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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Dancing Hankerchief History (12 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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FrankFindley
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The history ties go far, far further back. All the way back to the 1600s touring acting companies had a problem with plays with spirits, people had trouble differentiating between "live" and "dead" characters. At some point they started having all dead characters wear their burial shrouds to avoid this confusion. This idea of spiritss wearing white sheeted vestments inserted itself into popular mindset and became the typical way spirits were depicted. This includes puppeteers who used handkerchief sized pieces of suspended cloth as spirit puppets in their shows. And, of course, that carried over to spiritualists.

It was Kellar who popularized it as the Casadega Propaganda act. He most likely got the idea from Maskelyne who in turn probably took it from Anna Eva Fay. Carnegie did a very nice write-up where he "pulled the threads" to put the story together. It is well worth a read: http://www.themagicdetective.com/2015/11......ory.html
dbaltes1520
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Wow - thank you Frank for the valuable insights! I am so looking forward to adding this to my act and love having the historical basis. I try to research acts and effects when I want to add something to my act and you have been very beneficial. Thank you again.
gregg webb
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Am I wrong that Blackstone senior (The Great Blackstone) carried on with it and even Blackstone Jr. until switching to the floating lightbulb, I'm going from old photos. GW
FrankFindley
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Quote:
On Jan 22, 2021, gregg webb wrote:
Am I wrong that Blackstone senior (The Great Blackstone) carried on with it and even Blackstone Jr. until switching to the floating lightbulb, I'm going from old photos. GW


Blackstone Junior did both the dancing hank and the floating lightbulb. I saw him do both multiple times live. The dancing hank is much easier to stage so it may have been a venue decision as to which was used in a given show. But I am only speculating on this.

A few years ago I saw Darren Romeo do the Blackstone floating lightbulb. He did it PERFECTLY. I haven't seen anyone perform the Blackstone dancing hank routine in a couple decades. It seems to have been supplanted by other methods and staging.
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