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Topic: Patented handcuffs
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 13, 2003 09:04AM)
In the business of escapes, to my knowledge the only patented piece of escape equipment was one of Houdini's milk cans, (patented in England)

Recently I saw an advertisement for Smith and Wesson handcuffs for escape artists which it is claimed are "Patented"

Having done a search through several patent offices in several countries, I cannot find any such thing.

I contacted the patent office and they said, any claim that something is "patented" when it is not, is misleading and illegal.

Does anyone know if any escape handcuff is patented and what the patent number is?


Message: Posted by: James Peters (Jun 13, 2003 09:14AM)

I'm so sorry to do this! :)

You may want to take a look at a book available from Cannons ....



PS. No, I have never heard of Patented escape cuffs ...
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 13, 2003 09:31AM)
Dear James, thank you, you have indirectly advertised my book. Thank you for that. I need a laugh at this time of night.

How's the hanging going??

Message: Posted by: James Peters (Jun 13, 2003 09:56AM)
The hanging ....

I went out to the garage to re-inforce the timbers, and rig up a chain with a hook to dangle from, and got caught by my wife.

So it's on hold pending a sanity review. I didn't realise how strongly she felt about me dangling up side down (or not, as is the case!)

And until she changes her mind, I've got no way to hang myself up!


"It's often easier to seek forgiveness than it is to seek permission" :)
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 13, 2003 10:17AM)
Good stuff. You could always suggest something really dangerous and then the hanging upside down won't appear so bad.

Glad to see you have joined the ranks of the crazies who enjoy all this stuff.

Best to keep some things secret from the wife.... heh!

On a serious note. good to see you checking the holding power of the garage roof. Nice move.

Message: Posted by: James Peters (Jun 13, 2003 10:37AM)
I'll threaten to take up free-climbing again (that's outdoors with no safety rope!)

To be honest, the reason she objects is because when she caught me, I was showing our 6-year old son how it was going to work .... and he was very keen to have a go!

Message: Posted by: x-treem (Jun 13, 2003 05:56PM)
Dear Ian,

One needs to research information a bit better. The advertisement was a mistake of the company selling the item and not of the inventor/escape artist. I have known of the mistake for some time now but actions have yet to be taken to correct it by said company.

From a letter written by Walter B. Gibson (stating from memory) Houdini was so afraid that his competition would try to copy his Water Torture Cell that he had it patented during a tour in the UK. It is the only known patent to exist of Houdini's escapes.

The only other one I know of is US3423871 "Secret Release Handcuffs" patent granted in 1966 for a pair of cuffs that look like they open the same way the old spirit padlocks did.

A side note, Harry also has a patent for a divers wet suit that he invented.

Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jun 13, 2003 10:30PM)
James, when your practicing Hanging and your wife asks you what your doing. You can reply by saying... just, Hanging Around. Don,
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 14, 2003 01:41AM)
Hi Shawn, thank you for your response. I have tried several times to clarify this directly without success, as my emails have not been replied to. So my research has been adequate at my end.

I am confused that the “mistake” is supposed to be that of the company, (“business” would be a more correct term) and not that of the inventor.

In an email to you about six months ago from me regarding the wording of advertisements namely “Copyrighted”. I questioned the wording because if others read the text as I did, it could be assumed that the invention was special somehow and was copyrighted.
(although a product cannot be copyrighted except for the text and instructions)

You told me then, that you had been instructed by the inventor as to the wording to be used and your hands were tied in regard to this.

With the inappropriate word “Patented” on a product which is not, the unknowing customer could be mislead into thinking they would be purchasing a unique and special product.

As you were aware of the mistake, it may have been better to correct it as not to allow new and potential customers to be given incorrect information as to what they may have wanted to buy.

As you know, the escape world is small and misinformation is wide spread. Many books on the subject have anomalies, many tools and equipment don’t stand up against their advertisements.

It is only my intention to make all customers aware that they should take a more active interest in the pursuit of information regarding all things associated with their hobby/profession.

Thank you also for refreshing my memory as to patent US3423871 "Secret Release Handcuffs". I should read my own book.

I also remember the diver suit patent but as that is not escape artist equipment I disregarded it.

Thank you

Ian McColl
Message: Posted by: x-treem (Jun 14, 2003 05:28AM)
Dear Ian,

I am no longer a major player in the business/company, whatever it is so I can do little myself.

The copyright of the items descriptions (I recently learned) is covered under the IPPD. This form of copyright has been covered here at the Café in another area so I won't go through it again. As I told you earlier I have little to do with the business beyond the financial end and product maintance of Bigelow and X-treem made items.

The bridge jumpers are indeed unique as the inventor (and my reason for using the word) has come up with a method in which the cuffs can be looked over and the bows pulled on prior to escape. It does not use the usual method of double locking the cuffs and hoping they don't pull open during examination. In the escape artists video, that was circulated to a few people last year, near the end of the tape he uses the cuffs, during an interview, to escape from.

I have not read your book but I'm glad to see that the "secret release" is in there already.

Finally, the Divers suit was a side note for anyone reading this who may not know the fact. I just added it as a bit of useless knowledge.

Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 14, 2003 12:29PM)
Dear Shawn. My questions were not directed at you but thank you for your insight.

Side line question (I thought that you were involved with product mentioned as you were selling them at or at least representing the maker at the Indy show only six weeks ago.)

However this was not why I posted about the patented cuff. It was to find out if it was in fact Patented as advertsied and if it was not patented why would either the inventor (?) say it was, or the advertiser not research the claims. Seems very odd indeed.

In regard to bridge jump handcuffs, the idea of having a cuff be slightly examinable and not due to the deadlocking of the cuff for inspectaion was made back in the 1970's. (may have been earlier but I haven't found any info on it) this is not a new or unique concept.

Message: Posted by: x-treem (Jun 14, 2003 01:56PM)
I personally make no claims, qualms or querries with advertised products on the internet.

The new structure of the site goes like this, you give the site a product name, picture, description they post it for you at a nominal fee. When an order comes in for said product, the site contacts the seller of that product and the seller ships it out (ie they manintain their own inventory and shipping) once a buyer receives their item, the site gives the seller 100% of their money.

MY ONLY job there is the money end and maintaining my own product and Norm Bigelow's.

Though I did physically represent the escape artist you should have noticed I did not use ANY of the listed avertisements but made up my own simply based on the facts and my thoughts on the items (which I have done for you as well via my reviews of some of your products on the internet.) I just happened to be attending and so I offered to represent the business.

Said product was NOT at the convention by the way.

As well, I have yet to see a bridge jumper (physical or in writting) that uses the same examination method, true I do not use bridge jumper cuffs but I've seen enough of them out there.

I know you are not aiming the questions at me but I'm trying to keep what could become another argument quelled. The EA did contact me shortly after you emailed him with your question as he had no idea what you were talking about (you only mentioned advertised cuffs, not which ones, in your email to him) I went to the site and tracked down what all the fuss was about and informed the person, who in turn informed the site of its error.

Personally, I do quite a bit of research (hence the business I make a living at Chemical Research and Technology) I would have contacted the site and asked about the claim as I would have questioned why only two of the 3 bridge jumpers are marked as patented.

I have my own unique business ethics which work great for me and sell my products without BSing people. I also lend a hand to those who need and want their product out there. Cannon's (though a great place) should not be a monopoly.

Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jun 14, 2003 06:37PM)
Just one question here about the Patented Cuffs Ian is referring to, were they ever Manufactured and if so How Popular were they? Don,
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 14, 2003 09:34PM)
Dear Shawn,
Thanks for the reply. It’s fine that you don’t have any claims, qualms or queries to what is advertised on the internet.

However, others do have concerns and I occasionally get emails regarding products which others have seen. I have recommended other products where I see that it will meet the customers requirements but frown upon false claims. (either made in shear error or deliberately)

I made two inquiries directly, to which I didn’t even get the courtesy of a reply. Had I, I would have made my thoughts known.

You say in your last email, (I'm trying to keep what could become another argument)

This is not an argument, or said with any aggression, either the facts are correct or they are not.

I have no problem with any other business’s in the escape field as the more people thinking and contributing to the art the better!!

However, it is good to play on a level field.


Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Jun 16, 2003 07:49PM)
Dear Trunk 8,

Mr. Ness is back along with several others. I hate to dignify this with a response but I must. It was my fault. I am sorry. If you EVER have any problems with your shopping (or browsing) experience ever again, please let me know. As for the use of the word COMPANY, it is legit. We are Limited Partnership, and are considering incorporation.

We have often sought out the most quality products available, and as such, some time grammar and terminology have taken a back seat. I appreciate your proof reading, and would personally like to thank you on behalf of this COMPANY.

I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot more of us in the future as our products are whole heartedly tested by ACTUAL escape artists, and are competeively price with the competition (Often times less expensive)! New videos are coming, manuals, and a new clothing line. I once again am truly humbled and sorry for any confusion, thank you for bringing this to my attention and being such a good samaritan!

My personal email is, Scott@DoctorZodiac.com
Please, please, please email me with any concerns. Public forums are so public, and I would hate for people to get the wrong impression...

Fraternally Yours,
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 17, 2003 01:56AM)
Thank you.

Ian McColl
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Jun 17, 2003 06:56AM)
Just for professional courtesy;

The Zodiac Family, (Not my real name, DUH!) have a long history with the various armorers of the World. I used my contacts at S&W and they launghed. They stated that they aren't worried about a typo, and that we are long friends and associates with the S&W company in N.H. and that if anything like this arises don't even give it a second thought.

It's nice to know I still have friends with Gun manufacturers of the world. Anyways, my contacts informed me that it's more like copyright and intellectual property. The copyrighted instructions, descriptions and intellectual property or detailed construction instructions (Such as those created by our supplier in his many books) are probably copyrighted. Though people probably will make knock offs of our suppliers hard work, it would be almost impossible to prosecute. But we will try. This is all we meant by Copyrighted.

So PLEASE, don't buy knock offs! Buy from the original master of Escapist gear, the Underground!
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 17, 2003 04:52PM)
Hi Dr Zodiac, your last email seems to be slightly off track of the issue of a product being termed patented when it isn't.

I appreciate the fact that you will be correcting this as not to cause people to get the wrong idea.

I totally agree with you when you say,
"Public forums are so public and I would hate for people to get the wrong impression... "

However, you go on to say, "So PLEASE, don't buy knock offs!"

Could you please tell me who you are suggesting is doing this?

I am only concerned that a product which is common place and has been around in the public domain for years has been so called Patented (which, you have clarified as a grammatical error or a really bad typo)

Sorry to hear that you have spent much time in searching for products and not allowed for the wording of your products to actually convey the correct information to your customers.

With over twenty years of making and inventing products for “actual” escape artists, (to use your phrase! I don’t know of what other type of escape artist there is) and having many of my items used in life treating stunts. All of which have all lived up to my customers expectations, you would have to agree that the information regarding the type, style and performance plus’s and minus need to be correctly pointed out.

I wish you success in your fledgling company.

Ian McColl (Stockade Locksmiths)
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jun 17, 2003 07:44PM)
I for one will buy a Product that is well made. I'm not into buying something cheap, I'll spend the Extra Money and would prefer to buy a one time, then have to buy several times. So if anyone has a Decent product or books on Correct Information, Please let me Know. Don,
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Jun 17, 2003 11:03PM)
Check out StrictlyUnderground.com, there are many original inventions that are used by escape artists through out the world. I know that Steve Santini personally uses the products he sells. (not the same product, but at least style) Also, I have made sure to not take a large commission as some suppliers do, so that the price is lower.

I feel the magician is an artist, and the escapist an even more detailed one at that. When I first started out performing, I had little money. I still do. But I want our art to succeed so I have made this site a labor of love. This is why it is often required to take the Lumina and not Corvette. To help out the others in our trade.

By "Actual" escape artists, I just was implying those who perform, for real people, often paying, in large numbers, and who can attest to the quality needed for such a product. You see, I am a Street Performer. I use mentalism and escapology to form a dramamtic situation in which an awe (or sense of magic) happens in side my audience. So even though I don't consider myself an escape artist, I still perform and have learned that high quality is a necessity in this business. We, as performers, often have to place our lives in our hands.

This is why when forming my Company/Business I had to find qualified employees/partners/inventors who know exactly what the demands are for a quality product. Mr. Santini has been in this business a lot longer then most, I would say 20 years at least. This is why we carry his products! Norm Bigelow a legend of this business and a darn nice guy, also has been in the escape trade for at least 20 years. My mentor Mr. Shawn Ness, a trained performer since birth do to his parents, and a love for escapology. He too has known the demands and needs of performing for an audience, and as such being on the spot!

So this is why I used the word "Actual"!

Who's making knock offs? I don't know. I don't go around policing other web sites. I am trying to get mine to a new level, and with typo errors who has time? As for knock offs, Have you ever read Mr. Santini's books? There's many referenses to specific ways to gimmick cuffs, that are unique to Steve and can actually be traced back to being his original ideas and thoughts. While producing such cuffs is not a crime, selling becomes immoral.

As for you bringing up this patent issue, I don't know why you have been so adamant about it. I personally reassured a multi-million dollar manufacturer that I had performed a simple typo. Their not worrried, why are you? Is the underground becoming a threat to you? I'm sorry we can't live in a Monopoly. Heck the U.S. government even persued Microsoft!

In regard to your comment about your products, Ian: I'm sure you products are of a good quality. I can't say that I have used them myself, but I have an interest in using others.

If anyone ever wishes to know why they should try the Underground for products, here it goes.

My name is Scott "Doc" Zodiac. I am a performer of the magical arts. All the products that appear in my companies catalog virtual or print, have been tested by real working escape artists. They are of the highest quality, and our customers are always satisfied. AND WE GUARANTE ALL OF OUR WORK & PRODUCTS! If you still are hesitant about buying from us. Please call me personally, I, the inventor, or a resident of Escapology, metalism, or magic (depending on what you wish to buy) will talk with you and help you any way we can.

I know, as many of you do as well, that X-Treem will do anything to help a fellow escapist. I will give you any help and advice you may need!

Above all else, our items are invented by the manufacturer. They are originals, and come with routines! Yes we will help you get a cost effective, high quality, original routine, not just a trick!

Thank you,
God Bless,

Scott Zodiac

Don, if you have extra money, I can bump up the price... Joking :rotf:
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jun 18, 2003 12:21AM)
I prefer a pair of Smith and Wessons compared to the Takeda handcuffs and I don't like the Zanadu Escape Collar, if it looks cheap I probably don't want it. As to Bumping up the Price it Depends on How High and yes, I know your Kidding Dr. Z.

Best of Luck to All
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Jun 20, 2003 03:05PM)
None of our products ever look cheap. If you need a demo, I hear X-Treem has gone out of his way to showacse it for you several times......
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jun 20, 2003 05:47PM)
I never said your products were cheap, and when did X-Treem go out of His Way to Demo them for me? All I asked from him was a price list and that's it. I got the price list from him and felt some of the stuff was not exactly what I'm looking for right now.

What I need right now are Handcuffs, restraints and if I do a StraitJacket I'll want a small but I want it with a crotch strap. Also I did want a few books but no one has them, since no one has the books, I can't buy them. Don,
Message: Posted by: x-treem (Jun 20, 2003 07:55PM)
I'm constantly asking you what books you want, I can track them down ASAP! Let's let this thread die already!!!
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jun 20, 2003 08:02PM)
You already know what books I want. The one I mainly wanted, you said, has not come in yet. And the other book I wanted, I gave up on, because no one has it in Stock. Don,
Message: Posted by: x-treem (Jun 20, 2003 09:13PM)
Dear Don,
I take, on average, 5 orders/requests a day. Plus email between 3 and 4 EAs a day. It has long slipped my mind since we have not emailed each other in some time.

Was it Cord 2 and 3 correct?
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jun 20, 2003 09:41PM)
It was Cord 3 but you had 1 and 2 in stock. I also wanted a $50.00 book that you did not have. Don,
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Jun 20, 2003 11:45PM)
What book specifically for $50.00 please.
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (Jun 21, 2003 01:52AM)
Dear Don, you are using this thread to discuss business and not the subject of this thread which has been resolved and thank you to Scott for doing so.

Don it would be best to PM to discuss you're wants and desires to the people concerned.

Ian McColl
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jun 21, 2003 06:56AM)
Ian, I'm not doing business here, ask Shaun, I haven't even bought from him. All I'm trying to do is answer Questions that were asked to me on this Board. If I'm to answer in PM then why didn't the people PM me in the First Place? I can't believe I'm getting bashed here. As to Dr Z's question about the Book, I think Shaun knows. If he doesn't then he can ask me. There was a few items I was interested in but I mainly wanted cuffs and a few books. Don,