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Bill Palmer
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Okay:

Here's one for you. I think I have an answer, but I want to see if anyone has an earlier reference. Who first came up with an ITR? I have a very early print reference.

Posted: Dec 27, 2004 1:36pm
No takers? Interesting.
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Vandy Grift
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How early? I have seen the name James George as the inventor ( I think I saw this on an instructional video I looked at somewhere on the net), also there is another website claiming that they invented the thing back in 1992. I'm no scholar, these are just things I've seen on the internet.
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Bill Palmer
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Not even close. James wasn't even aware of this one, when I told him about it.

Don't get me wrong. James did invent the ITR he uses. In fact, it even looks different from the one that I have seen in a much earlier source. But the basic principle was the same.

This was an ITR built into a matchbox. It was invented by William Ewington, and appeared in a parade in the Linking Ring, back during the 1950's along with an article on extracting IT from stockings.

I'll get an exact date for you later.
"The Swatter"

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Vandy Grift
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Quote:
This was an ITR built into a matchbox. It was invented by William Ewington, and appeared in a parade in the Linking Ring, back during the 1950's along with an article on extracting IT from stockings.

I'll get an exact date for you later.

Excellent, I knew that this item HAD to be older than than 1990's vintage. Is the method for extracting the IT from stockings still feasible?
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Bill Palmer
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Yep! Works like a champ. There are several diameters of IT avaiable, too.

Sheer stockings give you two different diameters. Sheer dance tights give you another set. Pantyhose and stockings are also made differently.
"The Swatter"

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Vandy Grift
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Now, this is an ITR from the 50's but when did the use of IT begin? Was this William Ewington among the first to use it, or does that go way back? I suppose black thread has been around forever but the elastic threads must have come along later. I would say some time around the 1940's or 1950's is when nylon and polyester and stuff came out. Pretty intresting, seems this guy was well ahead of his time as far as the ITR itself is concerned. He must have been blowing peoples minds back then.
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EventEntertainer
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I thought it dates much earlier than that. Wasn't there a reference in Stanyon's?
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Bill Palmer
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Not to using invisible IT. There was no nylon available during the time Stanyon was writing. It didn't show up until after WW II.
"The Swatter"

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Jonathan Townsend
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I would almost expect this to date back to the trick where you stick a beetle on the back of a stamp, though in this case use a spider. Smile

Anyway, the modern IT seems to date back to a certain kind of stocking, and Ken Brooke making it known to others beyond the Finn Jon/Fred Kaps with the release of the Kaps cork routine, and later on Daniel Cross's Seahorse and the Pearl.

I'm not ashamed to admit I went into a fine hosiery shop and asked for a couple of pair of the right stockings, which saved me a few bucks so I could ask Ken Brooke to send me more line for the Silver Stick.

Anyway, that's as far back (1976) as I know about IT.
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Bill Palmer
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The Fred Kaps routine actually goes back to Joro (Bruno Hennig), who is a magician from Germany. I first saw the cork at the TAOM in San Antonio in about 1973 or 1974. Claude Crowe was doing it. In 1975, Steve Duscheck released Wonderbar, which made it much easier for the average magician to use IT.

However, the real source of knowledge of IT for many magicians in Europe was a book that was written by Ralf Wichmann-Braco called Schweberoutinen für Tisch und Bühne (Floating Routines for Table and Stage. This was published in 1973 by the Magischer Zirkel Berlin. It was in German and English. The translation was not very accurate, though, and later it was redone and published by Martin Breese as The Thread Book. A bootleg translation The String Book was published by Tannen's. I may have these two titles reversed, as I do not have either English version of the book. In any case, it was this book that inspired me to work with IT, and it also made me want to start doing translations of German items. I didn't want to see another book like this mistranslated.

I also was determined to meet Braco. Eventually, I did. He is an interesting fellow.
"The Swatter"

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Pete Biro
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I heear they have sold over 10,000 ITRs.
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Bill Palmer
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And that's just the Sorcery Shop. Add in the knockoffs from India and the Mesika Spider pens, and I'll bet the number will double.
"The Swatter"

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Vandy Grift
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What do you think the level is of public/laymans knowledge of this device based on the quantity sold? Is the ITR in danger of being over-used and exposed ala the TT? I'm sure there have been many, many more TT's sold, but 20,000 ITR is an awful lot as well.
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Bill Palmer
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I don't think it makes any difference at all.

The public has believed for at least a century and a half that we possess an invisible thread that you can use in bright sunlight while completely surrounded, even though such an item doesn't exist.

A skillful performer will be able to do his job even if everyone in the audience has one.

Posted: Jul 8, 2006 2:41pm
The main secret to IT work is to keep the object from looking like it is hanging from something. Double anchor work is excellent for this.

Quote:
On 2005-01-20 16:52, Vandy Grift wrote:
What do you think the level is of public/laymans knowledge of this device based on the quantity sold? Is the ITR in danger of being over-used and exposed ala the TT? I'm sure there have been many, many more TT's sold, but 20,000 ITR is an awful lot as well.

Have you ever stopped to think that even with the great amount of exposure the TT has had, people who OWN them are fooled by magicians who use them well? The same is true of ITR's.

Mechanisms are such a tiny part of what makes magic work that we often forget where the magic actually happens.
"The Swatter"

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DStachowiak
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Hmmm, do you think we should count those tricks that start out "obtain a long, fine female hair...?
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Bill Palmer
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Certainly they are related, but the IT that was developed around WW II gave us the advantage of having IT that was finer than a human hair, longer and stronger.

There is also an agave fiber that is used for tricks in Mexico, such as the dancing skeleton. The dancing skeleton workers don't sell the fiber, but sell thread instead.

Posted: Jan 14, 2008 3:18pm
Someone requested that I find the reference, so they could located it on AskAlexander. Because of various idiosyncracies of the search engine over there, both of us had difficulty locating the article. I was off by 6 years. The article appeared on pp. 49 ff of the August 1965 issue of The Linking Ring.

It's part of a Canadian parade.

Gene Grant had a floating ball trick that was produced during the 1950's. I know that date's accurate, because I bought one at his shop in 1959. He used an IT that is about like the fibers used in paratroop cord. They were very shiny, though, so the trick worked best in the dim light of his shop.
"The Swatter"

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rickmagic1
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...which sold you on it, right Bill?

I've got to hand it to you...my wife accuses me of being a 'wealth of unusable knowledge and obscure references'...I only hope I can live up to your standard! Smile
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Bill Palmer
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Well, it looked great when Gene did it. Of course, he had done it thousands of times. The props were kind of cheesy. You got about 50' of shiny IT, a pill bottle that had a couple of strips of cloth tape wrapped around it, so you could do a penetration of the bottom of the bottle, and a floating ball that was made from a cork fishing float painted with silver paint.

But it was a really nifty toy!
"The Swatter"

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Quote:
On 2005-01-19 01:00, Bill Palmer wrote:

However, the real source of knowledge of IT for many magicians in Europe was a book that was written by Ralf Wichmann-Braco called Schweberoutinen für Tisch und Bühne (Floating Routines for Table and Stage. This was published in 1973 by the Magischer Zirkel Berlin. It was in German and English. The translation was not very accurate, though, and later it was redone and published by Martin Breese as The Thread Book. A bootleg translation The String Book was published by Tannen's. I may have these two titles reversed, as I do not have either English version of the book. In any case, it was this book that inspired me to work with IT, and it also made me want to start doing translations of German items. I didn't want to see another book like this mistranslated.

An advertisement for this book might read "Now YOU TOO can be as smart as Bill Palmer!" The 1995 Martin Breese edition is available as a download at http://www.lybrary.com/invisible-thread-manual-p-73399.html

Thank you for so much useful information, Bill!

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Bill Palmer
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I can't even be as smart as me! Smile
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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