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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Sponge Ball History - putting together a timeline (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bill Palmer
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Eddie:

I really liked Dr. Jaks' Multiball, which I presume is similar to what you do. Tannen's came out with "Rabbits, Rabbits, Rabbits," which I think was actually made by Tenyo.

And Burger ran with the Multiball idea, as well.
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Eddie Torres
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I'm not familiar with "Rabbits, Rabbits, Rabbits", did you mean "Rabbit Explosion"? That's definitly from Tenyo, it's the 40 rabbit finale from the magicians' hands. I use that during parlor shows, but with the 3-D's.

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Bill Palmer
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That's it! It was based on the Jaks Multiball, but was much more effective because of the size of the load. If you use the principle from Multiball, which is also the one from Burger, it is miraculous.
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Eddie Torres
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Does Multiball use different colored balls? Do you know where I can find a copy of the routine?

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Bill Palmer
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No. It uses balls that are all the same color. It used to sell for a couple of dollars. I think it's out of print.
"The Swatter"

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MarkTirone
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I heard on another forum that sponge balls used to be done with rocks. Goshman popularized these. Try wikipedia.
Lawrence O
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Quote:
On 2008-10-23 12:36, Pete Biro wrote:
Francis Carlysle told me that the first magician to use sponge balls was "Count Orloff" -- Anyone know anything about him?


Coud it be the same person

Ivannow Wladislaus von Dziarski-Orloff or Count Orloff was born in Hungary in 1864. While he was completely normal during his childhood, at the age of 14 he began to experience an unknown wasting disease. By early adulthood, Orloff was little more than a living skeleton – unable to stand and in constant pain. To deal with his tragic pain, Orloff took to the opium pipe – strangely enough the pipe became something of a trademark as many of his pitch cards pictured him puffing away and ‘chasing the dragon’. While during his career Orloff was known as an ossified man, his condition was actually quite the opposite. Orloff actually had a lack of bone density and this allowed his bones to bend and twist. Furthermore, his skin was paper thin and his musculature so atrophied that – with the aid of a bright spotlight - spectators could actually see the blood coursing through his veins. Not only that, but when a bright light was placed behind Orloff, the warm glow could actually been seen from the other side. As strange as Orloff was – many promoters felt a need to further embellish it. As a result - to this day, some still claim that a person could read a newspaper through the body of Orloff. A claim made in an early pamphlet. Orloff was known primarily as the “Living Ossified and Transparent Man”, “The Only Living Transparent and Ossified Man" but later in life he adopted the moniker of "The Human Window Pane". His tendency to show himself as a medical specimen allowed him to travel around the world. Eventually he went into business for himself – he owned his own successful sideshow. Houdini performed alongside side show performers in dime museums. He became close friends with many of them and came to appreciate the differing abilities that we all have. According to one author, “[Houdini] did enjoy knowing the freaks. They were the museum stars, capable of drawing large crowds and matching salaries. Harry worked with and befriended Count Orloff, the atrophied “Human Window Pane” (“You Can See His Heart Beat! You Can See His Blood Circulate!), who gave him a picture and autograph -- “To my friend Houdinis [sic].” Count Orloff died in 1904.
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pepka
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Quote:
On 2008-10-25 22:14, Bill Palmer wrote:
That's it! It was based on the Jaks Multiball, but was much more effective because of the size of the load. If you use the principle from Multiball, which is also the one from Burger, it is miraculous.

As I said, I'm no expert, but I believe the method of the finale from Dr. Jaks routine is different from Eugene's. According to Eugene, in the Jaks routine, you are holding the balls and the spectator's wrist. They sort of, get added in the drop. In the Burger routine, ALL the balls are really in the spectator's hand. It's one of the most magical things I've ever seen.
Riley
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The late Ken Brooke told me he always carried a SPARE set of sponge balls, as well as his working set. I could never understand why, and like Pepka I just didn't like the effect, and ignored it for many years. That all changed when I tried it. The effect of a ball vanishing in your hand and appearing with the ball held by the spectator is just SO good. A useful tip: Carry a set of red and a set of green (I use 2")...if the venue is using red table cloths the green balls will be more visible. I've been using sponge balls now for many years and it is a great effect for lay people!
Eddie Torres
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Quote:
On 2008-10-28 04:35, pepka wrote:

As I said, I'm no expert, but I believe the method of the finale from Dr. Jaks routine is different from Eugene's. According to Eugene, in the Jaks routine, you are holding the balls and the spectator's wrist. They sort of, get added in the drop. In the Burger routine, ALL the balls are really in the spectator's hand. It's one of the most magical things I've ever seen.


I was wondering about that too, I thought maybe Burger had a different routine that used this technique.

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Pete Biro
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Lawrence. My goodness, you are a fountain of information. Too bad there aren't any others about that knew of Orloff and if he, indeed, was the one Carlysle talked about. Perhaps Persi Diaconis, who spent a lot of time with Carlysle might know.
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2008-10-28 04:35, pepka wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-10-25 22:14, Bill Palmer wrote:
That's it! It was based on the Jaks Multiball, but was much more effective because of the size of the load. If you use the principle from Multiball, which is also the one from Burger, it is miraculous.

As I said, I'm no expert, but I believe the method of the finale from Dr. Jaks routine is different from Eugene's. According to Eugene, in the Jaks routine, you are holding the balls and the spectator's wrist. They sort of, get added in the drop. In the Burger routine, ALL the balls are really in the spectator's hand. It's one of the most magical things I've ever seen.


You might be right. I learned of Burger's routine a long time ago. I think it was from one of his booklets. I learned the Jaks routine before that.
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Tony Thomas
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I thought I would add from Tarbell, Vol. 1 - 1927, p 163:

The magician is quick to take advantage of certain new creations and inventions and as these appear on the market new ideas open up for mysteries.

Manipulations with small balls have been popular with magicians. Mora, the magician, features small ball manipulation in his act. The Chinese and other Oriental magicians have interesting routines. Ching Ling Foo used small red balls which he called Chinese Cherries.

The introduction of sponge rubber was a blessing to the magician because of its compressive and expanding powers.

Ireland worked out a variety of routines using balls of varying sizes. Many of the routines while beautiful are quite complicated, much to the delight of the magician who likes the unusual...

P 164 - Paraphernailia:
Four sponge rubber balls. These are easily made by getting a rubber bath sponge at a drug store or department store (dark red rubber preferred) and cutting out four round balls about an inch in diameter with a pair of scissors. Best way is to cut our squares at first and then trim the squares into round balls.

For an impromptu emergency, cut a paper napkin into four parts and roll up each part tightly for a ball. The tissue balls work nicely, particularly in the home or at the dinner table.
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Lawrence O
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In the Berg book, it is cclaimed that Joe Berg was the first one to introduce the sponge balls into the cups and balls. I'm sure that the claim is made but I'm not shure that it is accurate (or that it is not)
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
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