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The Ghost
by Henry Dircks

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The Ghost by Henry Dircks

As produced in the spectre drama, popularly illustrating the marvellous optical illusions obtained by the apparatus called the Dircksian Phantasmagoria being a full account of its history, construction, and various adaptations.

Henry Dircks was the first who came up with the stage illusions that later became known as Pepper's Ghost. He had an arrangement with Pepper, they took out a patent in both their names, and Dircks did not want any monetary remuneration for it. John Henry Pepper improved the configuration to make it more practical and successfully staged it earning quite a lot of money with it. However, Dircks was miffed primarily by the fact that this illusion became known as Pepper's Ghost and not Dircks' Ghost or Dircks' & Pepper's Ghost. Dircks' name was largely not associated with it. It doesn't seem that this was Pepper's doing but rather that it just so happened probably since Pepper was the one who staged it and was therefore visibly associated with it and thus journalists called it Pepper's Ghost.

This issue was the primary reason Dircks wrote this book. In the first part, he airs his grievances about this issue. In an attempt to balance the scale he does not mention the name Pepper a single time. He explains the configuration he came up with belittling Pepper's improvements as obvious.

As a historical document, it is very interesting. He is correct in one thing: inventors often do not get the proper credit for their creations. But who is to blame for that is often not so straightforward to answer.

1st edition 1863, 102 pages; PDF 69 pages.
word count: 29852 which is equivalent to 119 standard pages of text

This product is listed in the following categories:

Magic & Conjuring / Illusions, Escape & Stage

Magic & Conjuring / Biographies & History

Magic & Conjuring / Published 1800-1899