The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » DEMON WONDER BOX - A GIANT SILK PRODUCTION BY JONATHON NEAL BROWN (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
Bill Hegbli
View Profile
Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
21951 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
The Demon Wonder Box had been around since the Vaudeville days. Not being manufactured any longer, so the only way to obtain one is through second hand sources. L. Davenport Magic Company purchased the idea from a person and started to have it manufactured and distributed to the United States. This little flip flop box was an instant "had to have" silk production box. Many Vaudeville entertainers purchased it as well, and used in their acts. It was so popular, that is copied by a number of metal workers here in the U.S.

The box is made entirely brass, and is not easy to make. There is not recorded routines or handling of this box, that I can find, except for the instructions that come with box. Being is only about two by three and quarter inches in size. It perfectly fits the "Pack Small and Play Big" for professional entertainers of the era.

Now we come to problem, the instructions only gave instructions of how to produce several silks from the little box. They even made an extra load chamber that could was sold separately, as the box could be shown empty a number of times during the handling, and still produce more silks, usually small 12 inch silks, or small streamers, or ribbon, etc.

So it fast became a collectors item, just setting on shelves tarnishing away.

Jonathon Neal Brown, a professional magician all his life, had long wanted to create a full routine and large production from this little box with flap-able doors, open bottom and a flap lid on top.

I had heard of this little box, but did not know much about it, until Empire Magic brought to market a chrome copy of the original, in thick steel. The call it simply the Silk Box. Sells for only $12.50 or so, and can be found even less expensive.

The Collectors original's bring prices from $40 to $80 and even higher if it is in excellent condition and has the extra load with it.

Jonathon Neal Brown was requested to lecture at a magic gathering, and thought this was a good time to bring his idea to life. What a creative he has for designing props and great routines to present wonderful magic effects.

He got down to work and created not just a production, but 10 minute full presentation with the Demon Wonder Box. Then he wrote, what he calls Notes, but they are much more then that, they are a 49 page booklet, vast and overwhelming that this little box is not the best silk production I have ever read about. The 1st 15 pages read like a Who Done it, I could not put down the booklet I had to know what was coming. Boy did I find out, yards and yards of silks. Not little silks but 12", 18", 34", silks, and even 25 foot streamers. Well, now you just have to know how this can be accomplished.

Not only does he tell you explicit detail, but also give you handling and full presentation with patter ideas. No this it not just a production, but a PRODUCTION of which the likes you have never heard of witnessed.

Now for the news, there is arts and crafts involved, and he tells you exactly how he made his. No, he does not have a work shop, he does all his work by hand, or with the help of a Dremel tool. That it! He also give detailed instructions and photographs all the way along the journey.

Now the best part, this is not only a full stage production, but is can be shown as stand alone effect. At one point the Demon Wonder Box is handed out to an audience member and can fully handle the box, and flip the doors open and shut. This makes it perfect for smaller shows, like in home parties and birthday events. It was created as a stand alone effect as well. Meaning, you can just show this effect without any prior with the Demon Wonder Box, and have a very small light weight table to see the box you made and the Demon Wonder Box on the table, and begin. Now any will like that this can be presented NAKED, I know how many Café members like to show their magic effect NAKED. It is a problem with them, always wanting to know if they need to wear a jacket, long pants, or even a button down shirt. Well, the good new is, you don't need to wear any cloths at all if you don't want to.

For me this is the most exciting production routine that has come along in over 50 years.

So you ask, how do I get this Wonderful publication, you have to contact Jonathon Neal Brown at jonathanneal@earthlink.net and then when he responds pay through PayPal, $25 postage paid in the United States only.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
JNeal
View Profile
Inner circle
I used to have 999 posts, now I have
1431 Posts

Profile of JNeal
Thanks Bill for the plug!
It was kind of you to mention all of that and the only correction I would make is that the book(let ) is $25.00, but if I am mailing a copy, please know that will be an extra $3.00. (The 2109 postage prices just went up!)

It was a fun thing to develop and it has created quite a stir at the Magic Castle! Dale Salwak, John Carney, Alfonso, The late Pete Biro, Marc DeSouza and many others were very generous in their reaction to this handling.

Again, thanks, Bill!

Click here to view attached image.
visit me @ JNealShow.com
Dan Ford
View Profile
Elite user
Illinois
401 Posts

Profile of Dan Ford
Well Bill said it all! I got my booklet a few weeks back and it was well worth it. Great read and very informative to say the least. I got quite a few new ideas for my Demon Wonder Box. Nice job JNEAL.
Harry Murphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Maryland
5272 Posts

Profile of Harry Murphy
I bought a copy of J. Neal's booklet. I'm one of those guys Bill mentions that had a Davenport's "Demon Wonder Box' aka Silk Wonder Box for decades. I bought it as a teen ager, played with it with a basic color changing routine for one or two shows and then put it in a box and promptly forgot about it.

Bill told me about J.Neal's work on the little prop some time ago. He gave the booklet rave reviews (Bill doesn't hold back when he likes something or if he thinks something is poo!). Based on his recommendation I emailed Jonathan and bought his booklet.

I've got to say I love Johnathan's thinking and love his approach to the problems inherent in the little prop. I can only ditto what Bill has already written. This is brilliant for the stand-up performer.

For me any production prop (eg. Kuna Tubes, Square Circle, Haunted Chimney, Genii tube, or Phantom tube) should be able to produce a load that is far larger than the volume of the prop. The load should be huge compared to the prop. Well this tiny little prob does just that. The prop is tiny and the load is impossibly large. Great magic this.

I think it's worth the investment just to see how Johnathan approaches and solves a problem. Thanks Bill for tipping me off to this. And thanks J. Neal for taking the time and trouble in putting it in print.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
EvilClown
View Profile
New user
Richmond, VA
91 Posts

Profile of EvilClown
I saw J. Neal's routine at the Magic Castle and it was really great. I bought the book. Now I just have to find a Demon Wonder Box...
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8345 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
Well, I have one. It's probably from the '20s or '30s. I think it's made by Sherms. It's definitely not a mass produced prop.

PM me.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Bill Hegbli
View Profile
Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
21951 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
Quote:
On Feb 22, 2019, EvilClown wrote:
I saw J. Neal's routine at the Magic Castle and it was really great. I bought the book. Now I just have to find a Demon Wonder Box...



If you don't know how to search using Google on the Internet, ask a friend or any youngster to help you.

All you need to do in type in Demon Wonder Box, and a number of listings will appear, for original DWB's being auctioned off all over the Internet.

You don't need an original, the one by Empire Magic for $7 will work just fine. They call it the Magic Silk Box, made of heavy steel and chrome plated.

I believe the difference from the Davenport and Sherms is, the Sherms has 2 divided holes on the gimmick, and Davenport's has only one large hole. But there are at least 2 other old manufacturers.

If you have a lot of money for an original, then you will have no problem.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
EvilClown
View Profile
New user
Richmond, VA
91 Posts

Profile of EvilClown
Well, perhaps my Google skills are lacking but I didn’t find one on eBay, Magic Auction or a few other places, so perhaps I’m just an internet failure.
JNeal
View Profile
Inner circle
I used to have 999 posts, now I have
1431 Posts

Profile of JNeal
I was once told that the Sherms is fractionally larger than the Davenport model, but that is only hearsay. I have seen Davenports with two chambers and occasionally a sinle one. In fact, there are some Davenport models which are of lighter weight metal. I like this trick heavy. Same with the screws used: some have rounded heads and some look more cylindrical. Again, personally I like the smooth rounded heads... but it is all whatever you get used to working with.

Tonight, I checked the Ebay site under silk wonder box or morriss wonderbox, and saw several. I’ve not used either... but it is a place to start.
visit me @ JNealShow.com
jimgerrish
View Profile
Inner circle
East Orange, NJ
3059 Posts

Profile of jimgerrish
Spellbinder's e-Book from Mini-Mysteries Book 3- 05, "Jamison's Production Box Revisited", compares and contrasts several small one-handed silk production boxes: https://www.magicnook.com/MiniMysteries/......nBox.htm In it he revisits Thayer's One Hand Production Cabinet (1930), with the Wonder Box (1938), the Jamison Production Box (1951) , The Gizmo Box (1958), and his own the Wizard Wonder Box (2010). The only one you might have difficulty making yourself is the all metal Wonder Box; the rest are made of thin wood or even chipboard and easily hand-crafted.
EvilClown
View Profile
New user
Richmond, VA
91 Posts

Profile of EvilClown
Quote:
On Feb 22, 2019, JNeal wrote:

Tonight, I checked the Ebay site under silk wonder box or morriss wonderbox, and saw several. I’ve not used either... but it is a place to start.


I searched under “demon wonder box” so I may have been too specific. Thanks for the help with this! Appreciated.
Bill Hegbli
View Profile
Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
21951 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
EvilClown, I suggested you use a Google search. In my post, I did not mention eBay at all, so you go to eBay. There are a lot of websites on the Internet.

I entered Demon Wonder Box Magic, and come up with:

https://foliniandsons.ecrater.com/p/7544......-vintage

http://seleccionesmagicas.com/en/aparato......tic.html

Here is the Empire Silk Box I purchased for $7.50:

https://www.ziggosparty.com/products/sil......EALw_wcB

I also noticed that this forum topic is referenced everywhere on the Internet now, so I am sure they will be all sold within a few hours now that I listed where the remaining ones are listed.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
FrankFindley
View Profile
Loyal user
275 Posts

Profile of FrankFindley
Interesting. I performed a wonder box routine at the last IBM Ring 56 monthly meeting. Produced a set of diamond cut silks to maximize load followed by a printed heart silk from the Laflins (Valentine's tie in). As a kicker a long shiny mylar streamer (from Richard Hughes' stash) poured out the bottom. It puts quite an exclamation point on it to see the old 'hat coil' effect flow from the silver box. I know two other Ring members who are now interested in this device so I will definitely need to pass on the above info, especially regarding the reproduction box.

Quick question, does the reproduction have a removable gimmick?
Bill Hegbli
View Profile
Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
21951 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
Quote:
On Feb 28, 2019, FrankFindley wrote:

Quick question, does the reproduction have a removable gimmick?


Frank, don't know who or what you addressing your question. If it is about JNeal's routine, then yes, it addressed a removable gimmick and a couple other unique gimmicks. I guess I should have counted the silks, but I did not, but it more then just one of each that I listed above. I must add, that all gimmicks have to made buy the purchaser and he gives advice where to obtain them and then turn them into the proper gimmick.

As I see the complete routine, you can add or subtract some the quantity, I know, not many, will invest the 25 foot streamer. They don't have to, because earlier a smaller streamer has already been produced. And you could still finish with your Mylar streamer, which is a very good idea on your part. I have several of those and will think about using them.

Nice to know someone is using this collector's item.

You will not believe the creativity that JNeal has shared. It is mind boggling, to say the least. I don't any one else could create such presentation. He thinks way outside the box, literally, on this one.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
JNeal
View Profile
Inner circle
I used to have 999 posts, now I have
1431 Posts

Profile of JNeal
Thank you again Bill! You are my best advertisement ,... by far!

I think what Frank was referring to as the 'reproduction ' box, is all the various copies of the original DWB. In other words, do the knockoffs also have a removable load chamber?
Everyone I have seen does have that feature.

As far as mylar coil is concerned, it is a fine idea! At one point I thought to take up the 33" square, wrap it around the box, and then have a mylar coil to pour out... as if the box was dissolving.
Then show the box gone from the large silk... but decided that for my routine, I really preferred to end with the empty box, doors open, posed in my left open hand.
But the coil DOES present some possibilities....
visit me @ JNealShow.com
Bill Hegbli
View Profile
Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
21951 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
JNeal, thanks for clarifying, yes, even the Empire model includes that feature. You may also find the Empire to be a lot thicker and heavier steel and chrome plated.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
FrankFindley
View Profile
Loyal user
275 Posts

Profile of FrankFindley
Bill, thanks for the great info. I was playing with the wonder box because of the recent Ade Duval discussion in another Café thread. My thought was to do a smaller scale production for parlour along the same lines as Rhapsody but using a wonder box. It sounds like Jonathon Neal Brown already perfected a version of it which is exciting.

My question was addressed to anyone who has information on the empire magic current manufacture wonder box cited multiple times above. I have two brethren who are interested in wonder box routines but they will need a box. Ideally they would want one with a removable l**d c*****r. So I wanted to know if the empire one has one.

As a point of clarification, the routine for the ring used six 18 inch diamond cuts,one 18 inch printed heart silk and one 150 foot by 1 inch mylar coil. Just that is pretty impressive. So Jonathan's with the streamer sounds wonderful. Sounds sort of like the build in Symphanette in Silk.
Bill Hegbli
View Profile
Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
21951 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
Frank, you sure you do not have the booklet, as you just quoted a sentence from the book. Maybe someone was looking over someones shoulder. Smile
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
JNeal
View Profile
Inner circle
I used to have 999 posts, now I have
1431 Posts

Profile of JNeal
Frank and I both have offered comments in the Duval Symphony in Silk thread, and as Harry Murphy explains above, the idea of a vessel: box or tube... producing more than it could conceivably hold EVEN IF IT WERE NEVER SHOWN AS EMPTY is the key to making a silk production seem impossible.

What made Duval so great with his, was the lightning speed and the incredible volume of material, RELATIVE TO THE VESSEL’S SIZE.
visit me @ JNealShow.com
FrankFindley
View Profile
Loyal user
275 Posts

Profile of FrankFindley
Quote:
On Mar 1, 2019, JNeal wrote:
What made Duval so great with his, was the lightning speed and the incredible volume of material, RELATIVE TO THE VESSEL’S SIZE.


Exactly! It was your comment on production cadence in that thread that got me thinking of ways to apply that insight. That's why I started calculating how much silk was produced in a given time for famous acts (I am working on some more of Fantasio's now).

It is funy that you seem to have subliminally seeded the wonder box idea into my brain. I am very curious to see how much of Duval's method of "where the silks come from" you've incorporated.

Bill, definitely give the coils a try. A pinkie along bottom of one side of box is all that is needed to keep coil in place after l*****g. A rubber band around circumference of coil serves double duty to keep coil wound and provide some grip to inner walls of box. What is great is you can show all sides of the box as it pours out. So it visibly reinforces that the items are materializing inside. The psychological result is similar to that from Jay Scott Berry's Vortex; the box is essentially a gateway by which the items manifest.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » DEMON WONDER BOX - A GIANT SILK PRODUCTION BY JONATHON NEAL BROWN (6 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.23 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL