(Close Window)
Topic: Don Allen chop cup history?
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Oct 6, 2008 06:57PM)
Just curious, what is the design history for the Don Alan chop cup? I have noticed that there are several Don Alan Chop cups. Did he design the cup himself or did he just happen to find the cup somewhere?

I have a beautiful Aluminum Don Alan stubby chop cup from RNT-2 and would like to know the history so I might share with other people.

Have fun folks
Madkiki
Message: Posted by: Robert Kohler (Oct 6, 2008 07:31PM)
That's Don Alan - just thought I'd correct it first..............
Message: Posted by: walid ahumada (Oct 6, 2008 07:37PM)
If you go the c&b museum you can read how he came out with the first design (he did not like the height of the cup,so he cut off an inch with a hacksaw). But the cup I belive you are talking about I think is from Ring 'n' Things.
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Oct 6, 2008 07:51PM)
Sorry about the incorrect spelling, please forgive me.

I remember the Hacksaw story, so basically he was improvising from another cup?

Sincerely
Madkiki
Message: Posted by: Bill Thompson (Oct 6, 2008 08:18PM)
The history of the design is chronicled in Ron Bauer's booklet "The Complete Don Alan's Chop Cup".

http://www.thinklikeaconjurer.com/specialedition/donalanchop/index.htm
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 6, 2008 11:26PM)
Ron doesn't have all of it, though. He has the first part.

You have to bear in mind that although Don was a genius in many ways, he was eccentric. He started with the original Al Wheatley Master Cup. This is a tall cup. It was too tall to fit into his briefcase the way he wanted it to, so he sawed an inch off of it with a hacksaw.

Then, due to demand from magicians, Al Wheatley made the Master Cup, Jr.

Mike Brazill designed the Rings and Things Don Alan Chop Cup, which was able to take a baseball. However, Don preferred to use a Cressite Dog Ball with these cups.

Also, Ken Brooke knocked off the original Wheatley Master Cup, then came out briefly with a shorter Stubby chop cup.

In the 1980's, Repro 71 in England came out with their version of the Don Alan Chop Cup.

Encore magic made a few of them in the 1980's as well.

In 2005, RnT II came out with the Don Alan Stubby Cup based on the Rings and Things Don Alan Chop Cup design, but shorter.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Oct 6, 2008 11:30PM)
The guy that made the first Al Wheatley metal cups has a son... and his son made my Galli Galli and Johnny Paul cups.
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Oct 7, 2008 09:12AM)
I wonder what design will appear in the future? What is going to become of RNT-2 or will there be another cup making company?

Are Don Alan and Al Wheatley still around?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 7, 2008 10:38AM)
Al Wheatley died of a heart attack while working a cruise back in 1964, and was buried at sea.

Don Alan died of complications from Alzheimer's in 1999.

The future of RnT II is uncertain. It may remain in the Zimmerman family, or someone else may purchase it.

But these days, what is certain?
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Oct 7, 2008 11:26AM)
Death and taxes?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 7, 2008 12:52PM)
That's about it!
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (Oct 7, 2008 06:29PM)
Encore Magic was around in the 80's?

I think you ment the 90's there Bill.
The original R-N-T company made a stubby Don Allan cup in the 70's.
Mobius
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 7, 2008 09:13PM)
You are right. I mean 1990's. Ken Summers had the chucks, etc. during the 1980's.

I never saw one of the RnT Stubbies from the original RNT. Mike acted like they were a new idea when he was selling them in 2005.
Message: Posted by: BobMc (Oct 7, 2008 10:12PM)
So some reason, I do not like the bottom (cup opening) of the Don Alan chop cup I have. Not for any real practical reasons, yet simply my personal preference. The Don Alan cups just end abruptly. I may be in the minority, but I actually like the look of James Riser's regular shorty chop over his James Riser's innocent chop without the bead at the opening. All that said, I think that Don pushing for a shorter cup from the Wheatly was beneficial for many of us.
Message: Posted by: mysto59 (Oct 7, 2008 10:23PM)
I just ordered the Don Alan Stubby from RnT II. I think its a great looking chop cup.

http://rnt2.com/product.aspx?productno=660
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 7, 2008 11:05PM)
That abrupt ending may be the reason that RnT II started using the liner.
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Oct 8, 2008 12:11AM)
I just went through all the blueprints from RNT there were never any stubbys spun back in the 70's. There was the Mini Pocket Don and LePetite and the Disney cup but no stubby. There were also the Julip cups, but no Don Alan Stubby.

RNT II didn't have any intentions on making the stubby until Ron Bauer agreed to do the book but insisted to Mike and I that the cup be shorter, thus the Anniversary Don being made of Copper with a church bronze lining was born. We did some alum/alum, stainless/bronze and alum/bronze as well, these were pretty rare, the stainless run was only 50 pieces, the alum. ones were even shorter 25 each.

Epiphany has redesigned the Don for 2009, there will be a stubby version with a rolled mouth bead. Different metal combinations will be available such as Copper/Church Bronze etc. This won't impeade on the Anniversary Don since it didn't have a rolled mouth bead. There will also be a standard Don and Mini all with rolled mouth beads.
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (Oct 8, 2008 03:47PM)
I was thinking the stubby was the same as the Mini Don...sorry about that....I always used to refer to it as a stubby little cup when I sold them in the shop.
I can see the difference and know it is not the same.
Mobius
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 8, 2008 07:19PM)
Whew!!!! I thought I was going to have to start looking really hard at old magic shops again!
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 8, 2008 11:22PM)
[quote]
On 2008-10-07 00:26, Bill Palmer wrote:
Ron doesn't have all of it, though. He has the first part.

You have to bear in mind that although Don was a genius in many ways, he was eccentric. He started with the original Al Wheatley Master Cup. This is a tall cup. It was too tall to fit into his briefcase the way he wanted it to, so he sawed an inch off of it with a hacksaw.

Then, due to demand from magicians, Al Wheatley made the Master Cup, Jr.

Mike Brazill designed the Rings and Things Don Alan Chop Cup, which was able to take a baseball. However, Don preferred to use a Cressite Dog Ball with these cups.

Also, Ken Brooke knocked off the original Wheatley Master Cup, then came out briefly with a shorter Stubby chop cup.

In the 1980's, Repro 71 in England came out with their version of the Don Alan Chop Cup.

Encore magic made a few of them in the 1980's as well.

In 2005, RnT II came out with the Don Alan Stubby Cup based on the Rings and Things Don Alan Chop Cup design, but shorter.
[/quote]

This is the history I am totally not aware of. Thanks, Bill.
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Oct 9, 2008 12:58AM)
[quote]
On 2008-10-08 16:47, Mobius303 wrote:
I was thinking the stubby was the same as the Mini Don...sorry about that....I always used to refer to it as a stubby little cup when I sold them in the shop.
I can see the difference and know it is not the same.
Mobius
[/quote]

When going through the old drawings,blueprints and other paperwork you would be suprised and how many mysterys were revealed with some cups that rolled out of the original Rings N Things. The Little Don was also refered to as the Pocket Don by some shops, but was officialy called the Mini Don Alan on the blueprints.

There are thousands of pages of information in this paperwork and most have proved to be most interesting from historcial standpoint in regards to the original 70's Rings N Things.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 9, 2008 01:34AM)
The company does have a colorful past!
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Oct 9, 2008 07:49AM)
Any chance that there will be a new book written about the modern history of C&Bs, combined with ancient history? A lot of great information is being past around here in the Café, maybe all this information that has been provided by Bill Palmer, Jake, and others should be in print.

It would be great to have a NEW modern book on the history of C&B and Chop Cup written by different authors instead of just one author's viewpoint. This book could include ancient photos combined with new digital photos of present images, and of course there be several routines as well. Maybe the book should include DVDs for live action.

Have fun Folks!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Oct 9, 2008 11:48AM)
Who has the Money to back this?
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Oct 9, 2008 11:50AM)
I can't speak for Bill, but Epiphany is working on a book for RNT II and a DVD.

Pete, I'm sure since we're a Coporation we could get some of the 700 billion for a bailout for a book release at least :lol:
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Oct 9, 2008 12:24PM)
Hey Jake,

I'll buy Epiphany's book.

When you write to the government for a share in the 700 billion dollars, give 'em my name.
Then they can ignore both of us ;)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 9, 2008 12:56PM)
One of the great "new" things for people in the publishing business is lulu.com.

Although they are not capable of producing a Smyth-cased book which is bound in signatures, they are very capable of producing hardbacked perfect bound books. These are ideal for the short run publisher.

You can also finance a better quality book through sales of one like this. The best thing is that there is no inventory. It costs the publisher nothing, other than the photographs and the writing.

I just got through editing a book for Ed Solomon. We will have 50 hardbacks in a couple of weeks.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Oct 9, 2008 02:38PM)
What is the subject matter? I have used a similar outfit to do a nice hard cover book of photos of the Teen challenge kids from last years' WMS. They provide free software called "booksmart" to layout the book, including dust jacket, etc. Find 'em at http://www.blurb.com

quality is awesome
Message: Posted by: BobMc (Oct 9, 2008 09:18PM)
[quote]
On 2008-10-09 13:56, Bill Palmer wrote:
One of the great "new" things for people in the publishing business is lulu.com.
[/quote]

In fact I just bought Kent Gunn's Fun Shop cup routine from lulu.com
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 9, 2008 10:26PM)
[quote]
On 2008-10-09 15:38, Pete Biro wrote:
What is the subject matter? I have used a similar outfit to do a nice hard cover book of photos of the Teen challenge kids from last years' WMS. They provide free software called "booksmart" to layout the book, including dust jacket, etc. Find 'em at http://www.blurb.com

quality is awesome
[/quote]

It's a collection of his stories. We are doing his complete works. This is volume 1. We printed out a couple of paperback copies for galley proofs, and now the hardbacks are on their way.
Message: Posted by: roy presto (Oct 21, 2008 01:52AM)
Refer Bill Palmer 7 Oct 2008. Ken Brookes Magic Place put out a 16 page foolscap mms titled THE KEN
BROOKE SYSTEM FOR THE CHOP CHOP CUP, page 2 states,inter alia, ''The two types of cup sold by THE
KEN BROOKE MAGIC PLACE are exact copies of the original cup and are sold with the full permission of
Mrs.Wheatley. It was the lady's request that I should put out a cup as good as Chops. I am thankful
for the permission she granted to me. If you possess the cup as sold by us you have the perfect replica.''
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 21, 2008 02:16AM)
Unfortunately, they were not "exact copies" of the original Wheatley cups. Ken actually issued several different versions of the chop cup, as you can see if you visit the cups and balls museum. One of them was a plain aluminum beaker which he called the Highball Cup.

Al Wheatley died in 1964. Ken Brooke published a version of the Chop Cup in 1967, in which he never mentions any permission from Al Wheatley's widow at all. He does credit Larry Jennings with part of the sequence, though.

This routine later became the basis of the routine Ace Place published with their re-release of the routine.

A couple of edited versions of Ken's routine also appear in [i]Ken Brooke's Magic[/i] which was published by Supreme. Again, no mention is made of any agreement with Charlene Wheatley over the production of the chop cups.

So, I'm somewhat puzzled about this apparent omission from the later versions of the instructions. I have several sets of instructions for this from Ken Brooke, and none of them mentions any kind of agreement for the cups at all.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Oct 21, 2008 11:17AM)
The other discrepancy in magic is the routine credited to Larry Jennings. It was really his friend, Ron Wilson, who devised that routine. And sadly not credited with the use of a silk to cover the load was the creation of Bob Stencel.

Was it not Harry Stanley that sold the "highball cup" (I have several made in leather from Stanley's. Ken was working for Stanley to make money to PAY OFF those involved in his bankruptcy. In the U.K., when you declare bankruptcy you CANNOT start another business until you pay off all debts. As soon as Ken was clear of debt he left Stanley and with Frank Farrow opened Ken Brooke's magic place. Interestingly, it is my signature on their contract as a "witness."
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 21, 2008 12:38PM)
It could be. I'll have to check the instructions that came with the Highball Cup.

A lot of the credits on the cup were obscured by various sloppy events. For example, I have a "Don Alan Chop Cup" routine that was published prior to the one by Magic, Inc.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Oct 21, 2008 12:57PM)
Since we are at crediting past geniuses, there was a Chop Cup routine in print way before Al Wheatley's performance of his routine in 1954. Fred Lodge had already published "A Novel Cup And Ball Effect" p. 26 in a Scottish typescript "The Mysteries of the Mystic Seven" in 1936. It presented a short routine with two cups one of them being what we now call a "Chop cup" (named after Chop Chop Aka Al Wheatley. Thus Fred Lodge did not only come up with the first Chop cup but also with the first "Combo cups".

Similarly few people credit (and this is a good place to remind it IMHO) that Fred G. Taylor was, apparently the first one to publish a routine based on an outer side mag*** (Hugard’s Magic Monthly Vol XVIII N° 1 June 1960 p 1). He was then followed in these tracks by the French Duraty "Magie pour les amis" (different principle, different routine). We should also mention here the fabulous forgoten idea of William Zavis pubished in Divers Deceipts where the secret tool is placed at two third of his wand.

My reason for mentioning this, is that the chop cup as a pre-gimmicked cup may soon become out dated by side mag*** including the recent PK rings. Lack of proper credit would be particularly unfair since in The Magician Monthly, vol. 28, N°12, Sept 1932, page 114 under the title of "A Street Conjurer of Calcutta" (therefore way before A Wheatley) an Indian magicien by the name of Ajit Krishna Basu published for the very first time the idea of using a side mag*** for a one cup routine.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 21, 2008 04:45PM)
And there is also the mention of the use of tallow or wax in Ozanam.

This is very interesting. Do you know if these fellows ever marketed any of these items?
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Oct 21, 2008 05:08PM)
No I know they didn't market any of them. Ajit Krishna Basu had a sort of crude PK ring that he was applying against the bottom of a cup (no routine explained, just the concept). Al Wheatley however travelled to Isle of Man to visit Findlay, the great collector and scholar, and even though there is no evidence, there is a real possibility that Al got a tip from Findlay who knew well about the Fred Lodge idea since he was a member of the Mystic Seven.

The pork fat and wax is also in Alberti's I giochi numerici fatti arcani palesati da Giuseppe-Antonio Alberti Bolognese, and in Carlo Antonio's Trésor des Jeux.

Along the same lines you may have mentioned, among the ancestors of the Chop cup, the spikes or grater in the cups of the Little Man with no arms and legs that I'm sure you know of.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 21, 2008 05:26PM)
I didn't know that Wheatley visited Findlay. That possibility extends the history of the chop cup quite a bit. I think the breakthrough was one of technology, though. The advent of the higher powered mag*** during the 1940's made this a much more feasible item.

I ran across the "spikes" gimmick in a couple of other references as well.

I also found an Italian magic book from 1933, that appears to be another book copied from earlier sources, called [i]Magia, Prestigio e Giuohi di Famiglia[/i]. The author is not given, but there is an introduction by C. Causa. There is a brief overview of Bosco's routine as well as others.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Oct 21, 2008 05:54PM)
Once again... there is NOTHING NEW. I thought I invented the M 1/3 up in a wand. And then a gag where I stumble and fall carrying on a set of linking rings, and when I get up one of the rings has pierced my cheek. And I find that in Discouverie of W.

Hah...
Message: Posted by: roy presto (Oct 24, 2008 02:31AM)
It's been great going down memory lane with Pete Biro and Lawrence. Actually Jimmy Findlay resided in Isle of Wight. My wife and I had the pleasure of staying with Jimmy in 1953 at his Firbank Hotel,Crescent Road,Shanklin .I.O.W.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Oct 24, 2008 01:28PM)
Lawrence O,

Your knowledge of magic history is amazing! I hope you will be able to attend WMS in March 09! To spend time in the same room with you, Bill and Pete just listening would be an incredible experience for anyone!

Mick
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Oct 25, 2008 02:19PM)
[quote]
On 2008-10-21 18:54, Pete Biro wrote:
Once again... there is NOTHING NEW. I thought I invented the M 1/3 up in a wand. And then a gag where I stumble and fall carrying on a set of linking rings, and when I get up one of the rings has pierced my cheek. And I find that in Discouverie of W.

Hah...
[/quote]

As mentionned elsewhere in the café, back in 1992 I created a Cups and Balls move. The bottom of a mouth down cup was tilted forward by the middle finger and the thumb was used to lift, by its rim, the cup under which a ball was supposed to be. The invisible thumb sweep allowing the vanish of the ball was something I was very proud of... until I discovered that more than 20 years before Pete Biro, in an obscure lecture note, had published a similar concept. So for about 5 years I named this move with gentle irony the "I hate Pete Biro" move.

You're right Pete, there is very little that is new, but when I read your printed work or the one of Getan Bloom, or..., I think that... well... maybe there is.

Didn't you write, many many moons ago, about the idea of making an impromptu chop cup with an Hotel bathroom glass covered by its sanitary paper in which you suggested to glue a magnet? I sincerely believe that Antonio Romero never heard of it and probably never heard of the obscure Georges Blake's typescript with his crystal clear gass routine either... but he pushed the idea much further.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Oct 25, 2008 03:54PM)
I seem to recall reading about Pete's Hotel glass trick in an article in Genii a year or so ago!