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From the archives: impossible bottles in the Nottingham Post

I've been making impossible bottles for over ten years now. Back in 2010, when my website was in its infancy, any and all publicity was welcome. Hence this cringe-worthy article of a twenty-something year old me waxing lyrical about impossible bottles, accompanied by an equally awkward photograph taken in my back garden:



Casting spells with his magical bottle mystery


A magic enthusiast has been inspired by an American master of illusion to make his own "impossible bottles".


Philip Evans, of Stapleford, read about Harry Eng, known as the Master Bottle Filler and described as a "legend among magicians".


Eng's trademark trick involved putting objects that are obviously too big to fit through the bottle neck and into the bottle.


"I have always had an interest in magic since I was eight years old and have a good collection of magic books", said Philip, 26. "I read about Harry Eng and the Impossible Bottle and it grabbed my interest and I started having a go myself. When I first tried it they looked a bit naff, but as I practiced they began to look good and people are astonished now when they see them."


In the Impossible Bottle trick, no manipulation of the glass bottle is allowed, and the bottle must be whole before and during the trick.


A well known story about Eng involves him staying at a London hotel. He and his friends had finished their bottle of wine and he took the bottle up to his room before filling it with a book of matches, a menu and a pack of cards. The friends were assured that the only tools Eng had used were a pencil and rubber bands.


Eng, an inventor and school teach from San Diego, was born in 1932 and died in 1996.


Magicians familiar with the godfather of impossible bottles have been buying Philip's own creations from his website.


"The bottles I've made are targeted at magicians but a few other members of the public have bought them", Philip said. "They make good presents and people like them as unusual gifts. My bottles are designed to make you think."


Philip, a father of two, is interested in card tricks but is not a professional, has never performed, and has an "ordinary nine-to-five job." The made-to-order bottles are currently a pastime which started about six months ago.

Leicestershire, UK

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