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Topic: Indelicate question about Tony Andruzzi, so as to not repeat history
Message: Posted by: bootsbrisket (Jun 20, 2008 03:56PM)
I have recently purchased and viewed the DVD "How to make your own flash paper." I understand there was a terrible accident that led to the death of Tony Andruzzi and his wife, but I have been unable to find anything on the specific mistake he made. Knowing that fellow bizarre magick enthusiasts are probably the ones most likely to know, I thought I'd ask here. I am worried a bit that maybe the safety info on the DVD might have missed something. Does anyone know if the process could lead to an actual explosion, or is it exclusively a fire/caustic chemical hazard? Someone mentioned storing the flash paper wet - was the mistake he made related to the dry storage of perhaps a large quantity of flash paper, as opposed to the actual making of the flash paper? Was Andruzzi using the conventional ingredients for flash paper which caused the accident, or was he perhaps experimenting with more dangerous ingredients? Sorry if this bringing back terrible memories for anyone - the question does worry me and I do want to consider every way something could go wrong before I proceed.

(By the way, the reason I don't simply buy the flash paper instead is that I want to try applying the process to dried oak leaves for a bizarre routine about the cruel side of nature.)
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Jun 20, 2008 04:28PM)
Making flash paper is extremely dangerous, the chemicals are very dangerous. I wouldn't be surprised if it's an explosion waiting to happen. I don't know if I'd do it outside of a lab with a Chemist watching me. The environment outside of a lab isn't controlled as to heat and humidity, you don't have anything close to the fire protection and while a lab is designed to protect against caustic chemicals and fire, your home is pretty much a match waiting to be lit.

I don't know the specifics of the fire that claimed Gloria and their apartment, Tony just suffered burns. Tony's death was the work of spirits.
Message: Posted by: airship (Jun 20, 2008 04:33PM)
His wife died in the fire, Andruzzi became somewhat eccentric after that, and died some time later.

If you're not a chemist, don't even try to make flash paper or anything else. To do it safely, you need lots of equipment, a chemical hood, etc. If you proceed without the proper training and setup, you stand a very good chance of not only going up in flames, but perhaps even causing an explosion.
Message: Posted by: Magnalucius (Jun 20, 2008 05:22PM)
Never try to make flash paper. Even a Chemist will have a great risk.
Message: Posted by: docsteve (Jun 20, 2008 05:31PM)
Check this (bi)month's edition of "The Oracle" for more Andruzzi stuff. Fascinating stuff.

And if anyone would like to buy a copy of "The Negronomicon", hand-bound by Tony, please PM me.
Message: Posted by: The Curator (Jun 21, 2008 01:37AM)
Don't use to much acid...

Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Jun 21, 2008 02:53AM)

I'm glad Belgium doesn't have the bomb.

On the other hand, maybe it does.
Message: Posted by: The Curator (Jun 21, 2008 11:48AM)
Belgium does have the Bomb, but it's lost somewhere in the Surnateum's vaults...
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Jun 21, 2008 11:50AM)
Walk with caution when you visit the Surnateum!
Message: Posted by: kaytracy (Jun 22, 2008 11:43AM)
For excellent safety information on the chemicals used, consider the following site to obtain MSDS for the items involved
Follow the link to the SIRI MSDS site and enjoy the ride.
Be sure to read the whole MSDS to see the hazards associated, with physical as well as physiological hazards. Better safe than sorry. Generally speaking, unless you are going to use lots and lots of the stuff, most folks do not get into making their own flash paper/powders as the expense of doing so safely can get pretty high rather quickly. While there are folks who attempt this in their garages or backyards, these are the ones you mostly read about in the paper, and not in a good way!
Message: Posted by: casibb3 (Jun 22, 2008 05:59PM)
One BIG WORD on making your own flash paper. NITROCELLULOSE.

If that doesn't say, "Buy it - don't make it." Nothing does.
I made my own years ago, and also for a local magic shop for a time. Extremely potent, hazardous to your health, and to your well being.

I had a long experience in chemistry and knew the safeguards and followed them. But if you don't have that side knowledge of chemicals and their reactions, let it to the experts. Also, to buy the necessaries today, you may get a visit from the Feds.
They don't look too kindly on the matter.

Message: Posted by: bootsbrisket (Jun 23, 2008 11:31AM)
Thanks everyone, for your input, especially kaytracy for the link to the hard facts, and Brane, for the PMs. You've all successfully talked me out of it. I have decided to go with a much safer, although less "flashy" way of making a leaf from a tree spontaneously combust at my fingertips.
Message: Posted by: Gordon (Jun 23, 2008 02:11PM)
Aside from the safety question, it seems you're asserting that the fire at Andruzzi's apartment was the result of a flash paper accident. Is that what the DVD you have said? My b.s. meter is starting to glow...
Message: Posted by: Robin DeWitt (Jun 24, 2008 02:06AM)
The person who died from flash papeignition was Murray Sobel of, as I recall, Murray's Magic Mart somewhere in Ohio. This was back, I think in the late "70's or early "80's. Again this is from memory, but it is my understanding thart he had several reams in the back of his automobile. As a smoker he accidently caused the flagaration by apparently dropping a match. So it wasn't Tony and I think we need to not let this urban myth get started.

Message: Posted by: bootsbrisket (Jun 24, 2008 04:13AM)


Gordon and Kardor - No, the DVD didn't say anything about Tony Andruzzi. Sorry, it hadn't occurred to me that the way I had written the first two lines made it seem like DVD had stated that. Those two thoughts were linked in my mind because I couldn't resolve the idea presented in the DVD that it is possible to make flash paper safely with the idea that Tony Andruzzi's death was somehow linked to making flash paper. What happened was first I saw the DVD, then I called a magician friend of mine from Columbus and explained my idea, to which he replied - "Please be careful - that's how Tony Andruzzi set fire to his place." Knowing that he had spoken to him a few times over the phone in the 80's and also that he knew a few old timers that knew Andruzzi, I am assumed that he was correct. I admire and look up to this magician friend as a mentor to the point that I failed to consider that he might be wrong about this. Everything I had read about Andruzzi talked about the tragic fire, so I did not question the idea that it was related to making flash paper, given that I honestly believed my friend to be correct.

I am very sorry that I made this assumption. My very sincerest apologies.
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Jun 24, 2008 12:37PM)
Thanks for clarifying. No harm no foul. And that's interesting information you shared. I don't think we know what caused the fire and unless a Police report mentions it we will never know conclusively.
Message: Posted by: enigmatic (Jun 30, 2008 05:24PM)
Don't try to make Flash paper yourself. So dangerous ! Even Alpha the french magician who is the great specialist of magic with fire in Europe (he created some magic fire effects for the last show of Siegfried & Roy) stopped to making it, because it was too risky !
Message: Posted by: Doctor Zolar (May 9, 2009 04:20PM)
The fire that killed "Mrs. Andruzzi" (Mrs. Tom Palmer) was from a lit cigarette or cigar that started the fire. Tony died a couple years after that from hard liquor (spirits). The fire was in an apartment building that could have taken the whole building and everyone else but, it WAS contained to just about Tony's apartment in Chicago.
Never known him to say ... or he mention that he made flash paper, however, he did experiment with other chemicals that catch fire, when mixed. (Another bad idea).
Do not make flash paper. Do not store flash paper in with your magic and keep it in a locked car that sits in the sun. Do not keep old flash paper around at all. It's just hazard waiting to happen. A magic dealer had a bunch of flash paper stored in his car when he went to a convention as a dealer and his car "flashed"!!!
You are not suppose to send flash paper by mail either, but almost every dealer does. US Mail rides in the belly of commercial airplanes!
Message: Posted by: Robin DeWitt (May 10, 2009 08:57PM)
Just for the sake of accuracy it was the late Gloria Markham who was Mrs. Tom Palmer. This particular Gloria met him after he had taken the appelation Anthony Andruzzi.
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (May 10, 2009 09:15PM)
Thanks guys...I do want to eventually learn most of the Andruzzi facts...as he continues to move into myth.
Message: Posted by: Robin DeWitt (May 10, 2009 09:38PM)
On 2009-05-10 22:15, Eddie Garland wrote:
Thanks guys...I do want to eventually learn most of the Andruzzi facts...as he continues to move into myth.

Well, good news then. Jim Magus has been compiling data about Tony and will eventually issue the compleat biography of this Illustrious and engimatic man/
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (May 10, 2009 10:21PM)
Yes...I know of this project and firmly believe Mr. Magus is the man to write this biography.

I am deeply interested in this story and find that I ponder the man far too often. I studied the Tom Palmer book of Cagey Doves as a child in the 60's. His transition to Masklyn ye Mage fascinates me...and somewhat frightens me. So many wonderful mysterious rumors abound.

I have to know more.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (May 11, 2009 01:53AM)
But Gee, Black's Magic DVD said it's Ok to do this!