Visible Sawing In Half (Bow Saw Illusion) by Jack Hughes

(c. 1948) (Submit Review)

A number of names have been mentioned as to who originated this brilliant illusion. Plans were published in the ‘Harbin Book‘ but Bob only laid claim to having improved the original apparatus which he purchased from Hamleys in Regent Street, London. Two years prior to this, Abbotts in the U.S.A. had already been selling a version which had been designed by JACK HUGHES. This was at a time when Jack and Percy Abbott had a deep and long lasting friendship and an arrangement wherein various items were produced and exchanged between them. The Visible Sawing In Half, using a bow saw, was therefore, a Jack Hughes creation. Jack manufactured a few for Max Andrews incorporating a few improvements suggested by ‘Lenz’ and both Robert Harbin and Gil Leaney added their ideas to versions sold by Davenports.

In fairness to Robert Harbin it should be stated that he made a major improvement to the apparatus by inventing a mechanical method to lock a duplicate blade onto the frame of the saw underneath the body of the person being sawn in half. In Jack’s version the blade is released and withdrawn from under the body.

Effect: A large lumber saw is shown along with a wooden stock. A spectator is invited to lie down on the table and the stock is placed around her waist. A number of wooden dowels are placed into holes at either side of the stock. The lumber saw blade is inserted into the top of the stock and the performer vigorously saws away at the spectator. The wooden dowels are seen to be cut in half as the 21 saw blade rips through them and the poor spectator. Finally the saw reaches the bottom of the stock. The blade is released from the lumber saw frame and pulled out from underneath the body of the spectator and passed for examination. The lady is completely unharmed.

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Approx. Price: $500.00 (2011) ***

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