I had the Fechner books and swapped them to Howie Schwarzman for some other items. The Fechner vanishing television set was really interesting. It looked very good; however, considering the problematic nature of some of the items in the book, and knowing how the television set vanish worked, I doubt that it would have held up to several years of performance. There were key components that would need to be replaced periodically.
The last time I was in Berlin, Ted hauled out the Bialla radio and demonstrated it for me. It is a marvel of workmanship. It's put together like a BMW. I won't go into detail of how it works, but I'll say this: once the vanish starts, you'd better be ready for it to happen, because it's over NOW!
The table looks like it is about an inch thick. It's actually a bit thicker than that. It's made of sheet metal and painted to disguise its thickness. The radio looks like one of the perennial Telefunken shortwave sets that almost everyone in Germany owned after WW II and beyond.
Ted used it in his act off and on for several years. He made a significant improvement. The original radio required that Mrs. Bialla carry a real "tube" radio under her skirt. Ted modernized that part of it with a smaller, solid state radio. However, the set at Hocus Pocus has the old radio with it. The vanishing radio, itself is still exactly the way it was when Bialla used it.
I do hope someone with some means, a way to display it and a sense of history will purchase it and put it on display.
Bill Palmer, MIMC