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Tudormagic
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Who invented the Dancing Cane? Hofzinzer?
hugmagic
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This was not the type of thing Hofzinser did. I will have to look at the old catalogs but I think it goes back to Germany. Maybe Conradi or Bartl. Conradi was quite inventive. Unfortunately, unless you read German a lot of it has been lost in old German magic books.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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jimgerrish
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Bart Whaley's Encyclopedia of Magic states that it was first described in 1857 in The Magician's Own Book (p.52) as "The Magnetized Cane". Whaley also speculates that it was possibly, and indeed quite probably, invented by Viennese magician J.N. Hofzinser who, sometime around then, was doing this trick with virtually the same thread-and-loop hookup used today in the one-person version of the dancing cane.
Tudormagic
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Jim,
That's where I got the idea about Hofzinzer. Does Whaley quote any source for the Hofzinzer credit?
John
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Jul 25, 2018, Tudormagic wrote:
Who invented the Dancing Cane? Hofzinzer?


Fred Astaire type moves are probably more recent than Hofzinser. Tricks with a walking stick or staff ... way before Hofzinser Smile
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Tudormagic
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Finally found it, in THE MAGIC OF JOHANN NEPOMUK HOFZINSER
compiled by Ottokar Fischer
translated by Richard Hatch It seems Hofzinzer is the first on record to use the cane or wand with a thread or hair to make it float, he called it Magnetic Forces. Here's a long footnote which will give an idea (more than you ever wanted to know) of others who did similar things, or made claim to its invention.

1 The invention of this effect and the various methods to achieve it provoked a minor controversy in the early part of the century. Hoffmann published Hartz's method under the title "The Aerial Walking-cane" in the July and August 1909 issues of The Wizard (IV, #47, 746-7 and IV, #48, 762-3). (Reprinted inMagical Tit-Bits, p. 188 (S.H.S.) and Later Magic, p. 725-733) Hartz's presentation was quite similar to Hofzinser's, though the latter's changing case was more sophisticated. Hoffmann ascribed Hartz's method to Henri Herrmann, but Charles DeVere, took exception to this in a letter published in the October issue (V, #50, 796): "Many of the improvements ascribed by Prof. Hoffmann to Hartz were neither his inventions nor mine, but were sold to him by me. To take the case of the Aerial Cane described in your July issue, and said to have been invented by Henri Herrmann. I bought this trick in 1871, retained it for my personal use until 1873, and then put in on the market and sold it to many Professors, including Cremer and Bland ... Until 1874 I sold the wands with steel points by which to suspend it. After that I gave the customers the idea of the hair loop to avoid changing the wands ..." One wonders from whom DeVere purchased the method in 1871, and his 1874 claim for the hair loop would certainly postdate Hofzinser's use of this method. Clarke (p. 209) tells us that Alfred Sylvestor ("The Fakir of Oolu") had been "credited with being the inventor of the Suspended Wand . . . using a wand with tiny wire projections, but, as a matter of fact, the Floating Wand had been done before by Compars Herrmann, whom Sylvestor had doubtless seen ..." Mention of Herrmann would seem to bring us back to Hofzinser. In any case, the effect was not only featured by Herrmann and Hartz, but later by Fischer and Marvelli as well. Marvelli's paper cane, along with his instructions and numerous photographs showing his presentation of the effect (which differed from the original, in that Marvelli could remove both hands from the cane), is now in the collection of Raphael Ellenbogen.
hugmagic
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Interesting. Great research.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Jonathan Townsend
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The Fischer book of Hofzinser's tricks is a trove of goodies. There are pictures of various phases of the cane routine. And a clever mechanical box to switch for a solid wood cane. There's mention of music to accompany the magic. Not animation or dance so much as an exaggerated demonstration of static electricity and magnetism. Hofzinser's audiences would have known about static cling and silk handkerchiefs. Folks might want to contrast this item with the Leipzig routine in the Vernon/Ganson book.
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