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Understanding Magic #13 – The famous “sawing a woman in half” trick, new and improved

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The “sawing a woman in half” trick is almost a cliche today. It is a cliche now, however, because it was so dramatic and so amazing to audiences when they first saw it in the 1920s. The trick has had a huge effect on the magic profession.

Here is a version of the trick that plays homage to the original:

Most people are aware that this version makes use of a skilled contortionist in the box. Here is an explanation of the maneuver:

There are many variations, including this version which places the woman in a small egg-shaped cage before the sawing begins:

The most interesting thing about the illusion is the way it has evolved. For example, the “transparent box” version is still compelling today:

Another variation involves sawing a woman in half with a jig saw or a bow saw, as demonstrated here:

Since it’s done in plain view – no box or cover – this is an effective trick. It does not require a contortionist, so any audience member can be used. This page reveals the secret: Sawing a woman in half

For more info see:
- The Wonder of the Buzzsaw Illusion
- How Chain Saws Work

[[[Jump to - Understanding Magic #12 – Using NLP to influence the thinking of other people]]]

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