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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Originator of Dove to Silk? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Harry Murphy
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Inner circle
Maryland
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I spent some time with General Grant this weekend at Martini’s “Funarama” in Maryland.

I asked him who developed the silk-to-dove trick. The conservation made it very clear that Grant did!

The history is this: Grant developed (and was performing professionally) his dove act including the dove-to-silk trick, in his early twenties. He was a close friend to Irv (Mr. Fingers) Weiner. Both were living in the same town. Irv watched his act many times and was very impressed with the dove-to-silk stunt.

Irv had been a student of the Chavez School of Magic. Channing Pollock was also student of the School at the same time as Irv and the two were friends.

After seeing General’s silk-to-dove trick, Irv told Pollock about it and Pollock added it to his act.

Interestingly, Grant had perfected the “necessary” to make the trick foolproof and safe for the dove (the dove is never tossed it is placed). Pollock’s method and "necessary" required a toss, which could miss. Pollock missed the toss more than once and as noted above, missed on national TV.

Grant is still performing the silk-to-dove and teaches it in his lecture and tape/DVD.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Spellbinder
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The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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That was a very complete and professional bit of research you did, for which I thank you. If you give me permission, I will use your message in its entirety (giving you credit, of course) in my article, and send you a copy of the article when it is complete. Smile
Professor Spellbinder

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

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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Absolutely! By all means use the history to keep it accurate. Of course the real credit goes to General Grant (whose full name is General Grant Murphy, Jr.) for developing and perfecting the trick. I am only glad to be able to help keep the record straight.

I am looking forward to your article.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Spellbinder
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The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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Here is a special access URL to the August issue of The Wizard's Journal, with thanks to all the magicians and wizards of the Magic Café who helped out in this little research project:

http://www.magicnook.com/WIZAUG03/WIZtocAUG.htm

The article is "Dove to Glove" and my only new "slant" is that wizards' robes are back in style and one way to take advantage of that fact.
Professor Spellbinder

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

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
kregg
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The tail ditch/switch was probably used for years before doves were considered (servante). Doves and pigeons were used in magic for years before Cantu, Pollack and the rest of us by Blackstone, Thurston and the rest. It was the manner in which they were presented (produced & vanished) that changed the face of the manipulative act. Cardini made the model for the manipulator to come and the many who have followed... we just change the apparatus around. It's the same thing, only different.
POOF!
Steven Fox
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Guatemala
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I gotta be honest with all of you and say that although I'm a Dove act performer and Inspired my self upon names like, Channing Pollock and Lance Burton, I had never heard of General Grant, Maybe its because I've never being to magic school or academy, (There aren't any in Central America.) but reading the incredible Contributions that Gen Grant made to Dove Magic I would really love to see his dove act. ¿Is there a video of General Grant somewhere on the web?
Dave Scribner
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Gen's act is not on the web but he does have a video out in both VHS and DVD. It's called "how to make a living stealing....Doves of course"
Where the magic begins
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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My understanding is that five magicians' work went into the dove magic used for the scenes in the Channing Pollock movie. Pollock was the magician/actor. We all learn from someone else.

In 1963, I owned American Artists Enterprises which, among many other things in the entertainment industry, was the agent for Mercer Helms another fine dove magician and among the first HBO Specials magicians. Based upon what he told me then he did not learn his act from the sources above. The act could be hundreds of years old. It could be at least as old as tail coats in Europe. The vanishing dove cage was the most modern trick in his act.

The truth is I know that I don't know either, I wasn't there. There is no doubt about the sudden rebirth of dove magic thanks to the Channing Pollock movie and that many very fine magicians have performed the trick in the USA. From commercial experience as an importer I sincerely doubt that it is of American origin. Silks, bags in garments, magic and birds in Asia greatly outdate the American magicians. Asian garments were well suited to magic and especially with silks and birds. It is simply new to us when we see it. Beyond that, there is nothing to lead me to believe it is even an American trick any more than I believe Henry Ford invented the assembly line. (In management in the Ph.D. program, we studied one that functioned in Europe about 1432 AD. It is the classic model.) I'm not interested in stealing anyone's thunder. I have absolutely nothing to gain. But all of the elements of this trick come from elsewhere in the civilized world long before our part of the world was even discovered. I don't think their magicians are any less creative than ours. In the recording business we constantly ran across old songs that had never been (and even some that had been) recorded and were unknown to the public. The diffusion of inivation (Its name in the professional world) is a specific area of study in marketing and business. The study of that discipline I do believe started at Stanford University in the USA. Many secrets are almost self-keeping.

It is great magic. I'm sure improvements have been made all over the world. I like it too! (And Yes, I have costumes for that too in three colors. To the best of my knowledge General Grant and I have never met nor seen each other work. I have been told he is outstanding. Seeing his act would be a treat for me, I'm sure.)

Bob
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Steven Fox
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Guatemala
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Thank you very much Dave, I'll see if I can find it.
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