Flexible Glass or Bending Glass (as it was known in the UK) was invented by British Magician Oswald Rae. Max Andrews released it in the UK through his Vampire Magic company and gave USA manufacturing rights to Stuart Robson* who released it as Vampire Flexible Glass. As Rae presented it he used a piece of glass covered with a newspaper or a brown paper bag. In the January 1946 issue (Vol. III, #8) of Hugard’s Magic Monthly, Milbourne Christopher’s Column suggested using a mirror which has been pretty much the standard ever since.
This is the original version with glass manufactured and sold under license by Stuart Robson (and distributed to various other dealers such as Lou Tannen where this version was purchased from), it includes:
- Model Glass Window
- Red Dagger (Wooden)
- Colored ribbons and bodkins (I did have to replace the ribbons and bodkins)
- Instructions and clear handling presentation
What I like about this version is how deceptive the size of the frame and the glass is. The tolerances are very tight and in fact by rounding the corners of the glass they even squeeze out a little more space. The version used by Doug Henning here, made perfectly by Wellington Enterprises, may still be the best version of this effect, but for an item that is about 75 years old this is surprisingly good and very deceptive.
(Notice: The instructions say it should be wrapped in newspaper but the only issue with that is your hands get dirty from the newsprint pretty quickly so I switched to white packing paper sheets which work just as well without the mess.)
Effect: A model glass window is freely shown and the glass proven to be real glass. It is then wrapped in newspaper. While all eyes are focused on the performer, he plunges a RED DAGGER right through the CENTER OF GLASS. Three fancy, colorful ribbons are then pushed through the glass from many angles, the effect being that you are SEWING THROUGH GLASS. The ribbons are clearly seen to be hanging down on both sides and are pulled back and forth. This effect of SEWING THOUGH GLASS is one of the very prettiest effects to watch in magic.
So much for the first part of the effect. But wait, that isn’t all, for you have only just begun. And you are leading them up to a climax. Now follow closely the exact description of the greatest trick with glass ever created: The glass is now held at arm’s length and once more proven to be solid. And while you are holding the glass, you slowly BEND THE GLASS. Yes, I said BEND THE GLASS.
You bend it back and forth as if it were made of soft rubber. THIS EFFECT IS REALLY SPECTACULAR. It is an effect that the spectators will never forget for the reason there is NO EXPLANATION. You may even ask yourself the question: Did you ever hear of or see anyone BEND GLASS under these conditions?
I have written a fair description. But I confess I am unable to describe fully its beauty and awe inspiring mystery. FLEXIBLE GLASS has been audience tested and was only recently successfully performed by Walter Coleman before members of the S.A.M. and I.B.M. in New York City.
POINTS TO REMEMBER:
- GLASS IS REAL GLASS.
- MAY BE PERFORMED CLOSEUP, PARLOR, PLATFORM, OR STAGE.
- RED DAGGER, NEWSPAPER AND RIBBON ARE NOT FAKED.
- IT IS SELF-CONTAINED.
- BENDING OF GLASS IS SENSATIONAL.
- CAN BE PERFORMED WITHOUT SKILL.
- WORKMANSHIP IS OF FINEST QUALITY AND IS MANUFACTURED IN OUR OWN WORKSHOP.
* Stuart Robson grew up in the UK and then moved to New York City in 1940 where he ran The Conjurer’s Shop.
(Notice: Includes: Printed Instructions.)( Post Source: martinsmagic.com - click for details )