Peter Warlock Glass Penetration Revealed And Explained In Detail

Read about Peter Warlock Glass Penetration revealed frame by frame how it is done and the secrets you might want to know.

This popular impossible glass penetration is actually the brilliant idea of British semi-professional magician Peter Warlock back in the Thirties.

Peter Warlock Magician

Besides, this amazing glass penetration trick, he also invented Self Contained Milk Pitcher, Ringcord, Out of the Loop, Giant Size Triple Tubes, Silk Filter, Adhesive Glass, Cream of the Jest, Atomic Silk, Ring and Rope Release, and PW Slip Cut.

Note: Here is a free book by Peter Warlock for those who dabbled in mentalism magic tricks.

The Best Tricks With Slates Peter Warlock

The Best Tricks With Slates By Peter Warlock
Click on this: Link

This illusionette was manufactured by various people, so it comes with various names, which include: Warlock’s Amazing Frame, P. W. Glass Penetration, Peter Warlock Glass Penetration Mystery,Warlock Glass Penetration,  Davenports English Glass Penetration and English Glass Penetration by Harry Stanley.

There is another version called “Soft Glass by Abbott’s” by Abbott’s Magic Company.

Abbott's Soft Glass Trick Secret

Liquid Glass Stage Illusion

By the way, there is a larger version of this Atomic Glass Penetration created by magical illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer.

It is called “Liquid Glass Illusion” and it is built by William Kennedy.

Jim Steinmeyer Liquid Glass Illusion

Similarly, this rod through glass stage illusion cannot be performed surrounded.

Harry Blackstone Jr. used to perform this Jim Steinmeyer’s version of Peter Warlock’s Glass Penetration at the Burt Reynold’s Dinner Theater in Jupiter, Florida.

His apparatus is featured in this auction site.

The method of the trick is similar as Atomic Glass Penetration by Magic wagon.

Find out how the penetration effect of “Liquid Glass Illusion” is done below.

Peter Warlock Glass Penetration revealed

As I have just mentioned there have been a number of versions of this magic trick, and the one by manufactured by Magic Wagon is called Atomic Glass Penetration.

The effect is:

A square wooden frame has four quadrants glass window that sits on a platform holder.

Each glass pane is tapped with a metal rod to show that it’s solid.

Two panels with holes are placed over the first two glass panes, one in front and the other behind.

They are held together by a slotted grip on top of them.

The metal rod with a length of ribbon attached is then pushed through the holes, apparently penetrating the glass.

Next, the panels are removed and do the same routine over the next two glass panes.

Again the rod manages to go through the solid glass.

Now all the four glass panes are covered with the panels and the metal rod is then continuously pushed through each one.

In other words, now all the four holes are now inserted with the ribbon at the same time.

This is to prove the metal rod could pierce through all four of the glass panes.

Most of you smart-aleck would assume that there are two separate pieces of glass shifting within the wooden frame.

Now, comes the big surprise.

It is not two or four separate glass panes, but just ONE solid sheet of glass.

Note: I think for practicality (prevent from breaking) and also it is more suitable for the trick, it uses a plexiglass instead of a real glass.

Watch the Atomic Glass Penetration or Peter Warlock Glass Penetration Mystery video:

Peter Warlock Glass Penetration Revealed And Explained

So how does the Atomic Glass Penetration or Peter Warlock Glass Penetration trick work?

Actually the secret of this ribbons through the impossible glass trick is absolutely clear and transparent like glass.

Disclaimer: I do not own this glass penetration prop.

And I do not know how the trickery is done.

It’s my two pennies’ worth; based on my assumption by watching how the prop is handled from YouTube video clips.

Peter Warlock Glass Penetration Revealed

I will expose and explain to you the Warlock Glass Penetration or Atomic Glass Penetration secrets, frame by frame (no pun intended)

Secret Glass Slider Lever

The main secret of this trick is what I called it a glass slider lever.

It is a built-in contraption which helps to shift the glass inside the frame.

This small device is on the performer’s right hand side of the prop facing him.

To be exact, it is located on the frame platform.

In fact I already knew there is this hidden device, before I managed to capture it from the video clip.

See this captured image from the video at 0:31.

Peter Warlock glass penetration secret lever

Note: You can see this hidden white color lever clearly when you slow down YouTube playback speed to 0.25.

I think this is where the secret glass slider lever is situated.impossible glass penetration

Atomic Glass Penetration Trick Exposed

Now, let’s analyze how the performer handles the prop:

Right from the beginning, at 0:07, as he lifts up the cloth, he rotates the side of the prop with the secret glass slider lever toward him.

After putting up the front panel, he spins the frame around to fix the back panel at 0:26 to 0:30, you can see his left hand holding onto the platform base and the circular board.

glass penetration trick revealed

Actually his fingers are hiding the secret glass slider lever.

At 0:33-0:34, his right thumb adjusts the glass slider lever, shifting the glass to the right hand side, as his left hand slots in the grip holder on top of the frame.

glass penetration trick

It is a neat misdirection.

You can see the slight movement of the glass moving toward his right hand side.

From 0:40 when he pokes the white feather through the two holes, he just turns the glass frame slightly, so that the glass slider lever is not seen.

streamers thru glass trick

Next he performs the penetration illusion on the other two glass windows with a white silk hanky.

First, he adjusts the slider at 1:03-1:04 to move the glass back to the left side, while his left hand removes the grip holder on top of the frame.

thru glass magic trick

Then only he can slide both panels to his right side of the frame, without exposing the left side windows covered with only half glass.

The next move is another flawless misdirection.

As he is putting on the grip holder with his left hand, his right thumb sneakily adjust the glass slider lever at the same time at 1:15.

peter warlock glass trick

He pokes in the silk hanky through the bottom hole first, then only he spins the frame around.

The white silk hanky is now safely blocking the secret glass slider lever.

Davenports English glass penetration

To remove the hanky, he must spins the frame back at 1:47, so that the glass slider lever is now facing him, then only he can remove it.

impossible glass penetration trick secret

After removing the white hanky, before he slides the two panels to his left, he must bring the glass back to his right side.

Or else you can see the right side windows with half-missing glass.

At 1:56, using his thumb he adjusts the lever again to shift the glass back to his right hand side of the frame.

atomic glass penetration

Then only he slides the two panels to his left side.

While his left hand is still holding the two panels, his right thumb secretly adjust the lever at 1:59.

This is to slide the glass back to his right side of the frame.

penetrate glass trick

Then he covers the right side windows with two more panels.

Now all the four glass windows are hidden.

And remember at 1:59, he has already shifted the glass to the right side of the frame.

In other words, half of the windows on his left is already without glass.

He starts to pierce the rods with ribbons through the left windows first.

rod through glass trick

To prepare the right side windows for the penetration trick, again he uses his right thumb to adjust the glass slider lever at 2:39-2:40 toward his left side.

This is an important part of the routine.

When the glass is slid over to the his left side of the frame, it pushes or squeezes the two inserted ribbons.

That will cause the ribbons to be dragged in slightly, which can be seen, just like in this video at exactly: 1:45.

You can see the end of the red ribbon slithering into the hole.

So is this video at 1:14, when he turns the lever.

You can clearly see the red ribbon being pulled into the top hole!

By the way, many of the exposed magic tricks are revealed by amateur or amateurish magicians or ill-trained illusionists themselves.

But for this performer, to distract the moving ribbons from being seen, he turns the prop slightly, while his left hand busy segregating the two streaming ribbons.

This segregating action is actually to pull the two soft ribbons slightly towards the left side, while he pushes the glass toward the left side.

He does this move, so that you would not notice the slight movement of the two ribbons being crushed or pushed out by the edge of the glass.

This is another impressive misdirection in performing magic tricks.

ribbon through glass magic trick

Now he can insert the two rods through the holes on the right side of the frame.

english glass penetration trick

To show you the four slim rods truly have penetrated through the holes, he spins the prop around slightly.

Again, his right hand covers the glass slider lever.

To finish the trick, he needs to remove the two right ribbons first.

It is because the glass is still over to the left side of the frame, squeezing the two ribbons.

penetration glass illusion exposed

Then again using his right thumb he slides the glass toward his right side, at 3:12-3:13.

To distract you from seeing his secret move, he does it, as his left hand pulling out the two thin rods on the circular wooden board.

Glass Penetration revealed

After removing the ribbons and panels, he still rotates the frame just slightly around 45 degree, so that you cannot see the secret glass slider lever.

Finally he removes and reveals that it is actually one piece of glass with no holes.

Peter Warlock Glass Penetration Exposed

For the Peter Warlock Glass Penetration to work efficiently, the design of rather the measurements/specifications of the prop is crucial.

To be precise it is the width and thickness of the glass that are important.

Look carefully the width and the thickness of the glass when the magician lift it up from the frame.

glass penetration illusion explanation

It is just slightly wider than the two windows.

Peter Warlock magic tricks

When the sheet of glass is push to the very end of one side of the frame, you can see the gap is about half of the width of the window.

Peter Warlock Glass Penetration exposed

So there is enough empty space for the thin rods to be to inserted right in the middle of the windows.

When it comes to final part of the trick, one side of the frame already has the ribbons through it.

So to thrust through the other side of the windows, the magician still can slide or push the glass over to the side.

It is because the ribbons are flat and soft, they do not take much space.

The so-called rod is actually more of a knitting needle.

It is rather thin in size.

There is still enough room to accommodate the slim metal rod and the soft flat ribbons against the edge of the frame.

The other items used to show the penetration effect are equally soft and flexible: feather and flimsy handkerchief.

Deceptive Square Attached Pieces

I am talking about the two square shape attached pieces with the black covering on the panel for the holes.

Why do they have such a obvious-looking piece (size and thickness) for such a small opening.

penetrating glass magic effect

It can be more than just as a design feature.

It can mislead your visual perception; you may see it a big hole in the glass.

The truth is it only uses a slim rod, a pliable feather and silky hanky to do the penetration.

This is Peter Warlock Glass Penetration revealed with relevant images for those who like to know precisely how it works.

As I have mentioned earlier, all the other earlier versions also used the same method to pull off the trick.

They shift the glass piece within the wooden frame.

You can see from the picture below, the width of the glass piece is much narrower that the wooden frame.

Davenports Glass Penetration

Liquid Glass Stage Illusion Secret

The key secret of “Liquid Glass Stage Illusion” is by shifting the piece of glass all the way to the uprights (legs or stands) of the prop or apparatus.

Peter Warlock Penetration Stage Illusion Apparatus

As explained above, the Atomic Glass Penetration prop uses a hidden glass slider lever to shift the glass.

Glass Sliding Devices

For this “Liquid Glass Illusion” apparatus, it requires two sliding devices or contraptions to shift or move the larger piece of glass.

These two small sliding devices are affixed on the top part of the 4 quadrants window frame.

One on the left, and the other on the right, next to the semi-circle cutouts.

In fact, these gimmicks are openly facing at the distant stage audience all the time.

The image below is taken from Kamyléon’s video clip.

Liquid Glass Stage Illusion Secret

This is a closeup view of the glass sliding device or contraption.

Liquid Glass Illusion Secret

You can see a clearer view from illusion designer and builder William Kennedy’s website WK Magic LLC.

Glass Width

The next secret is the width of the glass.

When it is pulled out from the frame, you would notice the glass edges are closed to the inner side of the 4-window frame.

Here are two images taken from Rick Thomas and Kamyléon’s video clips.

Peter Warlock Rod thru Glass Trick

Jim Steinmeyer Penetration Glass Trick

Shutters Positioning

The red ribbon appears to go through the CENTER of the four small glass windows.

Glass frame penetration magic trick

But as I have highlighted below, you can see the shutter holes are actually NOT in the CENTER of the four small windows.

The white dotted lines indicate where the positions of the shutter holes are.

Rod Penetrates Glass Conjuring Trick

To make the four holes seems like they are in the CENTER of the 4-window, the two pieces of shutters are placed right to the edge of the uprights or legs of the prop.

Solid Through Solid Stage Magic Secret

Because of its ingenious design by Jim Steinmeyer, even when you know how the trick works, it just looks impossible.

Jim Steinmeyer Stage Illusion Designer

Here are two different presentations of “Liquid Glass Illusion” by award-winning illusionists, French magician extraordinaire Kamyléon and Rick Thomas of “Mansion Of Dreams” fame.

Note: For a clearer understanding, when I say left, I mean your left.

First, let’s check out Kamyléon’s act.

When Kamyléon places the first shutter onto the LEFT side of the frame, his right hand secretly pulls the sliding device at 1:13.

Kamyléon Liquid Glass Illusion

Now the glass has moved over to the RIGHT upright or the stand of the prop, as illustrated below.

Peter Warlock Through Glass Apparatus

Magician Kamyléon pokes the rod at the glass edge inside the hole, to show his audience there is a solid glass in there.

Then he pushes the slim rod slips past the glass edge through the narrow space inside the hole.

The glass edge is just next to the two holes of the shutter or panel.

As he places the second shutter or panel onto the RIGHT side of the frame, his left hand covertly pushes the sliding device at 1:49, as seen below

Needle Through Glass Magic Trick

When the glass is shifted over to the LEFT upright, its edge will push the soft satin ribbon along with it.

Thus the slim ribbon would be dragged into the LEFT shutter holes slightly.

But Kamyléon knows how to hide it away from his audience, by standing in front of the LEFT shutter.

Now the glass is over at the far LEFT side of the frame.

Needle Ribbon Thru Glass Trick

Just before Kamyléon finishes the act, he has to shift the glass slightly to the RIGHT side, back to its original position, so as not to expose the secret of the trick.

Warlock Needle Thru Glass Illusion

He walks towards the back of the prop, secretly uses his right hand to shift the glass from behind the prop, back to its original position at 2:11.

It cannot be seen because it is blocked by the wooden shutters.

Liquid Glass Penetration Trick

If you are observe carefully, you would notice not only the prop moves briefly, but also the diagonal red ribbon.

It is because the glass edge pushing the narrow red ribbon.

At the finale, when Kamyléon lifts up the glass, it comes out right in the middle of the frame.

Kamyléon Liquid Glass Penetration Act

Now let’s watch how magician Rick Thomas performs his rod through glass illusion adapted from Peter Warlock’s creation.

When placing the shutter or panel on the RIGHT side of the frame, his right hand swiftly drags the sliding device to move the glass all the way to the LEFT upright of the prop at 4:18.

Rick Thomas Liquid Glass Illusion

As I have just mentioned in Kamyléon’s act above, the shutter holes and the edge of the glass is very closed by.

Wooden Frame Glass Penetration Trick

Before he can safely remove the wooden shutter from the frame, at 4:49 he uses his left hand to operate the shifting device again to slide the glass towards the RIGHT side slightly, to go back to its original position.

Steel Rod Thru Glass Magic Trick

I think he also uses his right hand (blocked by the shutters) to give the glass a push, to ensure it is properly back into its original position.

Peter Warlock Stage Illusion

At 5:14 when both of them place the shutters onto the frame, it is the female assistant who pulls the sliding device towards the RIGHT with her right thumb.

Jim Steinmeyer Liquid Glass Trick Secret Revealed

At the same time, Rick Thomas uses his left thumb and index finger to give a quick check to ensure the glass is properly set to the RIGHT upright.

So now the glass is positioned to the RIGHT upright, Thomas can insert the metal rod through both holes of the LEFT shutters.

Magic Penetration Effect

To penetrate the RIGHT shutter holes, Rick Thomas has to go to the prop to slide the glass to the LEFT upright.

He misdirects the audience attention, with a swift movement of passing the rod with the ribbon to his female assistant, and he makes a dance-like turn and proceeds to the prop.

Rod Penetrates Glass Stage Illusion Secret

When he is behind the prop at 5:34, I think Rick Thomas uses his left hand to push the glass, and then he also uses his right hand to check at the sliding device to ensure the glass is safely set on the LEFT upright.

This is when Thomas uses his left hand to slide the glass behind the frame.

Rick Thomas Penetration Glass Frame

The picture below shows Rick Thomas fiddling the sliding device.

Peter Warlock Rod Through Glass Secret

When Thomas slides back the glass to LEFT at 5:36, focus your attention on the red ribbon at the bottom hole.

You can see the red ribbon moving into the hole.

It is because when the glass is pushed all the way towards the LEFT side, its edge squeezes the soft ribbon, thus pulling it along.

Now the RIGHT shutter holes can be penetrated with the rod, as the glass is now all set to the LEFT side of the frame.

Steinmeyer Warlock Penetration Illusion

To finish up the act, Rick Thomas has to slide the glass back to its original position, so the audience would not know the movement of the glass.

At the finale, when he walks back to the prop, he uses his right hand discreetly slides the glass to its original position at 5:54.

Liquid Glass Penetration Trick Secret

You can see the red ribbon through the top hole of the RIGHT shutter moves slightly.

Then using both hands, Rick Thomas coolly lifts up the glass from the wooden frame.

Related: Glass Penetration By Sir Felix Korim

There is this similar glass penetration stage illusion idea by Sir Felix Korim, called the “4th Dimensional Glass“.

A sheet of clear glass is pierced with a steel needle threaded with a ribbon.

Glass Penetration illusion Sir Felix Korim

Again, the secret is by shifting the glass which has a hole hidden behing the metal clip.

It is like the vintage “Glass Penetration” by “Glass Penetration” by “Glass Penetration” by Floyd Gerald Thayer.

Glass Penetration F G Thayer

You can find out more about Sir Felix Korim‘s glass penetration stage illusion idea in the book (page 86) below:

The Conjurors' Book Of Stage Illusions Free PDF

The Conjurers Book Of Stage Illusions
Click on any of these: Link 1Link 2Link 3

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