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[quote] On 2010-05-18 05:47, Mandini wrote: Wow! What a lot of tooing and frowing. The story, chronologically, at least to my recollection, is that Ted Annemann originated Seven Keys to Baldpate, indeed, named after the novel by Earl Derr Biggers (the Charlie Chan creator), or, more likely, after the subsequent movies, the first in 1917, stemming from the 1913 Broadway play by George M. Cohan. It's possible that Tom Sellers' Bank Night (or, in Britain, Just Chance), as well as an earlier idea by Joseph J. Kolar, may have inspired Annemann to adapt that effect to a lock and keys. He evidently devised it to help Max Holden sell more Change Bags, specifically the smaller Spirit Bag that was manufactured by Petrie-Lewis at the time for a Sealed Message Readings switch and maybe other mental-type effects, as well. Holden must have bought a bunch in maybe a deal (possibly hoping to cash in all the residual Great Alexander wannabes who Thayer (and Alexander, for that matter) had earlier made a killing on, as did Bob Nelson later), that he evidently wanted to ratchet up sales of. Annemann's effect, which was published in March, 1931, in his one-and-only hardbound opus, The Book Without a Name, most likely helped Holden do that. Then other versions, some using trick locks and keys were subsequently originated and some of them marketed, the Stewart Judah one, for example. In the late '50s, I believe, or early '60s, Ken Allen Products marketed Lock of Gibraltar (neat name) by Carl Wolf, using a lock that, although reportedly sturdy, did not look quite like any lock common at that time (or since, for that matter), but with good instructions and, it appears, was used by some mentalists; and, indeed, Don Alan devised a clever routine, which, I think, was marketed separately by Ireland Magic (for 50 cents, would you believe? - roughly $8.00 in today's money, I think) as was his Chop Cup routine, then later was included in the St. Louis magic dealer, Don Lawton's Exclusive Manuscripts booklets (in Volume Four of five booklets, as I recall) and may well have been included in LOTS OF LAWTON, a compendium of the material in those "manuscripts" published by Magic Inc. around 1965. I could say for sure if I could locate my copy which has eluded me. Sometime afterward, perhaps around the time Ken Allen sold his business to Bob Follmer (in March, 1965, according to one report), the Lock inventor, Carl Wolf, as Merriss Magic, marketed, as its one-and-only product, his Key-R-Rect (what a name - he should have stuck to the original one) using a far better lock since it was an exact replica of one of the ordinary locks prevalent at the time (Yale, I think it was) and I believe the trick mechanism was better too, from what I read (since I never owned or laid eyes on the Gibraltar original). I bought a Key-R-Rect directly from Merriss/Wolf in 1966 when I was a university student. And I know for certain that Merriss was Carl Wolf because he enclosed a separate signed letter to me, clarifying, or adding to, the instructions. At that time, his business or residence? address, was a place in Michigan, not Louisiana. Whether he actually lived there at the time, I don't know, of course. Perhaps there is a Michigan or Louisiana Forum member that might know that and even might have known Carl. Following that, other locks were marketed - a further Judah lock, for example, marketed by - or through - Jeff Busby, the (David, presumably) Hemingway Lock and Repro 71's very clever Pentalock which overcame one limitation of Key-R-Rect: the other keys could not be tried on the lock after the effect, because, by then, any one of them would open the lock. I hope that will help clarify the situation and perhaps there may be other Forum members who may have further details to add or to correct me on. [/quote]
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