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Topic: Best place to buy Gimmicked Straitjacket?
Message: Posted by: Priest (Aug 5, 2002 06:47PM)
I am curious about straitjacket escapes. Nothing too dangerous, just the normal "lock me in a trunk with a straitjacket on and see if I can escape" type thing. :crazydude: Of course, add drama.

Anyway, where is the best place to buy a gimmicked straitjacket? And also, once I get it, will getting out of it be something I can figure out myself, will it come with instructions, or where should I learn this method?

Message: Posted by: The Great Zambini (Aug 5, 2002 08:06PM)
Somewhere in this section there is a discussion of gimmicked vs. real straitjackets.
Now a straitjacket escape would play well on the streets of the Big Apple. Of course you would need an assistant to keep an eye on your other props and tip jar!
P.S. Get to Rueben's soon!
Message: Posted by: Margarette (Aug 5, 2002 09:24PM)
The best source for straitjackets, in my opinion, is Cannon's Great Escapes (www.cannonsgreatescapes.net). Mark and Sheila have a nice selection of both gimmicked and ungimmicked jackets. There are other places out there, but this is the place I would recommend. They know their stuff!!

re: Ruebens has closed down...groups are now meeting at either Cafe Rustico or Maui Taco

Message: Posted by: Priest (Aug 5, 2002 10:22PM)
So then what is the better jacket concerning ease of use (getting out) AND looking good to the audience?

[url=http://www.cannonsgreatescapes.net/ShoppingCart/gimmicked_leather_&_canvas_SJ_purchase.html]GIMMICKED LEATHER & CANVAS STRAIT JACKET[/url]
[url=http://www.cannonsgreatescapes.net/ShoppingCart/gimmicked_posey_roller_buckle_SJ_purchase.html]GIMMICKED POSEY ROLLER BUCKLE STRAIT JACKET WITH BELLY & SIDE LOOPS[/url]
[url=http://www.cannonsgreatescapes.net/ShoppingCart/bonza_gimmicked_leather_&_canvas_SJ_purchase.html]BONZA GIMMICKED LEATHER & CANVAS STRAIT JACKET[/url]

Could somebody who knows about these things or has had experience with any of these jackets please give me your opinion. Also, does full escape instructions come with them usually, or where can I find information on escape methods?

Message: Posted by: Michael Peterson (Aug 6, 2002 02:49AM)
I agree with Margarette about Cannon', Mark & Sheila are 2 of the nicest people I have ever met.

I have the gimmicked leather & canvas jacket, which is good. But I REALLY want the Posey jacket, Mark showed it to me & it is a killer!
Message: Posted by: Sniper (Aug 6, 2002 09:26AM)
I'm looking for a jacket with an extra wide arm hole - not the gaffed sleeve/straps.

Any suggestions?

Message: Posted by: Joe Marotta (Aug 8, 2002 09:34PM)
Hi Priest,

Best place to purchase a straitjacket? Cannon's is the best place, IMHO. Very good prices, and the most knowledgable and most helpful people you will ever find.

Mark has been performing S/J escapes for YEARS and he has created some excellent escape effects, including his Maximum Security S/J.

All of the jackets look good. It comes down to your personal preference.

Ask yourself this question: How many people in your audience have seen or handled a REAL jacket? Probably none, unless you are performing for a mental institution. In that case, don't do a jacket escape there! They REALLY know how to secure you in one to prevent your escape. And they will detect your gimmicked one in a heart beat (if you are using one).

Escape methods from legitimate and gimmicked jackets are taught in John Novak's "Art of Escape" Volume 4, and in David De-Val's "The Escapology Secrets of David De-Val". It's not something that you can write down one one or two sheets of paper. There's too much to consider.

You can always ask Mark Cannon for some tips when you purchase a jacket from him. As to whether or not he sends instructions, you'll have to ask him that question. You can purchase the Novak book from Mark when you order the jacket.

Hope that helped some.

Joe Marotta
"Bring me the Priest."
- Mr. Zorg in "The Fifth Element"
Message: Posted by: Margarette (Aug 8, 2002 11:34PM)
On 2002-08-06 10:26, Sniper wrote:
I'm looking for a jacket with an extra wide arm hole - not the gaffed sleeve/straps.

Any suggestions?


I know at one time Viking made a jacket like that. The magic store here in town had one for a while. He tried to get me to purchase it, but the main deterrent for me wast that it was an XL which would have been way too big for me! Also, the jacket I have now is fine for what I need to do!
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Aug 16, 2002 09:15AM)
Sniper said...

'I'm looking for a jacket with an extra wide arm hole - not the gaffed sleeve/straps.'

David De Val used to make just that. I know because I still use the one I bought off him 4 years ago. It came with belly loops but no arm loops and the straps were all fixed. No sliding arms straps or anything. However the arms were big enough for a strong flexible person to get there arm out without much trouble. This is the escape method I used until I took up some weight training and my shoulders got a bit to big for this. The jacket was always small on me and the extra bulk just killed that gimmick :(

Since we lost Mr De Val to cancer this year it is unlikely any more will be made however try searching UK magic suppliers to see if they have one left in stock. I cannot remember the name of the jacket however it was the cheapest one he did and it came with white webbing type straps which tied together rather than proper buckles. I had to take it to a cobbler to get some roller buckles fitted after I bought it.

Hope this helps

Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Aug 20, 2002 11:16AM)
So Im lost, no big secret...
Can the average Joe tell that is a gimmicked straight jacket?
Message: Posted by: Priest (Aug 20, 2002 12:25PM)
From everything I've heard, read, and seen... NO. I mean, think about it. How many times have you seen a real straightjacket.

Also, the part of the jacket that it gimmicked is on the inside. The lay-person won't know the different betweeen straightjackets.

Message: Posted by: x-treem (Aug 20, 2002 12:55PM)
That depends Priest, I use a Gimmicked SJ for underwater work, out of every 4 shows, 1 has a "whistle blower."

There was an exposure in 1997,2000, 2002, on TV that explained the "how to" of the SJ that has keep the secret in the public.

As well it is not really inspectable. I'd suggest the Gimmick Posey with the loops. Marks gimmicking keeps it examinable for the most part.
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Aug 20, 2002 02:22PM)

I have never had any problems with whistle blowers. Thats out of about 5 years and maybe 300+ escapes. My jacket is not gimmicked in the traditional way though. I have had a couple of volunteers who thought they were 'in the know', and went straight for the gimmick they thought my jacket would have. The couple of times this has happened I have gotten lots of satisfaction when they didn't find what they were looking for :) I also ended up with very convinced audiences when the volunteer returns to his place muttering 'damn, it really is real'!

My point is that lay people tend to watch these exposure programs and assume that everyone is using the gimmick that is exposed on the show. We can use this to our advantage by simply employing a different gimmick. People like valentino can become useful to us by providing a kind of universal mis-direction, an effect which we could never achieve ourselves.

Have fun

Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Aug 20, 2002 02:25PM)
Oops.. Forgot to mention.

I do not use mis-direction when the volunteer inspects the jacket. In fact I allow them total free reign to inspect the jacket as closely as they like.

Straitjackets have not been used in UK hospitals for years so it is very unlikely they would know what they are looking at/for anyway. I suspect this is the case for the vast majority of people anywhere in the world.

Message: Posted by: x-treem (Aug 20, 2002 04:20PM)
Well said and I agree, it was the conventional SJ that I was talking about. Do you use a De-Val? or some other? I have been very impressed with De-Val products until his SJ came along.

Though I have never seen one in person, after watching his video I became leery of it. Does anyone out there use one and what do you think of it compared to the conventional Bonza.

BTW SJ Guy what did you pick up from Cannon's. I thought you where totally "green" to escapes but your last post proves otherwise.

I dropped the Gimmicked SJ for underwater work last year and resorted to my specially chained ADA cuff (hey I take no risks when I'm underwater.) Care.

Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Aug 20, 2002 05:22PM)
Hi X-Treem

I use a De Val in my act. It has served me pretty well, although I did have to sew it back together and reinforce all the seams as it tore in two when I was practising with it a couple of weeks after I got it.

I am not sure what it was called when I got it but it was the cheapest one he did.

X-Treem...You Said...

'BTW SJ Guy what did you pick up from Cannon's.'

An ungimmicked Posey with friction buckles, a pickable padlock, a book and vid on straitjacket escapes and the handcuff training kit.

I haven't actually placed the order yet as I am still pondering over a few things. I am trying to see how far I can stretch my overdraft.

X-Treem...You Said...

" thought you where totally "green" to escapes but your last post proves otherwise."

I am pretty green, at least about the technical side of escapes. What I know plenty about is performing and the way audiences behave.

Message: Posted by: x-treem (Aug 21, 2002 05:45AM)
The De-Val SJ that I saw was called Supreme SJ Sensation, by the looks of the one on the video and the description you gave of yours, they may be one in the same.

The HTMK is a must have! I am glad you are thinking about ordering it. I am kind of obsessed with book collecting right now, yesterday I ordered the two new McColl books, Steve Santini's Concealments:Hiding The Tools Of The Escape Artist's Trade and Jay Leslie's video on the jail cell escape he did. All told it cost a pretty penny.

I was some what confused as you stated that you were new, but have done the SJ over 300 times. That is why I ask your skill level.

Take care bro,
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Aug 22, 2002 11:06AM)
Hi X-Treem

I have placed my order with Cannons.. eeeeeek.. I have again spent money I don't have.

The final list is:

The Posey Regulation Strait Jacket, (friction buckles),large.

Master #21 Spirit Padlock.

Handcuff Manipulation Training Kit.

John Novacs book, The mail bag escape.

Steel shim.

Thats a lot I have to learn. I am putting together a one hour sideshow act (Lots of nails, glass, fire and other fun stuff) for stage with someone else and we want to include a fair bit of escapology in the show so the above list is a big part of that process.

Wish me luck. Now all I have to do is wait very impatiently for the parcel to arrive. Actually, I have to have two weeks off any strenuous use of my right shoulder as I have just had some treatment to a pretty nasty injury I suffered a while back. I had steroid injections and if they don't work I will need surgery. So it is probably better I don't have a real straitjacket to play with right now :)

Have fun

Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Aug 22, 2002 01:01PM)
Honestly, given the Side Show act you want to build, all you needed it 100 feet of rope for the escape segment. It looks and real to the spectators and no one will ever accuse you of using fake rope! Plus, if you are building an hour show, bed of nails, block breaking (while laying on the bed of nails), glass walking/dancing, fire eating, and maybe a sword ladder, and you don’t have much time left for escapes! Unless you plan to rush through your stunts and not build the tension for the audience.

I think that you could build almost an hour show with the escape paraphernalia you just ordered.

I say go for it! And good luck!
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Aug 22, 2002 03:06PM)
Hi Mumblepeas.

Thanks for the words of encouragment. Apart from the rope and the sword ladder I had already noted the other stuff down as possible inclusions in the show. We are really looking to put a good two hours of material under our belts and then strip the show down to its very best stuff. I also want to learn, well, everything! And 'buying it for the show' is my best excuse.

I thought about the ladder of swords a while back and was halted by my fear of having my calves hacked off. I don't know much about the stunt but I hear it is a very real risk.

I currently use a lot of acrobatic stunts in my act, including diving through a very narrow hoop of fire and tightrope walking, but there is a limit to how long my body will tolerate the damage it keeps getting. So learning about escapes is part of my wonderful plan to always have a living.

Message: Posted by: Margarette (Aug 22, 2002 03:51PM)
Straitjacket Guy,
You are gonna have so much fun with that stuff! The HMTK is great! The cutaway cuff is worth the whole thing!

Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Aug 22, 2002 04:00PM)
Man, that is a good plan. Get two hours of good stuff and whittle it down to one hour of GREAT entertainment. You and your partner ought to come up with a very good show!

You are right to take a pass on the ladder of swords. You can take a hunk out of your calf. The big trick to the ladder is that it has to be rock stable. It cannot move a wiggle at all! Given your physical ability AND a rock stable prop, you should be able to perform it fairly (Fairly???) safely. Honestly it is not dramatic enough to merit the risk.

I have used curiosity as an excuse to buy neat props and toys! Now, I can say, “I’m working on an act!” Hey, thanks for that!
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Aug 22, 2002 07:24PM)
Hi all

Again. Thanks for the words of encouragement. The cutaway cuff does look like fun Margarette. I just picked up a pair of 1960 Hiatt's to practise on as well.

I simply cannot be comfortable with 'fairly' safe Mumblepeas! At least not where swords are involved. I am sure you understand :) You are quite right though, it simply isn't a big enough stunt to merit the risk.

Yep. 'I am working on an act' is the BEST way to get permission to buy anything. Other excuses I have used on myself and others include 'But it is all tax deductible' and 'Stop trying to stifle my art!'

Have fun

Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Aug 22, 2002 08:18PM)
:rotf: LOL!

I do know what you mean about “fairly” safe! The payoff for some stunts simply is not worth the risk. I have never been injured on my ladder but it is a steel contraption and I think that an earthquake would barely move it! Still and all, I haven't really performed it in a couple of years!

I am looking forward to reading what effects you narrow your show down to. Maybe I will even be lucky enough to be nearby a place you will perform and get to experience it for myself. I love this stuff!

Nice photo!
Message: Posted by: x-treem (Aug 23, 2002 04:25AM)

Beyond the HTMK another excellent choice is the Master #21 SL, I use to show how to make one to other EA's using an American Padlock (I can not find a store that sell Master Lock #21 and I'm too lazy to drive the hour to the Master Lock HQ!) since Mark and Ian started selling it I have dropped my show and tell. All in all you have a great order there!!

Good luck in your work and remember if you need help you know where to find us all!!!

Mumblepeas covered just about everthing else I would have said so no use in repeating.

My favorite excuse to my wife, after working a day of overtime at my day job, "We weren't expecting this extra day of pay, and it's not figured into our budget so I guess I'll spend it on escapes." At which point she rolls her eyes, because she knows that even if she says,"no" I'll do it anyway and do it behind her back so that I don't have to deal with the consequences (I mean her wrath) until the end of the month when the bank statement comes.

Take Care Bro,

X :)
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Aug 23, 2002 08:36PM)
Hi all

I was wondering. How likely is it that an audience member would spot the gimmick in the Master Lock #21? I have very little experience in mis-direction, the only gimmicked anything I have ever used is a straitjacket and that is not really gimmicked in a way anyone would notice, it is just very easy to get out of. I am, therefore, used to being able to allow audience members free reign in checking my equipment. Even the glass I use in my act is always kept fresh and sharp. I just hate lying on it when it is blunt, it just doesn't feel the same.

Message: Posted by: iluznst (Aug 26, 2002 06:36AM)
I bought a straitjacket a few years ago, ( I don't recall the maker, it's canvas with leather straps and roller buckles) and found the standard gaff to be completely unacceptable, so I ended up modifing it. The modification can pass a pretty close inspection and as such is nearly impossible to notice.

Second irritating thing with most straitjackets is that they look brand spankin' new, that's probably because they are. To remedy this I had to "age" it.
The reason for this is two-fold, which will become apparent soon.

To "age" the jacket I used a strong solution of tea that I placed in an old plastic spray bottle followed up with coffee... really! Then when ever I knew I was going to a set/studio or warehouse, I would put the jacket on and roll around on the floor just to get all that good dust ground into the jacket and who ever was around enjoyed the show.

Additionally I added an old-style small brass three-digit number plate -- the kind you might find on an old school locker... that too got "aged" -- on the back.

This jacket now looked the part and smelled the part. The scent is not offensive or gross, but odd.

And finally, I told people I found it in an old mental institution.

All this minimized people even wanting to touch the thing and added to the overall effect .

The Jacket now hangs on the wall much to the displeasure of some of my guests.

DA :swordbasket:
Message: Posted by: Priest (Aug 26, 2002 07:11AM)
iluznst, what a GREAT idea! And definately solves the problem of people wanting to "thoroughly inspect" the jacket. How creative.

Thanks for sharing!

Message: Posted by: iluznst (Aug 26, 2002 12:22PM)
Just to mention it...
If you want to "age" your jacket, you might want to practice on something similiar, but less expensive. Oh, I did notice those things tend to shrink a bit when placed in the dryer.

DA :swordbasket:
Message: Posted by: Margarette (Aug 26, 2002 03:33PM)
When cleaning my straitjacket, I do wash it in the washing machine, but hang it on the line to dry it. I was drying my straitjacket one day when I was introducing myself to my new back yard neighbors. I'm sure they wondered what type of neigborhood they were moving into!
Message: Posted by: Victor Brisbin (Aug 26, 2002 03:37PM)
Most of the guys I know who have "aged" straitjackets hanging about stained them the old-fashioned way(!) They certainly had an "odd" odor about them. My pet peeve is gimmicked straitjackets that have vinyl or "faux leather" - definitely not strong enough material to "confine the criminally insane." :shrug:
Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Aug 26, 2002 04:13PM)
Hi Victor

You said....

"stained them the old-fashioned way"

Care to explain. Then again, maybe not. Sounds like I might not like the answer.

Message: Posted by: iluznst (Aug 26, 2002 08:08PM)
:rotf: "stained them the old-fashioned way", they were probably pushing to hard...

Ohh Kehy,

Now that I managed regain my composure... heh heh...

When I get a chance, I post a picture of my jacket up on the web somewhere.

One certainly needs to start with a real regulation type jacket. Also, it doesn't hurt to have a few of those leather rivits and a die to secure them. You will inevitably pop a few of them if you already haven't.

DA :swordbasket:
Message: Posted by: Jax (Sep 2, 2002 04:27AM)
Hi everyone

Last night I 'won' a straighjacket in an auction [also some De-val [?] handcuffs and thumbstraps were in the same lot]

I was told it was gaffed but I have not idea what to look for to see if it is - having never seen a real SJ - the seller wasn't present to ask either.

Does anyone have any advice / tips ??


Message: Posted by: DavidEscapes (Sep 2, 2002 06:38AM)
HI Jax

You Said...

"Last night I 'won' a straighjacket in an auction [also some De-val [?] handcuffs and thumbstraps were in the same lot]"

Post a couple of pictures and I *should* be able to tell you what it is. No Guarantees but I will give it a go.

Where do you find auctions with lots like that??????

Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Sep 2, 2002 01:28PM)
I think I'm going to add some auction technology to my new site, maybe it'll take off.
Message: Posted by: Paulo Cabrita (Nov 5, 2006 04:01PM)
I have one Straitjacket very good and never use, It cost 450 euro!