Tribute To Robert-Houdin

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby veegates » 05/27/08 11:34 AM

I read with great interest that Eduardo was wanting to put together a show in honor of Houdini. I have been for some time considering putting together "An Evening With Robert-Houdin".
I have already built a few of his effects, but my concern is...while everyone (Magicians and non-Magicians) has heard of Harry Houdini, I wonder how many non-magicians are familiar with Robert-Houdin. People that are not familiar with Houdin would not know about Diavolo, The Orange Tree, etc and I wonder in modern times if they would be impressed with the magic of the 1840's. Would they consider his effects quaint or just outdated?
I don't know. I have built my version of Antonio Diavolo (he is posted on Youtube ),
and having shown the video to a few friends they seemed to be not terribly impressed. The Orange tree is a very pretty effect (Paul Daniels did a wonderful job of it), but there is not a great deal of flashiness about it. My Orange Tree is on my website.
I would love to hear any opinions on how you think Houdins effects would be accepted today.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/27/08 12:17 PM

What's a mechanical watch? Is that like using a real tuning fork instead of a quartz crystal circuit? I heard they used to make stuff like that from metal instead of plastic and silicon.

Okay now that we have some frame to consider context...

If you introduce the setting and watchmaking and the marvels being discovered at the very start of the first industrial revolution when metals were first tamed into shapes and clever folks could make minuscule gears... and clever things from those gears... and some of them made things which were shown back then and then hidden away for the last two hundred years till...

:) just setting the stage. Once you invite their imagination onto that stage the material will likely work just as well.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time
Jonathan Townsend
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Location: Westchester, NY

Postby veegates » 05/27/08 12:53 PM

Thank you!!
That puts it into perspective!.
By the way.... where do the batteries go?
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Postby Mr. Stickley » 05/27/08 07:15 PM


Absolutely beautiful work on your version of Antonio Diavolo!

It is great to see. There are a couple of projects like that I wish to complete when I get my new house/shop and all is in order.

I'd love to talk with you about it.

Mr. Stickley
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Postby veegates » 05/27/08 09:04 PM

Hi Keith,
Thanks for the positive words.
I would love to help with your upcoming projects. Always looking for something new to do.
Thanks and hope to hear from you!
You can contact me through my website. It is
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