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Topic: "The Handcuff Annual - 2006"
Message: Posted by: lauher (Mar 26, 2005 08:11AM)
Dear Friends

I wish to announce and solicit your contributions for the "The Handcuff Annual - 2006."

This will be a bound book with a “magazine” format with contributions from people in the world wide restraint collecting/escape artist community. The physical binding and paper of the book will be like my British Handcuffs book, but the annual will be in a two column format with a smaller font so the information density will be higher. An emphasis would be given to good photographs. The book will be say 150-200 pages long with some (25-30) color pages. I learned in my first book that the black and white pictures are good enough for cuffs, but color will be very nice for pictures of people or events and displays of entire collections.

The annual will not be just another encyclopedic book on handcuffs; instead I plan to include a variety of features. But it all depends upon contributions from the community. I want this to be a "fun" project that everyone can participate in. If it is successful it can become a true "annual" and we can do it again next year.

Here are some ideas to get you started, but please feel free to suggest almost anything within the general theme.

1. Feature articles on specific handcuffs or lines of handcuffs form the past. For example: Froggatt Handcuffs, the handcuffs of East Germany, or even better - the handcuffs of Eastern Europe. Mckenzie Mitts, cuffs by Mattatuck, or Gill or you name it. The key would be a good set of photos, they will be reproduced in high quality black and white on glossy paper with color available for special items.

2. Public Collection Displays. Photographs of public collections from around the world. This is something where everyone could participate. Just send a photo or two or three of a public collection that you have visited. If you want to write a full article that would be even better.

3. Feature articles on specific private collectors or collections. These would be similar to the Fred Patella or Stan Willis articles on my web site. It would be very nice if one collector could write an article about a visit to another.

4. Articles on the technical aspects of restraints. Perhaps someone might write an article similar to the ones that Dick Norman wrote for the Locksmith Ledger back in the 1950s. Maybe someone could write about the manufacturing process.

5. A photographic “highlights” or gallery section asking for pictures of unusual cuffs from collectors around the world. All one needs to do is to submit a high quality picture and a short description.

6. A section devoted to "oddballs" or "unknowns" cuffs that no one can identify. This could be great fun. I have a couple cuffs that may be unique. I am sure that others do as well. Again all you would need to supply would be a picture and a short description.

7. Feature articles on specific escape artists of the present. One idea is to ask one escape artist (or fan) to write about one of his or her colleagues, perhaps using an interview format. The key would some nice color pictures, which could be publicity shots, but original pictures would be better.

8. Articles on escape artists of the past. This would depend upon the availability of some good pictures. A collection of pictures of old brochures would be great.

9. A gallery of pictures of “escape events” that have taken place in the last year. I will solicit contributions at the Magic Café web site. A report of the United Kingdom Escape Artist meetings would be most welcome.

10. A section devoted to old ads and advertising brochures. We can do this for restraints, but also for escape artists of the past. Any 19th century advertising would really be welcome.

11. Personal stories. How did you acquire that special cuff? How did you get started in collecting? Do you have a particularly good eBay story?

12. A new products section, showing interesting new cuffs on the market as well as products intended for the escape artist community.

13. Anything else you care to suggest.

So what should you do if you wish to participate? Send me your tentative ideas as soon as possible. If you do this I can make sure that I do not have two people doing the exactly same thing.

What format do I need? Text can be in almost any format, although Microsoft Word would be ideal. Pictures need to be of high quality. We will print at 300 dpi so a picture that spans a full page needs to be at least 2000 pixels wide. Pictures than span a single column won't need so many pixels. Color pictures can be submitted, but I will have to ration color since it will be the most expensive part of printing the book. Scans of old brochures, ads or pictures should be done at the highest resolution you can.

What will I do with your contribution once I receive it? I will edit and format it to fit into the style of the annual and I will then send it back to your for your final approval. I will also ask others to help me review and proofread the contributions. (Volunteers would be most welcome.)

When should you submit? As soon as you can, but no later than June 30 for a first draft. Sooner is much better than later.

Who will own the copyright? The copyright to all submitted materials would be retained by the original author or photographer. I only ask that I be given permission to include your contributions in the Annual, including any possible reprint, and to post your contribution on the Handcuffs.Org web site sometime in the future. I will take particular care to give full credit and acknowledgement to each author. You should of course make sure that you own the copyright or have permission to use any materials that you submit. Don't take pictures off the web or out of other books without permission unless they are clearly in the public domain.

What do you get for participation? Fame and glory will be the main compensation. Anyone making a major contribution will get a free copy of the annual. Anyone making a smaller contribution (like a single picture) will be able to buy a discounted copy of the annual at the cost of printing and postage. (I can assure you that this will not be a money making project.) I want to hold the book down to a reasonable cost, in the $25-$30 range.

When will the book be published? If I can get the contributions by the end of June, then the book should be available in time for release at the Cannon's Escape Artist convention in October.
This will be the goal, but one never knows.

So please send me your thoughts and comments. Is this a good idea? Would you like to participate?

Thanks very much.

Joseph W. Lauher
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Mar 26, 2005 08:48AM)
Dear Joe, you have set yourself a lot of hard work but the end product will be a feast for the eyes. This is a great project and I hope I will be able to contribute something worthwhile. A fantastic idea.

Message: Posted by: lauher (Jun 9, 2005 07:01AM)
Greetings all,

It is time for an update on the annual. The initial announcement brought in a very large number of positive responses and many people offered to submit articles.

The contributions have now started to arrive. The initial ones have really been outstanding. So far the submissions have all been from the "handcuff collectors" community. That is not surprising, those are the people I know best. However, I am still very eager to include contributions from the Escape Artist community as well.

You contributions do not have to be elaborate. Just one nice picture and a short description is enough, although full articles are also needed and welcome. In order to have the book to the printer in time for it to be available at Cannon's Esacape Artist Convention this October, I need your contributions by the end of June.

Please send a note if you have any questions.

thanks very much


Joseph W. Lauher

In the last several days or so many exciting submissions have arrived.

Stan Willis, Chris Gower, Mick Hanzlik, Guenter aka Atame, Stuart Burrell, Bruce Thompson, Cindini, Gordon Gluff, Lars Holst, Michael Bush have sent in material. I have heard from others and more is on its way.
Thank you all very much.

There is still room for others to participate. Your contribution does not need to be elaborate.

If you are a collector you can send in a picture of that one special cuff in your collection. Or perhaps one of those pictures you took last summer when you visited the police museum. Maybe you have a short story to tell about one of your acquisitions.

If you are and escape artist just send a picture of one of your performances. Or a copy of that story you love to tell your friends.

I am sure the annual is going to be a great success. Please join in if you can.

Message: Posted by: chappy (Jun 20, 2005 12:52AM)
I am in the process of trying to establish the estimated value of a pair of handcuffs originally used and owned by Harry Houdini that have come into the possession of a friend. I have posted requests for any helpful information in the other escapology sections here. If you are interested in them for your project or can be of help with any information regarding their history please contact me via PM.
All the Best.
Message: Posted by: MattTheKnife (Oct 16, 2005 12:49PM)
Does anyone know if this has been finished as of yet?

I only ask because I know that Joe had been hoping to have it ready in time for the convention.

-Matt (TK)
Message: Posted by: Cindi (Oct 16, 2005 01:26PM)
It is to my understanding that the Annual is at the Printers and will be available for Christmas.

That's Me away,
Message: Posted by: MattTheKnife (Oct 24, 2005 10:56AM)
Thanks Cindi!

-Matt (TK)