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Topic: Illusions from the past.
Message: Posted by: radamwarner (May 5, 2021 11:33AM)
Hello everyone, I remember browsing through an old Abbotts catalog ( I believe it was an Abbotts.) There was a section that contained illusions that were odd e.g. a girl's head on a sword. Are any of these 'back of book'illusions being performed today?
Message: Posted by: GlennLawrence (May 5, 2021 02:40PM)
The old Tannen's catalog had a similar section with that type of illusion too. While you might rarely see these in a show, the head on sword and the like are more often seen in haunted attractions as displays, or even in the occasional carnival freak show. Although I suppose they don't call it that anymore...
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (May 5, 2021 07:27PM)
David Copperfield has in fact the head on the sword set up in his museum and it is performed on his tours.
Message: Posted by: wulfiesmith (Jun 2, 2021 01:51PM)
Radamwarner ...
Mark Wilsons "complete course in magic" has a great section on stage magic.

My favourite is "Farmer and the Witch" which - by any other name - still plays well.

Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jun 2, 2021 09:12PM)
The “Head on Sword” was more of a display illusion and also used in sideshows as a follow up to the guillotine.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jun 3, 2021 01:12AM)
Paul Osborne published a book about sideshow illusion plans:


- Donald
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Aug 3, 2021 10:46PM)
Osburne has this as a single plan, but the book isa much better deal. It's in several of the old books, a fairly simple build. I remember a talker on the old RAS having one set up on the bally platform, he would vanish the sirls head in a dove net and tell the tip that hewould show everyone how it wa done. As they passed the platform going in, they could see the back of the illusion. Ofcoure the breaf peak made people thing they saw the secret, they really did but they could not really dicribe it two minutes later, so nothin was really exposed. You can also get a passable plane much cheaper by sarching for A.K. Brill building plans.