The Bandbox trick is a most mystifying one; from the nature of the material, it would seem that any attempt to make an escape would be shown by the box afterward.
The box used is in two parts, as shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2. The inner part, Fig. 1, is open at the top; and after the performer has entered it the outer part, Fig. 2, is placed over it. This part fits on loosely, because otherwise the air would escape so slowly between the sides of the two parts that it would be difficult to get it on or off. The material of which the box is made is heavy pasteboard, such as is generally used for this purpose.
After the performer is inside and the cover in place, ropes are tied around the entire box, both ways, with the knots on top. Of course the box could not be lifted with a man in it, therefore the ropes which pass under the box have been placed there before he enters.
To escape, the rope must be reached and cut, and this is accomplished by means of specially shaped knives, which can be placed at the end of lengthening bars (Figs. 1 and 2) as shown in the illustrations on the opposite page. From the dimensions given it will be seen they can be concealed about the clothing before entering the box. The different parts are then screwed together, making a handle long enough to reach from the top to the bottom of the box. With this he reaches down between the sides and cuts the rope. Sometimes the flat knife (Figs. 3 and 4) will do it and sometimes the curved one (Fig. 5), or the hooked one (Fig. 6), must be used. It will be appar-ant that the work must be done very quickly, for the air in the small space would soon be exhausted, making it impossible to stay in it more than a minute or two. Therefore the knives, etc., must work perfectly and be used rapidly.
After cutting the rope the top is lifted off and the escape made. It is then placed back again, and a duplicate rope is tied on in the same way as the first one. This rope has been concealed around the waist under the coat, and the cut rope is now concealed in the same way, after which all is ready for the removal of the canopy.