Help for proper credit of illusions

A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.

Postby Umpa Duze » 03/27/05 10:22 PM

Hello,
I am working on an illusion book and would appreciate help nailing down credit for the last few effects. If you know who should be credited with the invention of the following effects, I would appreciate the help so that I can give proper credit where credit is due.

Ribbon through Woman (shooting a ribbon through a woman)
Arm Chopper (the type with the openable front and the pivot)
Visible Sawing (jig saw and U-shaped bridge positioned over the volunteer)
Broom Suspension
Sword Suspension
Disembodied Princess (middle panel leaned backwards is this credited to Larsen?)
Triangle Illusion (as described by Wels in great Illusions of Magic)
Hindu Basket
Overflowing Coconut


Thanks for your help with this.
Eric
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 03/29/05 04:19 AM

you have to apreceate that many of the effects you have listed go back to the 1800s.The broom suspension could be credited to Jean Eugene Robert Houdin.
The sword suspension, do you mean the one with 3 swords, 2 of which are removed, thus one at the nape of the neck supports the weight? or do you mean the impaler Ilusion?.
If it's the impaler, then the first variation was created by Les Levant, altough a more practical version is favoured today.
The disembodied princess, is the creation of P.T Selbit, who also created the first saw through a woman, as well as many other Ilusions.
I believe tha you will find that the hindu basket is litraly as old as time it's self. As is the Coconut, althouh you will find variations of this in Fabian's excelent book on Louis s Histead, Published in the 1040s.
The electric saw through, as described in your post, was, as far as i know the Invention of Jack Hughes.
It was in turn a variation of the Harbin bow saw through, and i am guessing that, since Jack and Robbert harbing developed many ideas together, Harbin had some input on it as well.
I hope that these answers are of some use...
Dale
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Postby Umpa Duze » 03/29/05 06:42 PM

Hi Dale,
I realize how difficult it is to give credit for illusions that often evolve. For instance Robert-Houdin's lighter than air effect "Suspension Ethereene" was the precursor for the Broom Suspension but also followed the Hindu Fakir effect of resting on a walking stick. I am not sure what is appropriate in terms of credit, so I have been trying to at least credit the inventor of the version I am using in the book. There are over 90 illusions, and these are the last few I need to pin down.

As to the sword suspension, I was trying to find out who is credited with the three sword version.

Thanks for the heads up on Selbit, I did not realize that he had used prosthetics in his effects. Is there a reference you could share with me about this? He sure took the whole idea of torturing the poor assistant farther than anyone else of his era!

Thanks again for the information, I appreciate the insights and the help. If anyone knows whether the credit for the electric sawing belongs to both Harbin and Hughes I would appreciate hearing from you.
Eric
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 03/30/05 04:51 AM

You will find that reading Peter Warlocks book on Selbit's life will give you al the details needed regarding the Disemodied. the head in the earlier versions wasnt a prosthetic as such, the princess wore a mask,much for the same reasons for wearing sun glasses in some of the more up to date head's off Ilusions.
I have just had a thought regarding the 3 sword suspension, Hopefully i will get back tomorow with a little more information.


Dale.
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Postby Philippe Billot » 03/30/05 10:18 AM

For Arm Chopper
I think it's "Modernistic Amputation" by U.F. Grant and Recil Bordner.
Created in 1940, see Abbott's Catalogue N6

For the Ribbon
See "Shooting Through a Woman" by Chung Ling Soo (Robinson William)

For Sword Suspension, before 1900

For Broom Suspension, circa 1910

For Hindu Basket, perhaps 1000 years

Sorry to be not more accurate.
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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 03/31/05 12:54 AM

the 3 sword suspension.
The first reference to this effect can be found in Hofmanns later magic, and acording to the Hade's encyclopedia of suspensions and levitations, is the work of F.D.Hewes.
However the same book also describes the version we know today, and this is credited to Burling Hull, and Eddie Joseph.

Disembodied princess, a.k.a the girl without a middle.

invented in 1925, and first called the man with a gap.
This version differs from the one today, in that it used a trap, thus making it possible to dismantle the box completely if desired.
The more popular version, with the drop down back door, is a carl Owen invention, and can be found in early owen/Thayer catalogues.
It was the search to create a variation that can be performed surounded, that drove Robert Harbin to invent his clasic Zig Zag Lady.
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Postby Philippe Billot » 03/31/05 11:23 AM

For Triangle Illusion

In accordance with Bart Whaley

1928, Catalogue N7, Thayer's
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Postby Umpa Duze » 03/31/05 11:25 AM

Thanks again Dale and Philippe,
This is very helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to help me with this.

Cheers,
Eric
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Joined: 06/05/08 08:27 PM
Location: Humboldt County CA

Postby Philippe Billot » 03/31/05 11:39 AM

For Visible Sawing

Perhaps Sawing a Woman in Halves by Recil Bordner
Abbott's Magic Novelty Co
Ad in Genii, Vol 13 N4, Dec 1948
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