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On Magic History (2011)

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Yankee Gathering





February 2007

Howard Thurston's

Famous Indian Rope Trick Billboard


Famous Indian Lion Trick Billboard


Genii Magazine

August, 1991 / VOL.54 / No. 10

The exact posters that are on the cover of this Genii Magazine are in the Rory Feldman collection.

The posters can be found in the Poster Section of this web-site.





The East-Indian Mysteries, Famous Indian Rope Trick Billboard (20 Sheet)

Here are excerpts from an article written by David Price for Genii Magazine.

Howard Thurston

King Of Magicians

By David Price

"It was not until around the season of 1926-27 that Thurston produced his Indian Rope Trick illusion on the stage.  In addition to the Otis Panel referred to hereinabove, Thurston has a twenty-sheet lithograph printed by Otis as illustrated on the cover of this magazine with the Indian Rope Trick as the central illustration on the poster."

"It is made up of twenty one-sheets each measuring 28 inches in height by 42 inches in width and can be displayed on a standard outdoor advertising billboard."

"Thurston has invested heavily in his 20-sheet poster featuring the Indian Rope Trick.  So, when bugs developed in the mechanical operations the illusion in mid-season and he was forced to take the illusion out of the show, he had a large supply of unused 20-sheet posters.  His advisors suggested that the middle panel of four posters be replace and in that way sixteen of the twenty sheets could be saved and used in his advertising.  The problem was that some of the letters of the words "FAMOUS INDIAN ROPE TRICK" extended over into the second panel of four sheets. The solution to the problem is graphically illustrated by the second poster wherein Thurston's trick involving a lion, a boy and cage was substituted for the Indian Rope Trick.  The dilemma of the wording on the poster was solved by changing the name of the trick from "The Boy and the Lion" to "FAMOUS INDIAN LION TRICK."  A careful inspection of the color illustration on the cover will make the story quite obvious.  The story of Thurston removing the Indian Rope Trick Illusion from his show in mid-season was told to me by my good friend, the late Carl Rosini who was a neighbor of the Thurston family at Beechhurst, Whitestone, Long Island, New York."

Copyright - - Genii Magazine - August, 1991 - VOL. 54 No. 10 2000 - 2015 All rights reserved.