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David Kaye
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New York City
131 Posts

Profile of David Kaye
Hi Escape Folks,

I am David Kaye. I write a column in Magic magazine about performing kid shows. I am writing a column now about an escape and I am having trouble identifying this trick. I would love your help.

This is an escape using a 15 inch PVC tube. Two holes are cut in the tube. Also two ropes are wrapped in thread in the middle. These are put into the tube. Around your wrists, break the thread, and you are out.

Does anyone know what this is called? Who invented it? Origins? Anything?

Thanks so much.
David Kaye
David Kaye / Silly Billy
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Loyal user
galveston, tx
207 Posts

Profile of aggieman
A version is taught in Dixie doley and he called it Bamboo Torture Device.

I don't know if that helps. I am sure some one here with more knowledge has the original name, but its too late tonight for me to look into my books. If its not answered by noon tomorrow I will pull out my books and look.
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Inner circle
3609 Posts

Profile of Kondini
Grandmothers Neckless.
Then upgraded to ropes and rings (Street magic trick) See Percy Press DVD.

The Donster
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Inner circle
4817 Posts

Profile of The Donster
That Tie might also be Norm Bigelows or Abbotts has something similar.
Harry Murphy
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Inner circle
5401 Posts

Profile of Harry Murphy
The trick has been sold for decades (since the 1960’s at least) as the “Shanghai Shackles”. I don’t know who first took the old “Grandmother’s Necklace” principle and turned it into an escape trick. I bought the trick from Douglas Magic Land in Dallas, Texas back in about 1966 or so. I believe the instructions gave name to the person making the prop. I have long lost the instruction sheet (still have and use the prop).

In the late 70’s John Novak took the principle and turned it into a Pillory escape. The pipe went from 12-14 inches to three feet long and had three holes cut into it rather than two. One hole each for wrists and one for the neck. He changed the ropes to light chain. It became a dramatic escape in John’s hands. John used painted PVC pipe for the prop. It was cheap and easy to make and played strong.

I don’t think that Norm Bigelow used anything like this (but could be wrong).

I used John Novak’s idea and built a double cross bar pillory with the bottom cross bar made of metal and curved upwards at the end giving it a vague anchor look. I called it the “Anchor Escape”. It was used as a one-off publicity piece with me being dropped into a lake.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
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Memphis area
956 Posts

Profile of Margarette
David, I guess you got your information you needed! I'll stop digging through my instruction folder trying to find them (I purchased this item about ten years ago).

I'm having withdrawls from lack of good bagels and pizza! Gonna try to remedy that in 2007!

The only stupid question is the one not asked.
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Inner circle
2134 Posts

Profile of KingStardog
Norm has a different variation known as the spirit tube tie that does not use holes in the tube, and is an independant original version though similar with the tube between the hands and neck. Lay people still find this a very entertaining item.

It can be found in the work:

"Escaped.... and still on the run" by Thomas Carrier (a classic set of lecture notes from 1996 that is very difficult to find)

It is included as a bonus item that Norm describes as "the two ropes through the neck illusion" in an updated form.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
David Kaye
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New York City
131 Posts

Profile of David Kaye
To all who answered,

Thank you so much. I know very little about escapes and you really came through for me. You guys really know your stuff.

Read a fun kid show escape routine in the February Magic magazine.

David Kaye
David Kaye / Silly Billy
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North Carolina
81 Posts

Profile of Merodach
Does anyone know a source to purchase the Australian Bar? I can only find downloadable instructions at Abbotts. Or if anyone knows diy plans that would be good as well.
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Los Angeles
748 Posts

Profile of Moxahalla
"Australian Bar".

If you are referring to the Charlie Myrick's "Australian Bar Escape" (metal pipe with chains)

...Rick Fisher of FAB Magic - usually has it (in fact he is listing it right NOW, and has one left).
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