defender nor a huge fan. I do acknowledge how successfully he managed to make small things seem important.

I challenge anyone to find a published description of "Psychic" spoonbending prior to Geller. There are published descriptions of "...noticing that several items in the kitchen were also bent or damaged." from the 50's, but I contend that holding a spoon and making it "psychicly" bend as a direct and intentional effect is all Geller. He was there first.

Anyone know otherwise?
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Postby Guest » 03/08/04 07:10 PM

Spoon bending is hardly unique those days.
Almost every mentalist and magician is bending spoons.
And as pointed out by Max Maven the first metal bending effect was published in 1945.
I have read many articles about Uri Geller in Hebrew from 1970 and spoon bending was never mentioned in them.
Only pk effects with watchs,so i guess it something he 'picked up' aboard Israel.
He also hasn't used the pivot bend until the 80's.
Considering the fact that his act is taking stright out of Annemann's I find it hard to believe that he is the inventor of spoon bending.
I hope that someone,someday will take the time to research the history of spoon bending.
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Postby David Britland » 03/09/04 07:53 AM

Despite all the claims for metal bending effects prior to Geller, I believe that Uri Geller deserves full credit for creating the spoon bending effect as we now know it.

It would be interesting to know what inspired Uri Geller to create this effect. Maybe one day we'll find out.

It is possible to find metal bending effects in the literature of the paranormal prior to Geller and while not the spoon bending we have become accustomed to they are worth noting.

David Berglas investigated a case of the metal hands on clocks that bent in Holland in the 1960s. It's recounted in his book.

Even earlier cases are on record. Harry Price's book Poltergeist Over England tells of a haunting from 1850 (Mill on the Eden)in which the following happened:

"many of the manifestations took place when the family were having their meals. And these manifestations included the pinching of children; flaming paper found in a bedroom; raps; the flight of keys, nails, spoons and forks (and these were bent double in mid-air); the levitation and upsetting of a supper table when no people were in the room; the slashing to pieces of a boy's clothes (as at Dortmund); the transportation of the elder boy who was carried across the room by invisible hands, and deposited gently on the floor."

So there you have it. The ultimate spoon bend, all accomplished in mid-air, no touching! And in 1850.

I'd still give Geller credit for the effect as we see it today though.

David
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Postby Guest » 03/09/04 11:11 AM

David is right.
Geller does deserve (and has made sure he profited from) credit for defining spoonbending as an effect, and his. Just like others have done handcuff escapes years before Houdini did, he made it important, and his.
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