First presentation of 'person to be sawn in half' illusion
Jan Glenrose
United Kingdom (Finsbury Park)
The first magician to seemingly saw a woman in half, was the illusion's inventor Percy Selbit (UK) (b. Percy Tibbles) on 17 January 1921 at the Finsbury Park Empire, London, UK. The first woman to be sawn in half was Jan Glenrose (in rehearsal) and Betty Barker (on stage) (both UK). In this version the girl was entirely enclosed inside the box. The first performance of the version most widely recognised, with the head and feet protruding from the box, was by Horace Goldin (USA) on 3 June 1921 as part of the Society of American Magicians annual banquet at the McAlpin Hotel, New York, USA, but Goldin initially performed the illusion using a male assistant.