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I went to Abbotts magic shop and talked to the owner Greg. He told me a story about how he had gotten a mysterious call from a girl who wanted to order a water torture cell. He was a little skeptical about this and explained it was a dangerous trick and wanted to know where she would be using it. She told him she wasn't allowed to say anything more but she needed 30 of them. Greg said he would have to check to see if Abbotts still even had the plans for the effect and that he would call her back on Monday.

Greg spoke with his craftsmen at Abbotts and they found the plans and realized that the last time Abbotts sold a water torture cell was in 1968 and it was built mainly by one of the current machinist's father. Greg felt that the lack of experience in building this prop and the potential danger of the trick made it a poor choice to pursue. Also, the girl was being a bit mysterious and the whole thing could be a prank. Greg called the girl back on Monday as planned and explained that he did not want to take on a project like that and his reasons. The girl assured him no one would get hurt but she understood his concerns and would go elsewhere.

Months later he found out the purpose of the cells, they were being built for a movie, "The Prestige".

I hope I am relaying this tale accurately, perhaps Greg could tell it better but it fascinates me, don't know why but it does. Those of you who aren't familiar with Abbotts can find out more about their incredible history at
80 years in the making - Magic Get Together
Visit Abbotts Magic Online - Abbott Magic
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