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Magic Trick Unveiled 100 Years Ago Still Intrigues Audiences

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. One hundred years ago this weekend, magician P.T. Selbit debuted a trick in London. He asked a woman to climb in a box, and he sawed her in half. It's one of the most compelling tricks ever seen onstage. It's not performed on an object but on a person who seems in danger. Selbit's innovation was passed down through the generations, and the illusion has now lasted a century - that is, if it is an illusion. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.