Multiplying Bottles was, according to Lloyd E. Jones1 and Jack Potter2, created in Chicago by Arthur P. Felsman in the 1920's.
Felsmans trick is an extension of the old Passe Passe Bottle and Glass, which dates back to the mid-1800s. Multiplying Bottles starts out with a single bottle and a glass, which change places when covered with tubes, just as in the Passe Passe trick. But then the trick suddenly veer off in another direction, and ends with a startling production of 8-9 bottles.
Around the same time3, Felsman also created another popular version of the same trick, the Passe Passe trick with an extra bottle for comedy effect.
For some reason, the Multiplying Bottles did not gain any real popularity until Abbott's Magic Company revived it in 1949. After that, numerous dealers began making it up: Harry Stanley, Himber, Mephisto Huis, Harries Magic etc.
- Lloyd E. Jones: Removing the need for a servante, by having everything in the tubes at the start (1940-50)
- Marconick: A silk, tied around the neck of a bottle, jumps to another bottle.
- Moonshine Monologues by Tom Stone contains several new effects with the Multiplying Bottles.
- Lloyd E. Jones in Genii 1978 July, Vol. 42, No. 7, page 424
- Jack Potter, Abracadabra (page 16. Vol. 63, 1976)
- In Felsmans Magical Review, Vol. 1, No. 2, november 1919, Felsman advertises the Passe Passe Trick with an extra bottle for comedy effect. He stated: "Supplied only by us and taking one week's time as we make this trick "to order only".