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Re: Working Model

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:34 pm
by tim575
Hello, I am new to this forum. I acquired an "Indian Fakir" at auction and from the photos appears to be the same unit. Material of the figures inside and construction is unlike Bolland machines, I have a Bolland Miser in my collection. I believe this "Indian Fakir" was made by the Samson Novelty Co. (founded by Holloway), as there were a couple small labels for light compartment doors with their stock sticker. I found reference that Samson Novelty absorbed International MutoScope Co assets in 1937 and this appears to be a conversion of an International MutoScope electric traveling crane. I can only find reference to Samson Novelty getting into working models by the 50's but no mention of what models they produced or refurbished. It does do the Indian rope trick using the Peppers Ghost Illusion method (45 degree glass and hidden compartment with switched light source), I have manually cranked it through the sequence but I don't dare apply power to it until I get the wiring on the motor restored. I am still looking for any further reference to Samson Novelty working models.

Re: Working Model

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:03 am
by badpenny
Hi tim575 welcome to the forum, we seem to have had a lot of new members recently and it's great to welcome another.

Models working or not aren't my area, however we have some experts who aren't on duty at the moment, I'm sure one will be along soon.

Also I'm sure one of the first comments will be PHOTOS PLEASE.

BP

Re: Working Model

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:10 pm
by pennymachines
Even better - VIDEOS PLEASE - once you've fixed the motor.

Welcome to the Forum. Sorry I can't throw any light on the Fakir. As I'm sure you know, Samson Novelty Company were chiefly distributors of other manufacturers' product so their badge appears on many machines of diverse origin. Something more definitive is needed really, but I take your point about the Mutoscope connection.

Re: Indian Fakir Working Model

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:23 pm
by coppinpr
Always reminds me of one of the best lines from a Carry On film. In carry on Up the Khyber, Sid James says when he's seen enough of the Fakir performance "Fakir off" to which Cardue Robinson (the fakir) replies, "OK, OK, no need to be rude."

Second only to the line in Cleo when the priest (Jon Pertwee) incants "Isis great Isis" to which the Briton (Ken Connor) replies " thereee lovely."

Not relevant, but as I said, it reminded me. !!THUMBSX2!!

Re: Indian Fakir Working Model

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:45 pm
by gameswat
I have a feeling your Fakir is probably the same one that belonged to the late John Gresham. I've just looked but can't seem to find any photos as I thought I had at least one with it in the background amongst his enormous collection? I remember it being untouched and awfully dirty. I did check that one out and it used the Peppers Ghost illusion.

Re: Indian Fakir Working Model

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:29 pm
by tim575
After several years of storage, I had some time to work on this machine last week. Pulled out the model, repaired it and the cabinet, new glass, motor rebuild, complete rewire, and added step up transformer to run off 120VAC in the US. It is now in working condition. Remaining is to fabricate replacements for missing side doors and restore the top marquees.

Video of operation:


Re: Indian Fakir Working Model

Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:26 pm
by moonriver
Lovely, just my kind of thing, interesting theme, likely unique model. Far more complex mechanism than first expected from the outside, my only criticism is it's a shame it wasn't of the same calibre as Canova or Lee inside the scene as the Fakir theme really lent itself to something like an ornate Indian temple, and that would have made it pop.

Re: Indian Fakir Working Model

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:21 pm
by tim575
Restored the top side Marquees and created a front Marquee in the same style of the side. All that remains is to have some replacement side doors made and finished to blend in with the cabinet. As far as I can find, this was a unique model of unknown maker, and I only found one other reference to a working model using Pepper's Ghost illusion. I would have expected that to be more common.

Re: Indian Fakir Working Model

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:49 am
by moonriver
Great job, it's nice to see a working model out of decades of storage and restored and working again. Especially a unique one
such as this one.
It's also nice when these can be back out in the public domain where they can be seen working, enjoyed and played on, rather than ending up locked away in a private collection.

Re: Indian Fakir Working Model

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 2:47 pm
by tim575
Replacement side doors in place in the same style as the original cabinet which completed restoration of this working model, it now sits alongside other crane conversions in one of my game rooms. Still is "maker unknown", I can estimate some of the likely owner trail of collectors, but not the original maker. I have not seen any old photos of this machine online or in publications/books so far. If anyone comes across an old photo with it please let me know.