Hmmm, I seem to have three places to add this thread - Feature Articles, Magic History, and Marketplace.
Let's make it a followup to Jim Steinmeyer's article on "The Living Miracle" from the July Genii.
Australian illusionist and billiard ball manipulator, Maurice Rooklyn (1905-1992) performed the buzz-saw in his touring show from the mid-1940s, and again as late as 1978 when I was fortunate to see him in the public show for the Australian Convention Of Magicians. You can see some sample photographs at -
Rooklyn Sawing link
I have a newspaper article which published the
standard "expose" version of sawing. The following week, Rooklyn announced that he would saw through a lady using a circular saw in full view. What a perfect publicity hook.
Maurie's book, " Spherical Sorcery and Recollections of a 'Pro ", tells of an assistant who panicked as the saw came close, and tried to fend off the saw with her hands! After that, he used wrist straps.
I'm told that he used a mallet to bang the buzz saw, with an impressive Clang - until someone advised him that this risked cracking the metal, with possible drastic consequences.
In later years I have seen another performance of the saw by a magician who will remain unnamed. The screw helping to hold the saw retention nut in place started working loose during the performance. You don't even want to think about it!
Why the "Marketplace" option? Well, in 2005, all the "big stuff" from Maurie's collection was put on display at the Sydney Jewish Museum. But the remainder of Rooklyn's ephemera - hundreds of photographs, show programmes, news clippings and advertising material will be placed up for sale before the end of this year, starting with offers to local Australian collectors. (Sorry folks, almost no posters...)
I've spent the last four months wading through a fascinating collection that used to be displayed on the walls of Maurie's "Rooklyn Den", and am almost finished sorting. These are the joys that make collecting worthwhile!