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Topic: 'that razor blade trick'
Message: Posted by: mrnavyblue (Jul 13, 2006 07:02PM)
allo I'm not sure what the original name was but I believe jasper maskelyne
performed the trick where you 'swallow' several razor blades then some thread then you pull the thread out your mouth and they are all joined together
it first I'm probley wrong any way. could you tell me who had the original handling
and what you could reckomend the safest handleing

Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Jul 13, 2006 07:28PM)
I believe it stems from the fakir trick with needles. Houdini popularized this at the turn of the century (it is even explained in one of his books).

Disposible razor blades did not come into being until 1901 when GILLETTE teamed up with William Nickerson (an MIT machinist) here in Boston, Massachusetts. So the adaptation to razor blades would have to occured in the early 20th century.

I've read that Maskelyne did the effect in the 1930's so he could have been the originator, but they had been around for 30 years before his performace, so it is hard to say that he originated the variation with the blades.

There are many variation on the effect, the DVD GEEK MAGIC has a very easy variation, but I simply love Tim Ellis' presentation and method. (Tim is a member of the Café)

Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Jul 13, 2006 08:12PM)
Yes, Tomas Medina's Geek Magic DVD is great. His version/method of The razor blade trick is a killer and easy to prepare and do.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jul 13, 2006 11:22PM)
I believe it was first done in England by an Indian magician, circa 1815, using pearls and thread.

Needles had become popular before 1890, and Houdini learned the trick from a fakir, probably when he was working at the Columbian Exposition in 1893. I think this was one of the few people from whom Houdini stole material, whom he didn't later attack.

Razorblades came into vogue for this trick in the 1920s.
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Jul 13, 2006 11:28PM)
Thank you Harley.

I caught you on the SCIFI channel a few weeks ago on RIPLY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT. Its a pleasure to have you here on the Café.

Message: Posted by: mrnavyblue (Jul 14, 2006 03:45AM)
Thanks for your help guys and gals

are these methods safe or would you have to be careful with a sharpened razor blade in your mouth (no duh lol)
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (Jul 14, 2006 04:44PM)
On 2006-07-14 04:45, mrnavyblue wrote:
Thanks for your help guys and gals

are these methods safe or would you have to be careful with a sharpened razor blade in your mouth (no duh lol)

And that is where the term "razor sharp" comes from.

How long have you been doing magic, mrnavyblue? We would love to know more about your show. You sound like you know a lot of tricks. I am sure all of us magicians realize that you will learn a lot by being SO inquisitive.
Message: Posted by: mrnavyblue (Jul 15, 2006 03:18PM)
I wasnt asking for the revealed method I was looking for methods that are safe to work with ¬_¬ - chill
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Jul 15, 2006 05:54PM)

The two that I mentioned are reasonably safe. Tips on how not to be injured are given along with the instructions. BUT nothing is 100%

Message: Posted by: mrnavyblue (Jul 15, 2006 09:04PM)
Cool, thanks for that tony
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 16, 2006 04:14PM)
On 2006-07-15 16:18, mrnavyblue wrote:
I wasnt asking for the revealed method I was looking for methods that are safe to work with ¬_¬ - chill

If you want us to share with you, you need to be a bit less pushy.

Magical secrets are dispensed on a need to know basis. If we don't feel you need to know, we don't dispense them.
Message: Posted by: sepaternoster (Jul 16, 2006 09:03PM)
Ignoring the method for a moment, I might be a little concerned about the effect. Are disposable razor blades a common item these days? Further, what's the connection with the thread? It never did make much sense to me. I much prefer the needle and ____ routine (come on, everyone fills in the blank with "thread"); it makes some kind of sense. I vote for the needles.
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Jul 16, 2006 10:46PM)
I'm thinking of merging Ramsey's Bean routine with the thread. A pearl goes in each eye, one in each ear, and one in each nostral. You swallow a piece of thread, then withdraw a string of pearls from your mouth.

This has probably been done by the fakirs of the last centrury and this is just a rediscovery of a routine, but it does have a certain logic to it. Plus it is neater than spitting out the pearls one at a time, more theatrical as well.

Message: Posted by: JAlenS (Jul 17, 2006 03:17AM)
I was thinking about the ol' weed eater swallowing routine. Do people still use weed eaters?

Sorry. It would be great if I could get the plastic wire onto the spool in my mouth though, since I can't seem to do it the way the directions say to.. :)
Message: Posted by: leapinglizards (Jul 24, 2006 07:08AM)
My favorite method is the Dayton Razor Blade Miracle.... Now out of print but it is out there on the used market and will (I have on good authority) be re-printed as part of another book by year's end.

Best thing about that method is, no switch.
Message: Posted by: Prof. Pabodie (Jul 26, 2006 11:35PM)
Paul Potassy reveals his version of this trick -- one of his trademark effects -- in his new book...but it does require you to really put razor blades into your mouth.
Message: Posted by: Mitch Schneiter (Jul 27, 2006 01:21AM)
On 2006-07-27 00:35, Prof. Pabodie wrote:
Paul Potassy reveals his version of this trick -- one of his trademark effects -- in his new book...but it does require you to really put razor blades into your mouth.
His razor blade eating routine is amazing. If you're interested in this effect you should really get this book. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform this routine a few times when I was a kid. I had no idea how he did what he did. And when I read his book and finally found out how he did what he did I was amazed by his method. I don't think I would try it though.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jul 27, 2006 08:18AM)
Yes, that book is a worthwhile investment, full of practical real-world performance technique. His razor-handling is one of the cleanest descriptions I've seen.
Message: Posted by: Sal Amangka (Jul 27, 2006 08:30AM)
The Razor Blade routine has been one of Mr. Paul Potassy's pet routine. He told me he will be coming out with his own dvd set. I'd say that's something to watch out for!

Message: Posted by: The Doktor (Jul 27, 2006 08:55AM)
For an eXcellent version of the needles The Doktor recomeds you check out Penn and Teller's Magic and Mystery tour. Teller truly proves he is King of Needles.
Also check out Tim Ellis for an eXceptional version of the Razor blades.
Finally here is a link to Café member Sarah's page, her version of the Razor Blades is hauntingly beautiful.


The Doktor also recommends the following books

Tarbell Vol 4.

John Booth's Classics

The Charlatan's Handbook - Sid Fleischman

Tim Ellis's Lecture Notes
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Sep 25, 2006 08:07PM)
Tim Ellis version is really good. Im having a problem finding the necessary stuff.

One I can mention which is really necessary IMO to show what the heck the actual blade is (old fashioned) is the actual razor blade shaver. Im calling around and cannot find one (the razor goes in the holder/shaver). Any help appreciated.

Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Sep 25, 2006 11:46PM)
Oh boy, is this taking me back? Back in the 70s I did a full evening show with a friend and in that I did the razor blade trick... with 40 RAZOR BLADES!!! I did it to the song 39 Lashes from Jesus Christ Superstar and would scream out FORTY!!! when the song ended... if you know the song you can see how that played. It was a b*&%ch to string and sort those every night. I don't miss it, but it was fun to do.

Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Sep 25, 2006 11:51PM)
Thanks Greg,

My latest toy:) Im thinking a version of this will work nicely in the venues I work. I resorted to Ebay for what I need. Plenty of vintage safety razors on there. Tim's version is pretty dawg gone good because there is no sw***h and the razors are demonstrated to cut paper first then straight into the mouth. All the stringing I may drop and just walk around with the safety razor and spares. As far as the finishing clean, I can just stroll away:)

Message: Posted by: Joe Marotta (Sep 26, 2006 12:46AM)
Greetings everyone,

I'm going to repeat Candini's sentiments, and others, by saying that Tim's version is one I perform and is quite clean. Highly recommended. No wait. Please don't do it. I want to keep it all to myself! Tim's routine progresses very logically, and leaves you completely clean in the end. Tim used this as his opener in the Close Up room at the Magic Castle recently. To see him perform it there was just plain great entertainment. It was well received.

Personally, I had no trouble finding the razor blades at a Sav-On drug store here in California. This effect gets such a great response and really isn't that hard to set up. I'll admit that I'm not familiar with the other versions mentioned previously, so I really can't make a comparison.

Tony- beads and string?! Great idea for the crowd that can't stomach my razor blade eating.

Great ideas and suggestions in this topic. Keep them coming.

Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Sep 26, 2006 02:19AM)
Hi there Joe,

Yeah I called Walmart and they carry the blades. Ebay has the safety razors which you don't see very often. My daughter saw the performance (age 10) of Tim and started in when he held up the blade and asked me: "what is that?" RInging in the safety razor at the beginning is ingenious! Got to get my stuff together for this one...