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Matt Adams
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Anyone know who invented this illusion? Got any sources for the info?
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Matt Adams
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And yes...I mean the large stage version used to produce an assistant from a clear, plexiglass box. Smile
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w_s_anderson
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A lady named Crystal...last name.....Cas....nevermind that sounded funnier in my head. Smile
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2013-01-07 22:40, w_s_anderson wrote:
A lady named Crystal...last name.....Cas....nevermind that sounded funnier in my head. Smile

I tried it in my head and got a cool echo! Smile
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Eldon
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I've tried researching it before and have not had much luck finding the invemtor. I think that "The Crystal Box" is the proper name.
Matt Adams
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On 2013-01-08 06:09, Eldon wrote:
I've tried researching it before and have not had much luck finding the invemtor. I think that "The Crystal Box" is the proper name.


Yeah, seems there was a Crystal Casket of sorts that was used for SILK magic waaaay back in early 1900s. But the stage version was developed later (I think). I don't know how the silk version worked, but I wondered if it was similar, leading to the later development of the stage version to produce a person. But again - don't really know what the crystal box did other than that it was used for silk productions.
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Michael Baker
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Silk versions worked on somewhat similar principles, roller blinds and spring flaps. The common, modern version of this handheld trick is of course different. The basic version has also been used and adapted for birds. Sometimes the upper portion is a clear box, sometimes a cage. Doves From Air being one version. Gloves to Dove and Dove in Balloon are essentially the same trick, but without any box-type upper portion.

Regarding the illusion, let's start by naming what we know. The earliest version I recall seeing involving a clear box was Henning's in The Magic Show (c 1974). Can anyone document something earlier? It seems there should be something.

Henning's version was presented quickly, without the extra involvement of "building up" the bottom and sides to "prove" things.

The link between the small and larger versions may be the Phantom Cargo Cage. This goes back at least to early Thayer.
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Matt Adams
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DEFINITELY earlier verisons than Hennings. Here's one from 1970

http://kirkkirkham.blogspot.com/2011/10/......970.html

Looked pretty neat.

Blackstone Sr. performed with one as well I believe. Orson Wells performed this illusion on the Dean Martin show in 1969 along with the Cremation illusion.
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Michael Baker
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Good info. Thanks! The one in the photo is (I believe) a Thayer design table, apparently adapted for the box above. I'll check some old plans and see if I can match it up.
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Matt Adams
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Ur awesome. Thx!
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ClintonMagus
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I don't have access to the books now, but it seems like there is a set of plans in either the Byron Wels book and/or the Thayer "Keep the Wheels Turning" book (maybe the Owen one). These could date well before 1969, if that is the case.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
john wills
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Owens' Catalog credits Robinson and L. Smith.
Matt Adams
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On 2013-01-08 15:48, ClintonMagus wrote:
I don't have access to the books now, but it seems like there is a set of plans in either the Byron Wels book and/or the Thayer "Keep the Wheels Turning" book (maybe the Owen one). These could date well before 1969, if that is the case.


The phantom cage is detailed in Wels, but not a crystal casket.

Don't know about Thayer.
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Matt Adams
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I'm wrong! It IS in Wels! It's called a Crystal Box and is one of the last illusions in the book. But this is 1977...so still not earlier than the dates we have before and we also don't have any other info as to who created it. But it's in there!
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Matt Adams
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On 2013-01-08 16:05, john wills wrote:
Owens' Catalog credits Robinson and L. Smith.


I had seen that name before...but don't trust the source.

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2208119

Do you have more details from the Owens' catalog or is that all it says?
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David Charvet
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The Crystal Casket dates back to at least 1910. Of course Leon's "Fire and Water" tank and Thurston's "Dida" tank were variations of the Crystal Casket - only filed with water. I think most performers dispensed with the water and used it as simply a production. In the old form (as done by Blackstone Sr., Dante and Willard, among others) the box was assembled one sheet of glass at a time, with the pieces being strapped together. The box being built in front of the audience (including a solid glass bottom) is what made it a miracle.
David Charvet
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BTW, the Crystal Casket and Robinson's "Crystal Lantern" are two entirely different illusions.
Matt Adams
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David, great info. Do you have any sources for that 1910 date?
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Oliver Ross
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Hi everybody,

That's what I've found on the internet :

The crystal casket illusion, sometimes referred to as the Crystal Lamp of Enchantment, was created in the early 1900s and is attributed to the magician William Ellsworth Robinson, who billed himself as the Chinese conjurer Chung Ling Soo, despite the fact that he was actually from New York and not a Chinese immigrant. Robinson died while preforming a trick in which he attempted to catch bullets fired at him by a firing squad.
References:

The New York Times: A Trickster Right Down to His Name

Google Books: "The Glorious Deception: The Double Life of William Robinson"

Read more: Who invented the crystal casket illusion? |Answerbag http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2208119#ixzz2HQOUwHNC


Oliver.
Matt Adams
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Thanks for looking, Oliver! But this "answer" was already discussed and is actually eroneous.
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