Buzz Saw Illusion

Buzz Saw Illusion
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  • Item #: ABBbuzzsawchad
  • Manufacturer: Abbotts/Chadwick
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Price $8,500.00
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The curtain opens and there onstage is a 24-inch radial arm type buzz saw. The magician turns the incredible saw on and the whirl of the blade is felt as much as it is heard. A piece of wood is quickly severed in half without difficulty. The saw is tuned off and then a lady is precariously placed on the saw table. A wooden strip is placed under the lady, something that will be sawn down the middle and later showed to be split in two. Once again the performer switches on the saw and without hesitation, begins to visibly saw through the maiden. She screams as the saw does its worst. The saw is pushed back out of the way and turned off. The wooden strip is pulled out from underneath the lady and shown to be cut into sticks. The lady is then rolled off the saw and is none-the-less for her hideous ordeal.

British magician P. T. Selbit (Percy Tibbles) started the sawing craze that reigned heavily during the early part of the 20th century. He performed his version of the effect in England at St. George’s Hall as early as December 1920. The sawing craze quickly made its way across the Atlantic to America, and magicians have been sawing ladies in half ever since. It took Horace Goldin’s unique insight to do away with the bulky boxes traditionally associated with the sawing and create the visible sawing known today as the Buzz Saw illusion. This illusion has been featured by many famous magicians, most notably the Blackstone dynasty and P. C. Sorcar.

Buzz Saw illusions are usually big and heavy, largely in large part due to the fact that traditionally the girl lays on a wooden bed that is pulled into the saw via a conveyor principle. Sorcar’s version of the effect put the saw on a pendulum that was then rotated into the girl to saw her in half. It took the thinking of illusion builder Bruce Chadwick to utilize the concept of a radial arm saw to shrink the illusion into the practical illusion as it is today. With the radial arm saw principle, the rotating saw blade is pushed forward through the girl, the saw and motor mounted on a track that is attached to the overhead arm. This makes the illusion clean in appearances and does away with complicated overhead contrivances.

This illusion comes complete with the saw, table, instructions, and everything else needed for the presentation. For packing and transport, the saw and arm mechanism is made to socket out of the top of the table, and the table’s legs are made to fold up like card table legs. This incredible prop is built to last and entertain unsuspecting audiences for decades. Manufactured by Chadwick Illusion Fabrications through special arrangement with Abbott’s Magic Company. $8500 FOB.

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