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Topic: Origins of the TT
Message: Posted by: James Luff (Jun 18, 2004 07:52AM)
Okay, I'll get things rolling. We all know about and probably use regularly the greatest gimmick of all time (IMO), the T T. But does anyone know who actually created and used the very first tt? Who is credited with devising this ingenious little item that has been in use for so many years and in so many variations?

Regards,
James Luff
Message: Posted by: Threee (Jun 18, 2004 09:37AM)
Hmm. That's a good question. On magic forums everyone always insist that all tricks are credited to their creators. However, I have never come across a credit to the tt's creator in any forum or book.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Jun 18, 2004 09:53AM)
William Humpage, also known as "Professor Herwin" (1861-1946) invented the TT sometime around 1885.

I got part of that information from [url=http://www.lybrary.com/mlp]The Magic Lineage Project[/url].

From that site:

Craig Matsuoka, Bart Whaley, Edwin Dawes researched this, and it was in "Whaley's Who's Who in Magic - 2nd edition".
Message: Posted by: Julie (Jun 18, 2004 11:24AM)
The real originator of the TT was Big Harold Thumb; an avid amateur Magician hitch hiking from New York to the Magic Castle to visit "the Professor". :)
Message: Posted by: ursusminor (Jun 18, 2004 11:51AM)
Julie,
You're pulling my thumb, right?
Bjørn
Message: Posted by: sniper1 (Jun 18, 2004 01:23PM)
In the Tarbell course, he is mentioned if I'm not wrong and the tt was primaraly invented to aid in a cut and restored ribon trick.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Jun 18, 2004 01:35PM)
From my notes:

The thumb tip has been a standard "gimmick" or magical prop for almost a hundred years. Developed around the turn of the last century by William "Professor Herwin" Humpage (1861-1946), the thumb tip is useful for vanishing all sorts of things.

It is not known exactly why the good Professor Herwin invented the thing. It is known that he did perform coin vanishes, cut and restored ribbon and rope using it.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 18, 2004 02:33PM)
Hartz has also been credited with the invention of this marvelous device. There is an interesting "folk version" of the TT. A friend of mine told me that his grandfather used a pecan shell that he had hollowed out as a "kind of fake thumb" to do some of his magic.
Message: Posted by: Woofledust (Jun 18, 2004 09:52PM)
Just to muddy the waters, The Encyclopedia of Magic and Magicians by T. A. Waters thumb tip entry includes the statement, "One performer suggested as a possible inventor of the thumb tip is Joseph Hartz; this is, however, only speculation." Joseph Hartz lived from 1836 - 1903. Perhaps the Magic Lineage Project researchers have reason to discount this theory, I just add it to the discussion for what it is worth.
Message: Posted by: Partizan (Jun 19, 2004 12:58AM)
Early Civilizations

Before the Greek, Roman and Egyptian civilizations emerged, prosthesis were made out of leather and wood. These early devices were developed for aesthetic purposes and weren’t functional.

[so I guess if you was a dude with a leather/wood thumb you might get around to putting things into it, or your mates might play around with it until someone cries, [b]eureka![/b]]

Finger and partial-finger amputations are some of the most frequently encountered forms of partial-hand losses (1). Although the most common causes of these amputations are traumatic injuries, congenital absences or malformations may present similar clinical challenges (2). Because any of the fingers may be affected in whole or in part, prosthetic restoration is often difficult. This is particularly true when multiple fingers are involved
----------------------------------

So we know lots of people loose fingers/thumb, We know the ancients used prosthetic fingers/thumb. My conclusion would be that it is a very old and well kept secret.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 19, 2004 03:48AM)
The question is this: if the TT goes back that far, why isn't it mentioned in Scot or Hocus Pocus, Jr.?

It's not even mentioned in the first two Hoffmann books; however, on page 214 of the first American edition of [i]Later Magic[/i], it is credited to Hartz. The statement is that it had been in use by him for a long time, even preceeding the false finger.

The first American edition was printed in 1904. The third edition combined the text of some of the subsequent volumes of the series with this material, but even the version on Lybrary.com has this reference on p 214.

I'm not sure what the reference for "Professor Herwin" Humpage is, but if Hartz was using it several years before the 1904 publication date, he is certainly a close contender for simultaneous invention.
Message: Posted by: Scott Penrose (Jun 19, 2004 07:48AM)
Greetings everyone!

It is interesting that a thread has started up about Hartz and thumb tips! I am researching Hartz and would like to throw my hat in to the ring...

According to Hoffmann’s writings in Later Magic, Hartz invented an appliance for the production of a handkerchief, described as a type of thimble made of thin copper and arranged to fit over the thumb, which is modelled and coloured to resemble exactly. Of course, the item that Hoffmann referred to as Hartz Thumb is now known by magicians all over the world as the Thumb Tip. Meanwhile, Hoffmann argued that history had repeated itself and at a later period Messrs. Hamley independently invented a similar gimmick at a later date that was intended to fit over the forefinger.

Many different magicians are credited with having invented the thumb tip and the individual that most historians credit for its invention is William Humpage. Indeed exhibited in The Magic Circle museum in London is what is argued to be the very first thumb tip, the one owned by William Humpage himself. William Humpage performed under the name of Professor Herwin and coincidently was a friend of Joseph Hartz. Meanwhile, it seems that The Magic Circle may only have Herwin’s own word that he is the inventor of the Thumb tip. The editor of The Magic Wand in December 1934 edition of his magazine wrote the following article:

"THE ORIGINAL THUMB TIP
A recent visit from Prof. Herwin, of Bristol, recalls the fact that he is the inventor of the useful gadget the thumb-tip. Some time prior to 1885, Prof. Herwin, attaching a scrap of silk to the inside of a false finger, devised the well-known “proof” that a silk in the hand is still there when the mouchoir has really disappeared. Then he thought of the thumb tip and it was one of the earliest models, if not the earliest, which was shown to us on its way to the museum of the Magic Circle, where that fake, which has helped to make many a magical reputation, now reposes."

Hoffmann credited Hartz for its invention, meanwhile Hartz and Herwin were good friends and no doubt exchanged ideas. Furthermore a number of items of Hartz’ conjuring apparatus came into Herwin’s possession after Hartz's death in 1903. Maybe Hoffmann was mistaken by crediting Hartz with its invention (Hoffmann did make some mistakes). Nonetheless, the mystery of the Thumb Tip may never be solved, but subject to further evidence emerging, the magical community may just have to take Herwin’s word for it.

All the best

Scott
Message: Posted by: James Luff (Jun 19, 2004 06:29PM)
Thanks to everyone who replied to this post. I thought it might be quite a stimulating topic to get us started with. I was aware of the vague nature of who actually invented the TT, but it has provided far more interesting information than I had hoped for.

As Scott said, it's unlikely we will ever know for sure who it was. What is certain however, is whoever it was had a brilliant mind for magic and we owe that person a lot.

There are many unsung hero's in magic, those who have had ideas stolen, wrongly creditied to a different person or just lost in the mists of time. We should all keep this in mind when passing on our knowledge to others. It is important for historical purposes that we try to keep the correct people credited to their ideas. Hopefully this forum will go some way to achieveing this aim.

Regards,
James Luff
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 21, 2004 05:02PM)
Mike Ammar, in his bill switch video, credits it to a Russian Cossack performer.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Jun 21, 2004 07:25PM)
Actually Michael credits the un-nammed Cossack with the invention of the "$100.00 Bill Switch" not the thumb tip.
Message: Posted by: Reis O'Brien (Jun 21, 2004 09:08PM)
This is not important. What is important is the fact that I have single-handedly created the fake earlobe. Now admit it... you have all been wanting one of these!

In all seriousness, this thread has been great. Thanks to all you bibliophiles for sharing the info!
Message: Posted by: full circle (Jun 22, 2004 08:57PM)
I always thought the (TT) was invented by Tom Thumb? What did he do?

My grandfather invented the false finger, I know `cause he was always saying "pull my finger". It never did come off, but something odd always happened.

Firedice27, after you have created the whole ear sign me up for an order. I`ve always wanted to pull an ear from a coin.

John
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jun 22, 2004 10:12PM)
FireDice27 writes: "I have single-handedly created the fake earlobe."

Well, I'll keep an eye out for it, then.

LOL! :D
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 23, 2004 12:02AM)
[quote]
On 2004-06-21 20:25, Harry Murphy wrote:
Actually Michael credits the un-nammed Cossack with the invention of the "$100.00 Bill Switch" not the thumb tip.
[/quote]

And Roger Klause gives the name of the "unnamed Cossack" both in his book and in his notes about the switch. The name of the Cossack is Vlado. A not-to-be-named American magician published a version of it without Vlado's permission or credit to him. Vladlo did not teach this to anyone, but several people did figure it out. Klause's handling is probably the best.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Jul 10, 2004 01:16PM)
Look at it this way: We're all familiar with the famous 'Pythagorean theorem' right? (a2 + b2 = c2) And who invented that? [b]Everyone![/b] You name it, the Babylonians, Chinese, Persians, Aryans, Dravidians, and possibly even the Bantu all discovered this formula at some point in their history. Who discovered it [b]first[/b] is debatable (most think it was the Babylonians), but the fact that the other discoveries came later, doesn't diminish them because they hadn't heard of the theory yet.

Got all that? Then consider this: A trick so powerful and useful as the TT was probably 'discovered & invented' [b]several[/b] times by many different people. Sure, one or two of them might get most of the press, but it's likely that the TT has numerous fathers (or mothers!)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 10, 2004 02:51PM)
Actually, it's doubtful. It seems from the literature that either Humpage invented it and gave it to Hartz or Hartz invented it and gave it to Humpage. The TT simply DOES [b]not appear anywhere[/b] in magic literature before the reference in [i]Later Magic.[/i]

If it had been invented before then, it was the best-kept secret in all of magic.
Message: Posted by: ursusminor (Jul 10, 2004 04:38PM)
[quote]
On 2004-06-19 01:58, Partizan wrote:
Early Civilizations

Before the Greek, Roman and Egyptian civilizations emerged, prosthesis were made out of leather and wood. These early devices were developed for aesthetic purposes and weren’t functional.

[so I guess if you was a dude with a leather/wood thumb you might get around to putting things into it, or your mates might play around with it until someone cries, [b]eureka![/b]]

Finger and partial-finger amputations are some of the most frequently encountered forms of partial-hand losses (1). Although the most common causes of these amputations are traumatic injuries, congenital absences or malformations may present similar clinical challenges (2). Because any of the fingers may be affected in whole or in part, prosthetic restoration is often difficult. This is particularly true when multiple fingers are involved
----------------------------------

So we know lots of people loose fingers/thumb, We know the ancients used prosthetic fingers/thumb. My conclusion would be that it is a very old and well kept secret.
[/quote]
It is mentioned in H. Hay's "Cyclopedia of magic" that one of the Bamberg-family (Okito & Fu Manchu are two of their most famous members), had a wooden leg, which he used "as a servante".
A far cry from a TT, yes, but it kind of supports the above!

Bjørn
Message: Posted by: mattisdx (Aug 1, 2004 12:01PM)
The thumb tip originated with pirates who would hid their gaffs in their peg legs, than one of them eventually wittled a wooden thumb. wah lah ! the thumb tip was born :D
Message: Posted by: woodenmarvels (May 6, 2005 06:18PM)
My great uncle always said that he had a "hollow leg" when I asked him where all that beer he drank would go. I was able to see the beer dissappear, but never, ever saw it re-a-pee-r. Hmmm, guess a shot of vodka might fit into my extra long TT. ~MagicAl
Message: Posted by: Andy_Bell (May 17, 2005 03:48AM)
[quote]
On 2004-06-21 22:08, Reis O'Brien wrote:
I have single-handedly created the fake earlobe
[/quote]

If you use both hands you could create them in half the time, mind you I'd be impressed to see a single handed vanish of a false ear lobe. lol
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 14, 2006 10:57AM)
This is like asking an Alabama fan if Bear Bryant invented football. Old recording studio guys like the Tabman and me laugh at those who think recorded music started with MTV. Magicians are no different. But here is what I say in my silk and dove lectures. (Please remember that the following is my copyrighted material.)

**************

The thumb tip is not something anyone living could claim. It predates Marco Polo (1254-1324). The Great Khan is who you might ask for a more accurate history.

For the history of thumb tips, if you look under "magic" you're looking in the wrong place. Look under medical prosthetics. Another place to look is "sailing". Magicians did not invent rope, cards or coins either. Magicians use existing items in a unique way.

I'm quick to salute the Red, White and Blue. But when it comes to magic, Americans were several hundreds of years too late to take credit for much. Out of ignorance and arrogance we make all kinds of ridiculous claims. The truth is that we are the very new kids.

Since 1969, I have been in the import business. I am the magicians' silk importer. Some very interesting claims to originality and questions have come my way over the years. Most silk magic we know was being performed by the early 1400s in Europe (Over 200 years before America is even discovered by accident!) and certainly long before then in the Far East where they had silk, white doves, flash powder and thumb tips. None of these things existed in the Western World! They are all imports! But so is magic as we know it!

Enjoy!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

(A passage from my silk lecture --- Copyright 2005 Bob Sanders)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 14, 2006 11:01PM)
I continued studying about this at length. I saw arguments from some people who suggested that "the metal thumb appliance artillerymen used to stop the touch hole of a cannon" was the first thumb tip. This would have been very good if it were true. However, these thumb stalls were not metal. They were leather. If you would like to learn why, try it. A metal thumb stall gets so hot that it becomes a permanent part of the thumb.

I really would like to see a reference to a thumb tip or anything else like it anywhere in magic literature before the reference in Hoffmann.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 15, 2006 01:47AM)
Bill,

Thank you. You just added to my scope here. I never researched the military angle.

However, since they were medical prosthetics long before the cannon that specific reference would not extend the date of origin for me. Sailors used them much like the thimble for sewing but that is not necessarily military. For entertainment purposes and dress, they were part of Oriential old world costume before the 1200s. Although metal, some were covered. They were not for common people and represented quite an investment.

The real question is when and where did they become used to conceal anything except a missing or damaged digit? Paintings haven’t told us that. It is reasonable to expect that loads were suspended from them before coming to Europe. (They had places of attachment!) It might even be argued that there were suspended loads (wine from silk, egg on loop, etc.) before there were loads concealed inside them. The cloisonné made use of metal and the effort to conceal. Just what a magician needed!

Looking for it in magic literature is like looking for ink in magic literature. It is very unlikely it was invented for magic. Apparently it was a crime of opportunity like coins, cards, envelopes, string, and eggs to use it in magic. (Who invented the lap?)

Can you add anything?

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 15, 2006 05:34PM)
Actually, the use of the lap as a servante is mentioned in [i]Hocus Pocus Jr.[/i] I would really like to find out if anyone had used a prosthetic for magical purposes before, let's say, 50 years before Hoffmann's writeup.

Hoffmann was a lot like a dictionary. The material in it reflects what was being done in magic at the time or slightly before. I've looked through a lot of other material as well, such as [i]The Secret Out[/i] and [i]Hanky Panky,[/i] both of which have a lot of good material in them. But there is nothing like a thumb tip.

OTOH, we do see the use of false fingers for other purposes, such as the hat penetration.
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Jul 16, 2006 03:15PM)
Here is an easier question: Does anyone know where I can find details about the creation (we won't say invention) of the Vernet thumb-tip? His use of plastic changed the dimensions of that venerable gimmick and made it possible to increase its uses beyond the used for the little metal tips available up until that time. I'd specifically like to know who Vernet was (plus dates, if possible) and when he first started producing the now famous and ubiquitous Vernet thumbtips. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 17, 2006 10:22PM)
Professor,

I have metal thumb tips from the 60s that are up to 3" long. There were many sizes. Unfortunately all that I own are aluminum. Apparently the very best really old ones were silver and the earliest colored ones (prior to 1200AD) were copper.

I remember the Vernet hitting the market. (My dad was working in South America for a time.) Since these were legal imports there may still exist some commercial records at US Customs. I would look in the late 50s and very early 60s. The knock-offs were produced in Oklahoma by 1979. I suspect that they were made by the company that plastic coated baby seats and barbell weights. (Ben Collier may be a related name to research. He was the businessman of that period who did very well commercially with that process.)

I'm sure the information that you seek about Vernet is available somewhere. Ask Mr. F at D. Robbins. He would know. He was an early distributor and still distributes the current Vernet line.


Bill,

Most adults have experienced the need for a prosthetic lap. (Hot food and children bring special needs to mind! Santa!) It is odd that I learned lapping from Tony Slydini but no history. (You know that he lapped with his clothing as well as with the table cloth?)

Perhaps this is a publishing opportunity: The Secret History of the History of Secrets. Research will be tough.

Keep digging!

Bob


Posted: Jul 28, 2006 2:13pm
[quote]
On 2006-07-16 16:15, Spellbinder wrote:
Here is an easier question: Does anyone know where I can find details about the creation (we won't say invention) of the Vernet thumb-tip? His use of plastic changed the dimensions of that venerable gimmick and made it possible to increase its uses beyond the used for the little metal tips available up until that time. I'd specifically like to know who Vernet was (plus dates, if possible) and when he first started producing the now famous and ubiquitous Vernet thumbtips. Thanks!
[/quote]
That information is coming!

At the moment Michel & Greco (Vernet Magic) are in the FISM Convention in Stockholm.

I have asked that they bring us up to speed when they return.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Jul 28, 2006 03:00PM)
Thanks, Bob! I do remember that some metal ones were longer than the little 1 inch tips that were standard, and my first false finger from the 50s was made of cellulose painted with "flesh-colored" paint, so the possibility was there. It just lacked marketing motivation until suddenly everyone wanted to do the vanishing hanky at the same time.

I'll be interested in any history I can learn about the Vernet thumb tip ("Just names and dates and the facts, ma'am."- Sgt. Friday). I've put my own "Practical History of the Thumb Tip" on hold because I wanted it to be as complete as possible.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 28, 2006 07:49PM)
For years the way I used the TT was to vanish a stack of borrowed dimes in a large silk. Then I vanished the silk (30"). The silk reappeared elsewhere, was well-shown, and then the dimes poured from the center of the silk. What do you know? They were the marked borrowed ones! Then bouquet after bouquet of spring flowers were found in the silk.

Those were simpler days!

No silk in TT vanish would have passed. The smallest silks I ever saw then were 12". They were for hobbyists with dye tubes. Working magicians used 18" and up. "Handkerchiefs" had to be a reasonable size. (The good Cadillacs were no longer made before I started importing 6" and 9" silks. I wonder if these two events had something in common?)

We'll have to go to StarBucks and discuss this sometime.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander


Posted: Oct 24, 2006 9:22am
-------------------------------
Another piece of the puzzle has come to light from the Etymology of "thumb". Until German medical literature in the late 1200s, the thumb was considered just another finger in Europe. (This is [b]after[/b] Marco Polo!) Then the word appears in German medical literature for thumb.

"Finger tip" would have been the contemporary description. (How many Americans still don't know the difference between a frog and a toad? It does change the written history.)

Magic is hardly of European origin. But printed history of magic may be.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Oct 29, 2006 08:52PM)
How about the origin of the first person to [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=183791&forum=175#0]vanish a silk into a TT[/url]?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 8, 2006 01:56PM)
The vanish of a silk into a TT is probably quite old. I have a reasonably large collection of FT's and TT's. Among them are some of the old "Goblin Tube Tips," which would easily handle a fairly decent sized hanky. They are about 3 inches long.

Regarding the old German distinction between the thumb and the fingers, Grimm's [i]Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache[/i] indicates that the earliest reference to the thumb is in an old poem from the 12th century. However, that's a written reference. We don't know about spoken references before then.
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Nov 9, 2006 06:10PM)
TT? I didn't know they had True Type back in Hoffmann's day. And we thought we developed that at Apple. :)
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jan 9, 2007 09:50PM)
With some of the oldest written documents and some of the oldest magic coming from China, is there any know mention of using a false finger in any of their scrolls?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 10, 2007 07:46AM)
What references to trickery do we have from China?
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jan 10, 2007 12:58PM)
Chinese Linking Rings? :giggles:
Message: Posted by: Tony James (Jan 10, 2007 01:36PM)
Chinese Rice Bowls?
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Jan 10, 2007 02:49PM)
I think Jonathan is asking what written Chinese references or documentation Tom Bartlet is referring to. If anyone knows of any Chinese manuscripts on magic that have been translated into English, I would very much like to know about it. Neither the Linking Rings nor the Rice Bowls are of certain Chinese origin.
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jan 10, 2007 03:40PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-10 15:49, Spellbinder wrote:
I think Jonathan is asking what written Chinese references or documentation Tom Bartlet is referring to. If anyone knows of any Chinese manuscripts on magic that have been translated into English, I would very much like to know about it. Neither the Linking Rings nor the Rice Bowls are of certain Chinese origin.
[/quote]

That was my question also, although it must have not been worded correctly. I do have to state, from what I have read, some of the oldest known written manuscripts are Chinese. If this is true, would it not be likely that they had magicians and these magicians wrote thing down.

So yes, what I am asking is there any one aware of any Chinese manuscripts that talk about any magical or mystical effects?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 11, 2007 07:28AM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-10 16:40, Tom Bartlett wrote:...So yes, what I am asking is there any one aware of any Chinese manuscripts that talk about any magical or mystical effects? [/quote]

let's settle for trickery and the how-to.

the stories in their fairy tales go back a ways and have "magical" beings and there are also some ancestor worship practices which also go back a ways.

As the mention of the rice bowls and linking rings earlier... well at least they did not cite the laundry ticket or make any coolie jokes.
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Jan 11, 2007 11:20AM)
...or the embarrassing "Chink Cans." Yes, we have much to be proud of. Now I have to get back to repainting my "Buddah Tubes."
Message: Posted by: Tony James (Jan 11, 2007 12:51PM)
What's wrong with the Chink Cans? I had a set 50 years ago. I still have them though I haven't used them of late.

Why go checking just Chinese literature? I'd try the Greeks and see if there are any references to thumb tips or false fingers. After all, they did have dildos.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 11, 2007 01:15PM)
In answer to the "China" question... it came from this post.
[quote]
On 2007-01-09 22:50, Tom Bartlett wrote:
With some of the oldest written documents and some of the oldest magic coming from China, is there any know mention of using a false finger in any of their scrolls?
[/quote]

I'd also be curious as to any written discussions of actual sleight of hand and methodology from ancient Greek and Roman literature. The few notes cited in other works about using cork balls and cups and breadcrumbs and stones were nice but seemed isolated.

Can you imagine finding something by Aristotle or Plato on conjuring methods? :)
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jan 11, 2007 02:29PM)
Magic that long ago, would most likely have been disguised as real magic, accomplished by sorcery or wizardry, much like the Hindu Rope Trick.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 11, 2007 03:15PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-11 15:29, Tom Bartlett wrote:
Magic that long ago, would most likely have been disguised as real magic, accomplished by sorcery or wizardry, much like the Hindu Rope Trick.
[/quote]
Bangs head against the wall... "Hindu rope trick". Sheesh.

Not talking about fables or tales of the faithful here, just texts discussing how to accomplish what we call conjuring today. Emphasis on the [b]How To[/b].
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jan 11, 2007 05:23PM)
Sorry, my mistake. :blackeye:


Do not some the images (hieroglyphics, drawings, etchings, paintings) predated the written [b]How-To[/b] do it stuff? If so wouldn't written mention by an observer, before the first [b]How-To[/b] writings, not sound like what we call conjuring today but sorcery or wizardry?


[quote]
On 2007-01-11 16:15, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-01-11 15:29, Tom Bartlett wrote:
Magic that long ago, would most likely have been disguised as real magic, accomplished by sorcery or wizardry, much like the Hindu Rope Trick.
[/quote]
Bangs head against the wall... "Hindu rope trick". Sheesh.

Not talking about fables or tales of the faithful here, just texts discussing how to accomplish what we call conjuring today. Emphasis on the [b]How To[/b].
[/quote]
I changed my mind, it was not my mistake and I do not like being talked down to!
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 15, 2007 04:09PM)
Tom, I have nothing to gain by talking down to anyone. There seem very few (if any) ancient references to the how-to of our craft. I have a funny feeling what we may find are things written like "art of war" in flowery language.

The ancient Roman/Greek tricky architecture may be recorded somewhere as plans. My ancient history teacher did not even hint that those guys kept prints or detailed building instructions around. If folks want I can dig up the citation to the cup and stones (really) routine documented back then.

As to the entertainment / small scale... even that quote from a guy's letter in his travels seems to be just that.. a fragment of a description and not method based.

I too look forward to archaeological evidence of magic kits and instruction sheets.

IMHO the roots of our craft in shamanistic practices may have beem kept to oral tradition until recently as it was not in anyone's interest to explain the how-to of guile.
Message: Posted by: Mark R. Williams (Mar 2, 2007 09:50PM)
Instruction sheets and "how to" books are a recent addition to our written world.

I think we are searching for the "Holy Grail" here.

Even Homer's Iliad was passed down how many generations orally before being written.

All Job skills (including entertainment and Magic)were learned through apprenticeship, handed down from the learned Journeyman to the Student. What a person needed to know was learned in this fashion for Centuries.

Remember it is a recent invention of General Education for anybody, let alone the though that someone might want to learn something outside their 'Position' or different from their cast in life.

And a book to teach somebody magic, what for???

Tracing most magic beyond a few hundred years is next to imposable. Hoping for a clue in the description of a performance is about all we have...

Regards,

M
Message: Posted by: Doctor Zolar (Feb 28, 2017 11:32AM)
I've always liked thumb tips !
So I've "been aware" of them since the 1960's. . . .
In either Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine . . or. . . National Geographic magazine, late 1970's or early 1980's. . .
I can't remember which. . . and can't find it digging thru things here. .
BUT, the magazine had an article and photos about King Tutankhamun (King Tut) tomb. . . and one of the things found in the tomb was a pure gold hollow thumb tip and they "Don't know what it was used for".
When I first saw it. . . I knew what IT COULD BE used for and if covered in flesh makeup. . . could be used to perform MIRACLES !
Sooooooooooo there you have it.
Obviously . . . . there is/was no record on HOW a thumb tip was used back then, but WE know you could influence the minds of many with Spiritual Powers, if you wanted.
I just wanted to drop this info . . . while I was thinking about it and leave it here for others to see.
I have searched the Internet from one end to the other. . . . but, do not find any photo of it.
Hummmmmmmmm. . . .
Message: Posted by: Doctor Zolar (Feb 28, 2017 11:54AM)
And. . . by the way. . . I like to use a thumb tip for ORGANIC things.
Not silks or rope or string or thread or coins (well-maybe coins) but rather. . .
Small pebbles, a little water washed rock, a Lady Bug, a small spider, pieces of corn, common little rock to turquoise,
a moth, small pieces of wood, little flower, seeds, berries, peppercorns, black corn to yellow corn (hard "Indian corn",
rusted military buttons, rusted nail, chunks of natural Myrrh incense-they can KEEP, etc. . (maybe THEIR-"restaurant/Burger King paper napkin) paper napkin/tear-restore) . .Organic, etc.
And NEVER a "silk" but rather, a common bandanna that half of the men carry every day if they do hard work. construction, etc.
Or, my shirt tail, coat, jacket tail, neck scarf, wadded up piece of copy paper, so that it is "soft", t-shirt or THEIR t-shirt, etc.
Organic. Things naturally found in the environment.
Message: Posted by: Doctor Zolar (Feb 28, 2017 12:07PM)
You know. . . just 50-60 years ago, there was not much discussing of secrets.
Things were very quiet.
Tarbell books were the first BIG expose'.
Sure, miscellaneous books from the 1800's, but most was Hush Hush and many magicians would not discuss methods with other magicians. Quite a cut throat world to "become the Best Magician" etc.
Magic secrets and apparatus. . . was quite underground till the early 1940's-50's when Magic Shops appeared nationwide.
A LOT was not documented.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Mar 1, 2017 04:04PM)
I've mentioned this before, but, just to get it into this post....

At the '75 SAM convention, in Chicago, Bobo and I were having a session, and, he asked if I had seen , "this". "This" was a production and vanish of a 12" 4 momme silk, using a Vernet TT, which was a fairly "new" thing then.

I liked it, and, used the production and vanish for a quick opener for my school show for about 5 years. When the extra long tips became available, I used an 18" half silk.

I still use it, when I want a quick, flashy bit in a strolling situation.

I also use the old Burling Hull "Elusive Silk Van. which I first learned with the old metal tips in the late '40s, from Roy Mayer.

I vaguely recall having a plastic TT earlier than the Vernet, but, it has long ago "disappeared".

BTW. There is an "argument" among some old timers (]I fall into that category!)as to whether the TT is a GIMMICK, or a FEKE! --It certainly is NOT a TRICK! --as some have called it. In the wide sense, it IS A PROP!
Message: Posted by: Doctor Zolar (Mar 1, 2017 10:57PM)
Very hard to "search" for tricks and effects with TT's, as the NAME of the trick does not USE the WORD: "Thumb Tip" in it.
Wonder what the state of the art. . . . Up-To-Date book on Tricks with Thumb Tips would be. . . these days ?
(Other then the Tarbell video I hear/see mentioned . .. .all the time.)

I don't see a category here on the Magic Café. . . that is separated out. . . like the way "CARDS, Pasteboards, Mentalism is . . . etc.
Message: Posted by: stine (Mar 24, 2017 11:43AM)
I remember reading that someone thought that spiritualists invented the TT for use as a billet switch. Obviously they were way off.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jun 1, 2017 07:39AM)
I have enjoyed Doctor Zolar's contributions! (I think he and I had the "same mother"!!)