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Topic: Appearing Cane
Message: Posted by: floatingcardtrick (Feb 19, 2021 10:33AM)
I’m interested in knowing the history of the appearing cain so I can build a timeline. Is it ancient? When do we see start seeing the modern method? Meaning the plastic and steel ones you see at magic shops now.
Message: Posted by: Topper2 (Feb 19, 2021 03:12PM)
Invented by Russ Walsh in the 1940s, hence they are often called Walsh canes even today.


Not sure if he invented both the vanishing cane and the appearing cane, but that would seem logical. The Silk King Studio booklet about the Walsh cane, written by Martineau, came out in 1945 but only describes effects with the vanishing cane, so perhaps the appearing cane came a little later.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 20, 2021 08:10AM)
Vanishing cane was invented in Germany by Conradi I believe. I am pretty sure the appearing cane also came from there originally. It was contained within a small canister. It was originally sold as a collapsible walking stick. Russ Walsh came up with release gimmick on most of them and certainly well popularized it.
Message: Posted by: floatingcardtrick (Feb 20, 2021 09:26AM)
I would love to hear anything more anyone can think of. What about the plastic ones? What do we know about Fantasio’s involvement with them? How did overseas knockoffs effected the legitimate market for them? How this led to Fantasio discontinuing his line of appearing products. Who currently owns Fantasio’s production rights? Is there anyone left around that knows how he made them? Who is credited with what moves? Who ultimately became the most skilled appearing cane manipulator? What was the most impressive application of it? Most impressive documented performance. Who teaches it best? Learning material sources. Their surge in popularity now because of Virtual Magic and Social Media miss marketing them as “Pocket staffs” for self defense.
If anyone can help me track down some exact dates when things started happening it would be greatly appreciated. I know that as magicians we tend to notice things like.... wait a minute that is an a appear cane... wait what are you doing... don’t point it at your face.... *Cringe

Thanks so far everyone 😁 Every bit of info is appreciated! Maybe we can all find out something new that might have been lost to time.
Some wisdom you can’t find in books. It’s carried solely with its witnesses.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Feb 22, 2021 05:13PM)
If memory serves me well, the plastic ones ("jet space age plastic' as the ad read...) were first created by Fantasio. I seem to recall that either Coca Cola or Pepsi had a 'retractable' display for their 6 pack bottles (in a carton) that used the same rolled plastic. the idea (as far at the bottler's were concerned) was that the retailer could open out this sheet of plastic film and rest the carton of six bottles on it. In this way it made a sturdier display. When the six pack was removed , the plastic film coiled back on itself and exposed the next carton below it.

It seem like a lot of work just to display 6 packs of bottles, but perhaps the novelty of the display helped encourage buyers. I always surmised that Fantasio saw one of these displays, contacted the manufacturer, and had the same coiled film... cut into appropriate length and width to a steel Walsh cane. For a period of time mid 60's to late 70's... Fantasio had quite a market: canes in multiple colors and candles to match. Red, white, Black, and green. By mix and matching products, you could do triple color changes, cane to candle, etc; The appearing canes came later, but were not as well received as they didn't appear quite as fast or as sturdily as a metal appearing cane.

The next series of innovations with appearing canes was Mahka Tendo from Japan who had access to the Harrahkan (sp?) canes (also from Japan) Harrahkan canes were very well made and didn't rust like a Walsh cane could. Mahka Tendo found a way to paint the canes so that the color didn't wear off over time and he too had much success with these canes. They were a big feature in his lectures around the world.

Painting a cane had its perils: getting the paint to stick well was a big issue. This was first addressed in a book(1960's) by Mickey Hades (A magic dealer from Canada) called "Novel Magic with Canes". The Tendo canes took all the guesswork out of trying to do this yourself.

Some performer's who had much success with using several canes in their acts were both John Moehring and Fred Kaps. In each case, they used that appearing cane as a running gag. I should also mention some very fine cane work by Scott Cervine in the mid 1980's in his award winning manipulation act at Fism. In my opinion, the use of canes is about as good as it gets!

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Feb 22, 2021 06:06PM)
JNeal is right on the mark with the Fantasia product background. It was all well documented in his book and from stories Fantasia told me.
Mahka (possibly Harrakhan) added the spring powered release to assist in the cane release. Harrakhan canes were also rolled to the proper width of metal unlike Walsh which were sheared to width. This helped prevent many cuts from the raw edges. Mahkae also told me that he could not put the paint on the vanishing canes as it just kept chipping off.
Fantasio to ld me that one could paint his canes with the spray paint formulated for plastic. It might need touched up but I was trying to make a triple color changing cane in red, white and blue.