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Cameron Francis
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Hi, guys!

Never posted in this section as I'm more of a close up guy, but I do love stage illusions!

Question for those of you who have some knowledge about older illusions: were there any stage illusions from the early 1930s that were on casters? In other words, did illusions roll on stage back then? I know it seems like an odd question but in most photos I've seen of early 20th century stage illusions, I don't know that I recall seeing wheels on props. Curious if more stuff was carried on or flown in.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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reedrc
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Hi Cameron. There were many with wheels/ casters from the 1930s and earlier. I've seen props with casters from the early 1800s. I own a vintage prop from the late 1800s.
It's got casters. So yep.
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Ryan C. Reed
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designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

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Chezaday
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Years ago many of the stages were "raked" meaning that there was a slight incline towards the audience. Lets just say it will make thing a bit more challenging for an illusionist to perform.

This may be one good reason you don't see casters on many of the old props ...

Steve
reedrc
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. .. . (and step-lock casters on new one's)
Kind Regards

Ryan C. Reed
Founder, Illusion Entertainment

designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

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john wills
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In the book The Glorious Deception of Chung Ling Soo, by Jim Steinmeyer,
you can find an illusion description of the Crystal Lantern (page 294).
This illusion was (in 1908) on small casters.

On the other hand: Kio in Russia used bicycle wheels....
Michel Fouche
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I can't imagine touring illusionists worked many racked stages as they would have to customise the legs for each theatre to match the rack angle.
Gerry Walkowski
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I think if you look through all the old Thayer blueprints that you'll see casters on most, if not all, their stage illusions.

I know guys who collect old illusions from this time periold and all of them have casters.

Gerry
Michael Taggert
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A point of design here. yes casters have been used in illusion as long as there has been illusion in theater. the difference is that recently Modern design and better looking casters have lead the way to visible casters. previously casters were designed to be hidden behind legs and under skirts. This lead to the deceptive base concept. it wasn't until recently that the thinner is better designs took hold and thus casters are now more visible.
Believe you then that I do strange things
Rodney
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The casters from that era would've also been made of different materials from today's modern casters. Wood wheels or metal and wouldn't have had the fluidity of today's materials most large illusions were set in place behind the curtain before being presented and not spun around and moved on stage in front of the audience like today's performances.
jay leslie
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I have several illusions, around the warehouse, from the 30s and 40s and they all have brass casters that are about an inch in diameter
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