Ralf Bialla Vanishing Radio

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Postby David Nethery » 05/25/04 07:51 PM

This is really quite interesting :

http://www.hocus-pocus.com/magicshop/pr ... ?item=4748

Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page to click on the video clip of Ted Lesley performing the vanishing radio .

Ralf Bialla was a new name to me , but recently I had some email correspondence with Ted Lesley about the genius Bialla .
Bialla built his own props and had many unique and original ideas . The Vanishing Radio which Hocus-Pocus is selling from the Ted Lesley collection is apparently just one example.

Does anyone else have information or photos of Bialla that they could post ? The only thing I can find online concerns his work with the Bullet Catch.
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/01/04 10:03 AM

Not bad, but if I was to spend 10K I would get Fechner's vanishing TV set... much better.

TV set is on a clear glass table top and it is G O N E ...
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Postby David Nethery » 06/02/04 11:15 AM

Well, the idea of buying it is out of the question for me .
If I had 10k to spend on magic it would probably be divided up between several different effects .

However, I do admire the thinking that went into the Bialla vanishing radio .

Pete, is the Fechner vanishing television for sale ?

(again, not that I could actually buy it at this time , but I'm always interested in these types of mechanical marvels , so if there are photos of Fechner's trick or a video somewhere I'd like to track it down ) .
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/02/04 06:46 PM

The blueprints for Fechner's vanishing TV... which fooled the weeee out of meeee is available in his two-volume set of books.

As is the stool levitation, etc. etc.

If you really want one, just call Johnny Gaughan and I'm sure he can whip one up.

The effect is amazing.

A TV set, on a clear plexi tv stand is onstage. Fechner turns it on... the picture is THERE and the usual, cover with cloth and voila it is gone.

I believe the cloth was tossed into the audience, but the killer was the clear stand was picked up and you could see through it... nothing there, NADA, nuttin' honey... adios, bye bye...

If I did a big show I would have it.
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Postby Guest » 06/03/04 08:01 PM

Pete,

What is the exact name of the Fechner books that you are describing? Who carries them in their inventory?

Thanks,

Jon
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/04/04 10:32 AM

A two volume set ONLY available at www.stevensmagic.com I forget the exact title, but they are two books, one text, the other blueprints and a set of "flick" books so you can actually see Fechner doing the tricks.

Possibly the greatest book on magic illusions ever published. All his own original creations.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 06/04/04 02:05 PM

Soirees Fantastiques
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Postby Guest » 06/09/04 02:41 PM

Not seeing it on the site. Can anyone post a direct link to the page with the books on it?
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/09/04 04:12 PM

NO, but email to mark@stevensmagic.com and he will respond
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Postby David Alexander » 06/09/04 04:56 PM

Frakson was vanishing a radio with the same effect - music coming out of the cloth - when Bialla was a little boy. Few knew then how he managed to always get music and radio programs inside steel framed theaters.

On a positive note, Ted does do the effect justice and it looks like he's carrying a heavy item under the cloth.
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Postby Guest » 06/09/04 09:40 PM

Thanks Pete, will do.
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Postby Guest » 06/16/04 06:33 PM

A couple of years ago I saw Mr. Lesley perform the "vanishing radio" in his full evening show about ten times. The presentation kept the audience spellbound.
Firstly he vanished a small music-box;
Secondly the vanish of a small radio was performed
Thirdly he made the big radio disappear in the
middle of the audience.
Mr. Fechners act was a wonderful one, but it needed at least five to six people backstage to make the illusions work, sometimes they did work, sometimes not, due to the most complicated technique I ever have seen. Check the Fechner books and see foer yourself. As far as I know, Mr. Fechners act was performed about six or seven times and and then it was stored away and nobody saw it again.
The late Biallas Radio worked since 1952 and it still works today. During the past time of 52 years it never let Mr. Bialla nor Mr. Lesley down.From time to time the apparatus needed a few drops of oil and a change of a plastic thread from time to time and that was it.
Fechners "Television Vanish" can be performed on a stage only, because a special floor has to be installed to make it work (!)
The Bialla radio "vanishes" in the midst of an audience and that, friends, makes it to a sensation.
If you want to know more about it, let me know.

musketeer :whack:
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Postby Bill Palmer » 06/16/04 06:55 PM

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
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