This stage illusion involved a levitating rope and a disappearing boy assistant, with a fake Indian setting intended to make things more mysterious.
Title: Thurston the Famous Magician: East Indian Rope-Trick
Story: In the 1800s, travel writers, intoxicated by India as a “jewel in the crown” of the British Empire, sketched exotic caricatures of the Indian “Hindoo,” complementing exports of silks and spices to America.
Quote: Magician Howard Thurston performs the so-called “East Indian rope trick”
Rights: Created by The Otis Lithograph Company, Cleveland, Ohio Library of Congress
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