“There are amazing images of all these tortures of beautiful women”
May 10, 2015 10:55 PM   Subscribe

“When it was first staged in the 1910s, this was right after the Suffragettes had been bombing things in London,” explains Ebenstein, “and there was a great anxiety about women in general. To the delight of the public, P.T. Selbit, the magician who originated the act, invited Christabel Pankhurst, one of the Suffragette leaders, to be the person in the box.
Hunter Oatman-Stanford for Collectors Weekly talks about turn of the century magic, suffragetes, talking mummies and the World Greatest Magician: Howard Thurston.
posted by MartinWisse (4 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
David Blaine? Um right.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 10:59 PM on May 10, 2015

Even as his dishonesty reached new heights, Thurston continued to open shows by telling audiences outright, “I would not deceive you for the world.”

Oh come on. It's a magicians literal job to lie to their customers. That's what they expect, and what they get.

Interesting article though.
posted by el io at 12:45 AM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Really interesting to hear the details about the franchising of the "woman sawn in half" illusion.
posted by rongorongo at 2:09 AM on May 11, 2015

There's a passage in Glen Gold's "Carter beats the devil" where they discuss P.T. Selbit (not Thurston) and his act of sawing women in half, and how the mother of the eponymous Carter suspected Selbit to be secretly a woman hater:

"The list of illusions was in fact quite awful: Stretching a Girl; Destroying a Girl; Crushing a Girl; the Stick Rack Girl; the Pincushion Lady; the Indestructible Girl..."
posted by infinitelives at 9:11 AM on May 11, 2015

« Older there will never be any more decent Marvel movies....   |   The Vine Nerds Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments