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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Rabbit in a Bottle (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

SJMiller
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East Tennessee
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I was doing some reading the other day and came across a reference in an old (1916) newspaper concerning a trick performed, and possibly invented, by a magician named Black Carl called Rabbit in a Bottle. Would anyone know anything about this trick?
Nick-V.
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Now that's interesting.
Peace on the Magical Streets
~Nick V.~
Spellbinder
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I saw that trick one day while I was rumaging through Ted Collin's magic junk pile (every dealer has one; I have several) at Mecca Magic some time in the sixties. It consisted of a metal wine bottle top that was grooved to screw onto a large mason jar, the kind that used to be used for home canning jams and jellies. It was sized for a dove from a bottle. The air supply for the animal came through the long narrow metal neck of the "bottle." When the neck was attached to a painted jar, it could easily pass for a solid bottle to an unsophisticated audience. The old timers actually used to smash open the bottle with a tiny hammer, which was the reason for using replacable mason jars that could be found everywhere in those days. I imagine that was dangerous for the inhabitant of the bottle, but those were tougher days on rabbits, canaries and doves. By the 1960's the bottles were just sort of quickly pulled apart to release the livestock.
Professor Spellbinder

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SJMiller
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East Tennessee
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Thanks for the help.
Pete Biro
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We used to do that with a RAT in the bottle. We would have unsweetened cool aid in the bottle part, pour a drink for an assisting person and when his face frowned from the lousy taste, we would break open the bottle and find a RAT in it. We used a metal bottle (I still have it) that looked like you broke it, but just pretended to hit with a hammer and it would separate with jagged edges to reveal the rat.

We got a lot out of that routine, part of which included an exploding suitcase.

The routine was we got two guys up and told them to each grab one of the two suitcases we had onstage open it and put on the clothing they find (cheap, dumpy dresses) and the first to get dressed would win.

One case was ok, the other had a car bomb in it with a battery and coil. It would SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETCH... SMOKE would come out and it would make an exploding noise.

Hah, love to try to get that on an airplane these days!
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Spellbinder
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You could probably make one of those from a plastic champagne bottle, Pete. The rat in the bottle, I mean, not the exploding suitcase. Can you even get those car bombs anymore?
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
hugmagic
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Actually, National Magic among others sold a "Rat Bottle:, One used a mason jar and the other had a metal bottom that appearred to "break off" so you didn't have to replace the jar all the time. Mac Birch did a guinnea pig in a bottle and the Blackstone's used to feature the rabbit in the bottle. I could tell you stories about trying to get rabbits to fit the jar in local pet stores.

Richard
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SJMiller
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Black carl was using a rat in a bottle as early as 1898. Would pour several different drinks from the bottle then break it open to reveal a rat. My theory is Carl switched from a rat to a rabbit (thus rabbit in a bottle) after a performance in 1902 when all the members of the audience that had one of the poured drinks vomited after seeing the rat. One man got sick and was quickly followed by all the others.
Tom Bartlett
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Pete Biro,

I hear stuff like that and all I can think is; I wish I had been there. Those routines should be preserved, not the how-to, but the performances. Are there any films or videos. I for one would pay to see master magicians like you on DVD.

Respectfully,
Tom Bartlett
Our friends don't have to agree with me about everything and some that I hold very dear don't have to agree about anything, except where we are going to meet them for dinner.
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