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Publication numberUS1760842 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 27, 1930
Filing dateAug 1, 1928
Priority dateAug 1, 1928
Publication numberUS 1760842 A, US 1760842A, US-A-1760842, US1760842 A, US1760842A
InventorsFergus Greenwood
Original AssigneeHoward Thurston
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for producing theatrical illusions
US 1760842 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 27,1930.

I F. GREENWOOD ,APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING 'THEATRICAL ILLUSIONS FiladAug; 1, 192B 2 Sheets-'-Sheet 1 Inflenior; Fefyzqsreerewo od M Warn/6y.

May 27, 1930. F. GREENWOOD 3 APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING THEATRICAL ILLUSIONS Filed Aug. 1, 1928 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 mentor.- 1 79i us'd'reerudood,



My invention relates to apparatus for producing theatrical illusions, and it relates more particularly to apparatus adapted to be used upon a theatre stage or the like, whereby a variety of mysterious and startling illusions may be produced for the entertainment of an audience.

The object of my invention is to provide apparatus for producing theatrical illusions whereby a variety of magical effects, such as the production, evanishment, transformation or exchange of persons, animals, or other objects, may be caused to take place in a seemingly isolated receptacle or cabinet.

The nature and characteristic features of my invention will be more readily understood from the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings forming part hereof, in which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of apparatus for producing theatrical illusions, embodying the main features of my present in- Vention;

Fig. 2 is a Vertical, central, sectional view thereof; and

Fig. 3 is a horizontal section thereof, taken approximately on the line 3- 3 of Fig. 2.

Referring to the drawings, in the particular embodiment of my invention therein shown, is a receptacle or cabinet suitably supported on a theater stage or the like by means of a skeleton framework 11. The receptacle 10 is provided with an opening 12, preferably in the frontthereof, which opening may beclosed my means of doors 1S.

Arranged behind the receptacle 10, and apparently in separated relationship with respect thereto, is a back scene member 14, which may comprise a drop curtain or a scenery fiat.

Extending from the back of the receptacle 10 to the back scene member 14 is a tube or chute 15, provided on its outer faces with mirrors 16. The mirrored faces 16 of the tube or chute are arranged substantially at right angles to the back scene member 14.

The back of the receptacle 1O communicates, by means of an opening 17, with the interior of the chute 15. However, the existence of this opening is not known to the are open.

Serial No. 296,758.

spectators, and the same may be closed by means of doors 18 when the front doors 13 In some instances the doors 18 may be omitted, but it should be understood that in such cases, either the back end of the chute must be shielded from light, particularly that coming from the 'rear,.or the stage behind the back scene member must be kept in absolute darkness, Whenever the front doors 13 are open. I

It will also be understood that for the best results the interior of thetube 15, and preferably the interior of the. receptacle 10, should have a dead black surface, whichmay be obtainedeither by painting the same or by lining the same with black velvet or the li re.

The tube or chute 15 may be constructed in any preferred manner. For example, the same may be made of boards having glass mirrors mounted on the outside thereof, or it may be made of metal with its outer surfaces silver or nickel plated, and polished.

The mirrored outer faces 16 of the tube 15 will serve to reflect the surface of the back scene member 14 so that the same will appear to the spectators to be continuous, and if desired, the back scene member may be ornamented in any preferred manner, to enhance the deceptiveness of the illusion, and to overcome any difference in appearance between tae actual surface of the back scene member and the image thereof reflected in the mirrors.

While the tube or chute 15 is shown in the drawings as being substantially square in cross-section, it will, of course, be understood that the same may be of any preferred shape, so long as the surfaces thereof are substantially atright angles'to the back scene member.

The tube of chute 15 afiords a means of access from behind the back scene member 14 to the interior of the receptacle 10, the back scene member being provided with an opening 19 through which the tube 15 extends. The back end of the tube 15 may be supported by means of a framework 20, arranged behind the back scene member 14. i

The operation of the apparatus will be quite apparent. For example, if it is desired to exchange one object for another, the front doors of the receptacle are opened, and the object to be exchanged is inserted in the receptacle, and the front doors then closed. One of the magicians asistants, being located behind the back scene member, will now remove the object which was inserted in the receptacle, and substitute another object therefor.

If a mere evanishment is to take place, the object is simply removed from the receptacle, and vice versa, if a production isto be accomplished, the article to be produced will be inserted from the rear into the receptacle, which has previously been shown empty.


In other instances, where the apparatus is used for the production, evanishment or exchange of living persons, the person or persons employed may readily pass through the tube or chute in one direction or the other, according to the efiect desired.

' It will be seen that there is thus provided simple and efficient apparatus for producing theatrical illusions, whereby a great variety of startling magical efiects may be brought about. The apparatus is adaptable for use on an ordinary theatre or auditorium stage, and,

the same may be so constructed and arranged as to be readily set up and dismantled when moving from one theatre to another. The use of the apparatus also eliminates the necessity'for cutting stage traps such as are often employed in effecting theatrical illusions;

It will, of course, be understood that the arrangement shown in the drawings is more or less schematic, and that the inventionmay be embodied in various sizes and forms, according to the illusionary effects to be produced, without departing from the spirit of my invention.

Having thus described the nature and char- 'acteristic features of my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is:

Apparatus for producing theatrical illusions comprising a receptacle, means for supporting said receptacle in a seemingly isolated position upon a theatre stage, a back scene member arranged behind the receptacle and apparently separated therefrom, a tube extending from the receptacle to the back scene member, said tube having mirrors on its outer faces, the mirrored faces of said tube being arranged at right angles to the back scene member, the back scene member having an opening through which the tube extends thereby to permit access to the interior of the tube from behind the back scene member, the receptacle having an opening in the front through which objects may be inserted in and removed from said receptacle, doors for closing said opening, the receptacle also having an opening in'the back for communication be-

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2761581 *Jan 31, 1952Sep 4, 1956American Hawaiian Steamship CoCargo container
US3612516 *Jan 13, 1969Oct 12, 1971Wilson James MarkApparatus and method for producing display illusions
US4094501 *Dec 13, 1976Jun 13, 1978Burnett Edward DIllusion apparatus
EP2332624A1 *Dec 24, 2009Jun 15, 2011Hanky Panky Toys Thailand Ltd.Conjurer's kit with conjurer's box
EP2468375A1Dec 24, 2009Jun 27, 2012Hanky Panky Toys Thailand Ltd.Conjurer's kit
U.S. Classification472/63, 472/71
International ClassificationA63J21/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63J21/00
European ClassificationA63J21/00