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Topic: Bill/milk in light bulb
Message: Posted by: Dave Dorsett (Sep 10, 2004 05:11PM)
OK, to perform due diligence, I would like to solicit background on the Bill in Light Bulb and Milk in Light Bulb effects.
In the early '90's, Marvyn Roy granted me exclusive rights to produce The Bill in Bulb. After several years of production I chose to stop building for a period of time. I am now considering re-entry into the field in a limited way and have contacted Marvyn to confirm that I am indeed still the only manufacturer with his permission and input to build this effect.
He also said that Owen was granted permission to do Milk in Bulb, a similar piece using nearly the same props.
During the time I was on hiatus I became aware of a couple of different "Bill and/or Milk in Bulbs" produced and marketed, which is neither here nor there as far as I'm concerned. My question is, does anybody have any alternate versions of the genesis of these two effects? To the best of my knowledge, they were created by Marvyn Roy and, while widely copied, his is the only permission I need to worry about. Anybody else have another story I need to look into?
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Sep 11, 2004 10:08AM)
I would refer back to the German trick of Canary in Light Bulb. I know Horace Marshall imported and later made these in the 1920's.

The U.F. Grant version of milk in the light bulb was different than Marvin's version as the light was reflected. I also have seen a version made by John Daniels (when he owned Owen's) that looked like a regular lamp but the extra bulb was spring loaded down inside the lamp and moved upward for the reappearance.

I do not know of any other version of bill in the lightbulb per say. I would market it as the only authorized version with Marvin's routine.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Sep 13, 2004 11:49AM)

Nobody ACTS properly. I have yet to see anyone, including my dear friend Marvyn Roy... when they grab the LIGHT BULB, that has been lit, act like the bulb is HOT... HOT HOT -- what do you do when you grab a real light bulb that is hot.

Think about that action.

Believe me this will sell sell sell the effect.
Message: Posted by: Dave Dorsett (Sep 13, 2004 10:43PM)
I'm with you, Pete! As a matter of fact, when I went back to the instructions I used to send out with this effect in the early '90's, I mentioned that as well. Maybe coming from you it will help seal the deal!
Message: Posted by: sethb (Sep 14, 2004 07:11AM)
As usual, Pete, you have hit the nail on the head.

Many of us (present company included!) often get so fascinated with the working of our tricks that we fail to see the effect from the audience's point of view. We don't stop to consider how to "sell" the trick, which is probably just as important as how the trick is accomplished, if not more so.

As we know, there have always been plenty of magicians with so-so technical skills but loads of charisma and stage presence. They are the ones the audience remembers. Don't neglect your classic palm, but don't neglect your audience, either!

Thanks Pete, for reminding us what our priorities should be, and sorry for the slight digression! SETH
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Sep 14, 2004 10:06AM)
Ted Lessey has a very nice, technically simple (as is much of his stuff), Signed Bill to Light bulb trick out. You can find it on one of his recent DVDís. By the way, Ted acts as if the bulb was hot.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Sep 14, 2004 09:18PM)
Maybe the milk cools off the bulb?
Message: Posted by: Dave Dorsett (Sep 15, 2004 10:23AM)
Logically speaking, if a refrigerated liquid such as milk (approx. 38 degrees F) were instantaneously introduced into a hot light bulb (nearly 6,000 degrees F filament temp) the bulb would shatter instantly. Without divulging how I know, if you spray a hot bulb with water from a squirt gun it will break! That's one of the reasons I always preferred the bill in bulb (which, of course, would burst into flame on contact with the filament!) If we can't bend the rules of physics it's not really magic, is it?
But Pete's point stands- psychologically, the audience knows IF that light was on and IF they touched it, the bulb would be hot! No hot bulb, there's something fishy.
Message: Posted by: David Charvet (Sep 21, 2004 01:41AM)
Regarding "hot" light bulbs:
You may remember when Harry Blackstone Jr. removed the bulb from the lamp before making it float he touched it and pantomimed it was "hot." When he took the hand away (which had been holding the bulb)to rub his "hot" finger, the bulb floated for the first time. A beautiful and logical bit of business.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Sep 21, 2004 10:40AM)
Of course, I said the milk cooled the bulb in jest.
And I do remember Harry always acting the light was hot.

But I still think people think if you can put the milk in the light bulb by magic, you probably can cool it off too. I think it is a good effect. Virgil did Canary in Light Bulb and it played well also.

I just think it is good effect that maybe we are worrying a little to much about the reality of the heat of the bulb.
Message: Posted by: David Charvet (Sep 22, 2004 02:47AM)
I used to perform the Canary In Lightbulb but after a few run-ins with well-meaning(?) "animal rights" types, I took it out of my act. Even though the live bird was never in harm's way, the breaking of the light bulb (supposedly to release the bird) did cause a few people to cringe.
In talking with Julie while writing the Virgil book she told me that they took the effect out of their show in the 1960's for the same reason.
Still, it's a GREAT effect - just times have changed.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Sep 23, 2004 09:54AM)
What's the matter - you guys never have warm milk at bed time? ;)

Maestro Biro's comments on the acting were dead on, in fact, the other night, I was watching the film "Our Man Flint" and in it, Flint unscrewed a light bulb to use the socket as a source for doing electrocardiac stimulation - and missed the idea that the bulb was hot... or maybe Our Man Flint really is tough! ;)

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Nov 5, 2004 05:50PM)
In the 1964, I made my 1st car trip to Abbott's Magic in Colon. At that time they had and were selling the Milk in Lightbulb effect as Marvyn Roy performed. I always thought Roy just used the same Abbott principal, a large watt bulb screwed into a socket on a long electrical cord.

A few years later Abbott's made the Milk in Lightbulb, using a Lamp. I still have one today, as a matter of fact it was the last one they made.

They have always sold a Milk in Lightbulb that only used a bulb in a paper bag.

As far as the Bill in Bulb it may be a Roy idea. Just as someone had an idea for a Silk in Bulb to replace the milk theme.

Make Magic has made the Milk in Lighbulb for many years. The method is different then the Abbott's model, and I believe, not as good.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 6, 2004 10:07PM)
I just think it is good effect that maybe we are worrying a little to much about the reality of the heat of the bulb.

It is the details that make these things magical.
Message: Posted by: The great Gumbini (Apr 3, 2016 08:22PM)
Well I'm waiting for my Abbotts antique milk white glass Milk in Lightbulb Lamp its due tomorrow. I will for sure remember to make the hot lightbulb gestures...that was very good thinking Pete thank you. Everything old is truely new again!

Good magic to all,

Message: Posted by: The great Gumbini (Apr 4, 2016 07:53PM)
Well one more day I have to wait. My package went to the wrong Post Office. So they have to send it back to the sorting facility and I'll get it tomorrow now. So here I sit waiting!

Good magic to all,

Message: Posted by: illusionman2 (Apr 5, 2016 11:24AM)
Marvyn Roy put out a instructional VHS Tape with milk in light bulb on it (how to make the prop and perform) I am sure I moved it to DVD before trashing the VHS tape, so it looks like to me anyone can do it if they bought the VHS tape, I know I made and performed a few.
Message: Posted by: The great Gumbini (Apr 5, 2016 01:07PM)
Well this gem showed up today. It is a masterpiece! I give koodos to those who can make these. But a man has to know his limitations. I'm not a do it yourself kind of guy. I am thrilled with this absolutely thrilled. This Abbotts older version is so well made I can see why they go for so much on the auction sites and why they don't come up very often for sale. It is very beautiful in pictures but even more so in person.

Good magic to all,

Message: Posted by: Artem_Shchukin (Oct 9, 2016 01:34AM)
Can I ask you to help me... How can I find builder for this version of milk in light bulb? Thank you. https://goo.gl/images/iWgnr1
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 9, 2016 10:22PM)
Abbots still sells the Milk in Light Bulb. It's a remote controlled version. No assistant needed:

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 5, 2017 05:23AM)
[quote]On Oct 9, 2016, Artem_Shchukin wrote:
Can I ask you to help me... How can I find builder for this version of milk in light bulb? Thank you. https://goo.gl/images/iWgnr1 [/quote]

That is Abbott's Magic version, they stopped making it way back in the 1980's. This is the same as Mr. Electric uses in his act.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Feb 5, 2017 10:24AM)
Those who perform this trick, owe a debt of gratitude to Marvin Levy! --That was his name when I first saw him perform as "The Silk Merchant" in the 1950 IBM Convention.

Of course, they also owe gratitude to Edison! If he hadn't invented the light bulb, we would be watching TV by candle light! heehee