This film is part of Free

The Magic Extinguisher

You'll never guess quite what this chap can hide under his cone...

Trick film 1901 2 mins Silent


Cutting-edge cinema trickery gives the art of illusion a little more magic in this short, fun film, as a conjuror uses a simple fire extinguisher to do anything but put out a fire. Although this is a silent film, the magician is clearly giving his best, most animated patter, distracting our eyes from the cuts that reveal the film's technique. This trick film appears to be one continuous shot, but is made up of several shorter shots edited together to make objects emerge from thin air.

This film was made by the Williamson Kinematograph Company. Scottish-born pharmacist James Williamson moved to Hove, East Sussex in the 1880s. He first began making films in the late 1890s and his new firm shot several 'actuality' films around the country, before moving into trick films such as this one and pioneering more complicated multi-shot, narrative movies. The magician here is played by comic Sam Dalton, who appears in other Williamson shorts.