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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Harry Blackstone's show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Matt Graves
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Huntsville, Alabama (USA)
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I was reading in _Learn Magic_ by Henry Hay that Harry Blackstone (Sr.) put on a grand illusion show, but he could do most of it in someone's living room. I thought that was interesting. Some illusions I've seen from David Copperfield border on being in that category, like "Laser" and "Panty Swap". But anyway, does anyone know what he actually did in his act? I just find that fascinating, to find out what the old-timers did in their acts. I know he did the vanishing birdcage, the dancing handkerchief, and an appearance of a live goat under a shawl - oh, and a floating milk pitcher. But does anyone remember his act in any detail? I'd love to hear about it.
magictim
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Fayetteville, Arkansas
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Evolution and Revolution of the Magic Box by Osborne has a section on Blackstone and the illustrated Houdini biography by Milbourne. Christopher has a section on Blackstone as well.
Michael Dustman
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I know through Collectors Workshop and Stevens Magic, you were able to get a great video called "We Remember Blackstone" that was a reflection of Blackstone senior and included footage of him performing some of his most famous routines. It was a great buy for the price, I believe around $20.
Matt Graves
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Hmmmm . .. I don't really have the money to buy an entire book just to find out what tricks someone did . . . if anybody remembers what he did, though, feel free to post it . . .
Smile
Whit Haydn
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Serling307 wrote:
"Hmmmm . .. I don't really have the money to buy an entire book just to find out what tricks someone did . . . if anybody remembers what he did, though, feel free to post it . . ."


Boy, you are really, really into this stuff...
magictim
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His floating electric light was a famous trick at the time.
Jim Snack
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See "Programs of Famous Magician" if you can still find the book, as well as two booklets put out by Arnold Furst several years ago - I don't recall the titles.

I have them in my library, but am in the process of remodeling and everything is packed in boxes, so you will have to wait a bit for a posting.
Jim Snack

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Matt Graves
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Thank you, Jim. I didn't know there was such a book. Now that would be worth buying. I doubt if there are any videos of Blackstone Sr. performing, but if there were, I'd probably buy 'em. Did his son do pretty much the same act? I actually saw him on TV late one night, and that's the only time I saw him. These magicians can be elusive.
Jim Snack
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I've seen some 8mm films of Blackstone Sr...in fact I might have a few clips on a video somewhere in a box. The old man has an infectious laugh and a twinkle in his eye that said magic.

Check with Jay Gorham, President of the SAM, he can tell you if the SAM tape library has any. They are available for loan. See http://www.magicsam.com or email Jay at jaygorham@cox.net

Jay is the guy who put the tape library together many years ago, so he would know. Jay gave me a couple of videos many years ago, but they are buried in boxes right now until the remodeling is done in a few weeks.

You can get the Programs of Famous Magicians booklet at Denny & Lee's for $7.50. Go to:
http://www.dennymagic.com/cgi-bin/hazel.......m=001422

I'm not sure if Blackstone is in that one, but it's interesting anyway. I know his entire illusion show is in one of the Arnold Furst booklets. Lee Jacobs has "Great Magic Shows Reviewed by Furst for $5. Go to:

http://www.leejacobsproductions.com/index-frame.html

and scroll down. You might want to give a call because Furst wrote two booklets and Jacobs only advertises one. I'm 99% certain you will find Blackstone Sr. entire show reviewed.

By the way, Harry Jr. did indeed perform many of his father's routines, such as the Floating Light Bulb, Dancing Hank, Buzz Saw, the Garden of Flowers opening, Duck Production and Vanish and many others in the Abbotts catalogue. Percy Abbott was Blackstone Sr.'s illusion builder.

Afer I find the booklets, I'll can copy the Blackstone review and fax or email it to you if you can't get it elsewhere.
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
Michael Dustman
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Well....to reiterate my earlier post, Smile the We Remember Blackstone video is a video of Blackstone, Sr. performing.

To be more specific......A truly wonderful video of Harry Blackstone Senior performing illusions and stage magic in a rehearsal type setting. Interviews with Jay Marshall, Nick Ruggiero, and George Johnstone give great stories about traveling and working with the big Blackstone show. This is the great man himself performing his classics: Dancing Hank, Milk Pitcher, Six Card Repeat, Afghan Bands, and much more!!!

$20 at Denny & Lee Magic.
Matt Graves
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Thanks, Michael. Sorry I overlooked your earlier post. I probably read over it very late at night. And Jim, I'll look into getting that booklet . . . sounds great. Do you know if it had T. Nelson Downs in it?
Marshall Thornside
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Well my dad knows harry's show extremely well because he worked on the show. our family is close to the blackstone family. my dad built one of the light bulb cabinets for jr. its the best built one and is modeled after the original that his dad used.
other than reading materials there are loads of them.
even a book that david mayer's publishing company came out with. your local magic store should have access to a catalog and probably publishers of various publications, big and small and you can find out all you need.

and the collectors weekend is a fabulous place to rub elbows with many people from the old time, I guess I would be considered one of them, even at age 28.

good luck...
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hugmagic
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I would suggest that you contact Bill McIlhany (whm@earthlink.net) in California as he has put out many of the "you asked for it" shows on tapes, Don Alan's "Magic Ranch" and other. They are a great source of many performances of these last generation of magicians. Blackstone Sr. did two or three appearances on the "You Asked for It"
Years ago (20+) I saw color films of Blackstone Sr.'s flower act that Del Ray had and showed at a performance. That hooked me. I talked with Del about a year ago and he said he gave the films to Harry Jr. I think they are in the SAM Film archives which are a fantastic source of information.
There is also a Pathe film site that has some clips of magicians (mainly British) working.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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daffydoug
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Quote:
On 2004-01-01 10:28, magictim wrote:
His floating electric light was a famous trick at the time.


Not to mention the fact that it also became a staple in Blackstone jrs act!

Passed on from father to son.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
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