Origin of Multiplying Bottles?

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Postby Tom Stone » 03/17/08 02:02 PM

I'm in the process of illustrating my Multiplying Bottles routine, and just realized that I completely lack knowledge regarding the credits.

Do anyone know where it comes from? Who originated it?
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Postby Dexter Cleveland » 03/17/08 04:48 PM

Look up Ken Brooke in Bart Whaley's encyclopedia and see what that yields. Ask Denny Haney what he knows about the history. Good luck! Dexter Cleveland
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Postby Tom Stone » 03/17/08 05:07 PM

If I had access to Whaley's encyclopedia, I would not have asked here.

I thought it was older, but Ken Brooke is the originator then?
Thanks Dexter.
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Postby Denis Behr » 03/17/08 06:01 PM

According to Whaley: "A pet effect of Ken Brooke and Nick Lewin (since 1960s)."

The passe-passe bottle, on which it is based (without the multiplying of the bottles), is much older. Whaley: "This classic trick was already common by 1876 (Hoffmann as "The 'Passe-Passe' Trick")."

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Postby Tom Stone » 03/17/08 06:21 PM

Denis Behr wrote:The passe-passe bottle, on which it is based (without the multiplying of the bottles), is much older. Whaley: "This classic trick was already common by 1876 (Hoffmann as "The 'Passe-Passe' Trick")."
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Thanks Denis.
I assumed that the Passe-Passe Trick was quite old.

Then we have, what I guess is an intermediate variation, the Passe-Passe Trick with just one extra shell which an impish assistant can steal away in an attempt to cause trouble for the magician.

Then the multiplying bottles, which I assume is older than Brooke.

I'm not sure if I get the chronology right. It might also be that the version with just one extra came after the Multiplying Bottles, as a lowbudget alternative?

More input is welcome.
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Postby Asser Andersen » 03/17/08 06:39 PM

In volume 42 (1978) of Genii page 420 you can find an article by Lloyd E. Jones stating that "the introduction of the multiplying bottles, I am told, is credited to Arthur P. Felsman, a well-known Chicago Magic Dealer of the early part of the century. It lay dormant then until the 1940s when revived by Percy Abbott".

The article goes on to describe Lloyd E. Jones elaborate bottle act from the 1950s-60's as well as describing other acts with the multiplying bottles from the same period.

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Postby Tom Stone » 03/17/08 09:04 PM

Asser Andersen wrote:In volume 42 (1978) of Genii page 420 you can find an article by Lloyd E. Jones stating that "the introduction of the multiplying bottles, I am told, is credited to Arthur P. Felsman, a well-known Chicago Magic Dealer of the early part of the century. It lay dormant then until the 1940s when revived by Percy Abbott".

The article goes on to describe Lloyd E. Jones elaborate bottle act from the 1950s-60's as well as describing other acts with the multiplying bottles from the same period.

Asser


Wonderful! Thanks Asser :)

I'm still piecing together fragments with guesswork.

Would it be reasonable to assume that the early routines relied on getting the extra sets from a servante, and that Ken Brooke should be credited for the idea to have all the sets already in the tubes from the beginning?

Also, the movement where one single tube is used to get the objects to change place, and is turned over in the process - is it reasonable to assume that belongs to Ken Brooke as well?

And also - there is a gambit where a silk is tied around the neck of the bottle. Might that belong to Marconick?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/17/08 09:40 PM

People have been using bottle shells for a long long time--they appear in magic sets going back to the mid 1800s. So, if someone is going to think about doing a Multiplying Bottles trick, and the shell is already well known, I would say it would have ocurred to someone long before Ken Brooke. No?
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Postby Dexter Cleveland » 03/18/08 05:51 AM

On page 209 of Ken Brooke and Friends(Taurus Magic Supply,1986) Ken says he built his Multiplying Martini routine in 1961,during a summer season at Scarborough. His description of the routine continues through page 217. Denny Haney learned the routine from Ken. He may have some historical information. Good luck.
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Postby Asser Andersen » 03/18/08 08:14 AM

Tom Stone wrote:Would it be reasonable to assume that the early routines relied on getting the extra sets from a servante, and that Ken Brooke should be credited for the idea to have all the sets already in the tubes from the beginning?

Also, the movement where one single tube is used to get the objects to change place, and is turned over in the process - is it reasonable to assume that belongs to Ken Brooke as well?

And also - there is a gambit where a silk is tied around the neck of the bottle. Might that belong to Marconick?


The LLoyd E. Jones article I mentioned previously in this thread even though appearing in Genii in 1978 is dated March 1960, and you can find references to him performing the multiplying bottles extending back to Genii vol 16 (1951).

Lloyd E. Jones credits his interest in the multiplying bottles in seing a performance by George Boston (assistant to Howard Thurston and Boston Coin Box inventor I guess): "The production of nine bottles from the two tubes seemed not only a novel trick but I made mental note that here was an item for future consideration." This performance presumably must have been in the late 1940's ?

In the act that Lloyd E. Jones describes in the Genii article the extra nested bottles are already hidden in the tubes from the beginning and does not come from a servante.

My feeling is that Ken Brookes contribution is to orchestrate the production of the bottles to perfection. Providing the optimal layout for the bottles such that discrepancies in size becomes almost invisible. And of course "just" doing/inventing an incredibly entertaining and funny routine/performance.
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Postby Tom Stone » 03/18/08 09:26 AM

Asser Andersen wrote:It lay dormant then until the 1940s when revived by Percy Abbott".

Philippe Billot provided the following:

The first Ad for Abbott's Multiplying Passe Bottle is in The Tops, Vol. 15, N 2, feb 1950, page 28.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 03/18/08 07:16 PM

Tom Stone wrote:The first Ad for Abbott's Multiplying Passe Bottle is in The Tops, Vol. 15, N 2, feb 1950, page 28.


I also found ad for Abbott's Multiplying Passe Bottles in the Sphinx, Vol 48, October 1949, page 213.
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Postby Tom Stone » 03/19/08 04:00 PM

Asser Andersen wrote:..the introduction of the multiplying bottles, I am told, is credited to Arthur P. Felsman, a well-known Chicago Magic Dealer of the early part of the century.


Arthur P. Felsman in the early 1900's - that's the earliest reference so far.

I don't subscribe to "Ask Alexander", otherwise I would check if there is more there...
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Postby Asser Andersen » 03/19/08 06:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Tom Stone
Arthur P. Felsman in the early 1900's - that's the earliest reference so far.
I don't subscribe to "Ask Alexander", otherwise I would check if there is more there...


I checked "Ask Alexander" - however no real luck.

The only reference directly related to this was in Abracadabra Vol. 63, 1976 page 16 where Jack Potter has a column called "Did you know that" - one item in this column states : "The Multiplying Bottles were first marketed by Arthur P. Felsman
in Chicago during the 'twenties"

The other item I found was in a magazine published by Felsman in 1919 (Felsmans Magical Review) where he advertises the Passe Passe Trick with an extra bottle for comedy effect. He states: "Supplied only by us and taking one week's time as we make this trick "to order only".

I guess you would have to look up one of the catalogues published by Felsman around that time to get any further.
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Postby Tom Stone » 03/19/08 08:15 PM

Asser Andersen wrote:The only reference directly related to this was in Abracadabra Vol. 63, 1976 page 16 where Jack Potter has a column called "Did you know that" - one item in this column states : "The Multiplying Bottles were first marketed by Arthur P. Felsman
in Chicago during the 'twenties"


Then we have two sources on that. Unless Lloyd E. Jones's article from 1978 (but dated 1960) was a re-run from 1960, and that Jack Potter used that as a reference. But that might be a stretch.

I wonder if "marketed by.." and "created by.." means the same thing here.

Thanks Asser! You've been very helpful :)
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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 03/20/08 08:59 AM

I have a very early Passe passe bottle set in my collection, that consists of 2 gaffed guiness bottles.
One,is a straight forward shell.
The other is hollow bottle, with a hole in its rear, ( to contoll the glass?) and a sealed resevoir in its kneck, to take a shot glass of fluid.
looking at tis item, Id place it somewhere in the early 1920s, but im not sure.
the covers that originaly came with the bottles, were plain cardboard tubes, that appeared to be replacements.

I should get a photo taken of the prop.
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Postby Pete Biro » 03/20/08 06:33 PM

I can't date it, but P&L had a very nice passe set that had to be from the '20s or '30s. But to my knowledge NOT a mult. set. I had a Himber set (wish I had kept) a RNT set, Harries set and a cheap India set. Got rid of all. Kept my two Ken Brooke sets.
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Postby Pete Biro » 03/20/08 06:37 PM

Here's a great comedy bottle routine...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxEi6hs2 ... re=related
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