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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Rings, strings & things » » Cups and balls history (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ron Giesecke
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Redding, Ca.
941 Posts

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Hello all,

I have studied, to a point, some history of the cups and balls (my favorite routine ever). I even had the pure joy of performing/providing a historical narrative for a recent public speaking class last semester (I got an A). And even though I have some familiarity with the usual suspects with regard to historical documents (i.e., Seneca, Alicphron, Reginald Scot), I still have some questions.

I would love to compile an understandable chronology of the trick as it appears in various societal settings. I am certainly not the first to bring this up, I'm sure, and this desire extends more from a desire for personal historical enrichment, than any latent goals of writing the final Magnum Opus on the subject(which, for all I know has already been written).

Any interesting material you could recommend on the subject would be most appreciated.

--Ron Giesecke
dchung
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Montreal
616 Posts

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Penn & Teller had a special on the cups and balls where they went all the way to Egypt to see if it was talked about in ancient hyrogliphs (sp?). It was their Magical Mystery Tour to Egypt. Assuredly not that thorough, but entertaining anyway

Cheers,
dchung
Ron Giesecke
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Redding, Ca.
941 Posts

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Hey, thank you!. . .I remember something on their website about that. I tried to find it a while back. if anybody turns up with a link, I'd be most appreciative.

I'll have to look for that show as well. Thanks again!

--Ron
DougTait
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Sebring, FL
490 Posts

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Michael Ammar's Complete Cups and Ball Video #2 has an appearance by an Englisman named Bob Read. Read apparently has done an exhaustive study of the origins of the C&Bs, but I have never seen it and don't know the title.

James Riser has an interesting web page of C&B graphics, with many different sets and their makers:
http://www.JamesRiser.com/Cups/HistoricCups.html Good Luck, we need to keep the history of the art alive.
Doug Smile
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing."
Payne
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Inner circle
Seattle
4572 Posts

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Try to locate a copy of "The Oldest Deception, Cups and Balls in the art of the 15th and 16th centuries" by Kurt Volkmann an interesting treatise on the trick with illustrations from many period sources on the effect. It is long out of print, and may even be out of copyright so maybe someone like Todd Karr's Miracle Factory will reprint it soon.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
KingStardog
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Inner circle
2134 Posts

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Undoubtedly some scientist has unearthed three turtle shells and three walnuts somewhere and determined turtles and walnuts were a favorite prehistoric food. Smile
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
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