Thursday, 30 July 2009

Film of J. N. Maskelyne Performing Plate Spinning

If you know anything about the history of magic in the UK then you will have heard of J. N. Maskelyne. Amongst all the wonders that he performed in magic shows, he performed plate spinning. No, not the spinning a plate on a stick sort of thing. This is something else altogether.

In the book The Modern Conjurer by C. Lang Neil (1903 edition), two of the pages have film like strips printed down the edges. The blurb explains that they pictures taken using the technology of the cinematograph. I decided to see if I could make a video from the images of Maskelyne in action. I scanned the pages, edited the individual pictures into separate files and edited a very brief film using them. I have no idea what became of the original film. The book states the pictures were taken especially for the book, so it was probably never publicly used.

Well, here is the video.

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