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Paul Freeman

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Paul Freeman

Known forcard manipulations and mail-bag escape

Paul Freeman (fl. 1910s-1940s) was a British card manipulator and escape artist who made a sensation with his Mail Bag escape around 1914 in England.


Freeman, known as the ambidextrous card manipulator, performed an act in 1914 consisting of card manipulation, tricks with giant cards and a mail bag escape.

One of the first performers to do card manipulations with gloves (later made famous by Cardini), he would vanish five cards with gloves on, then after removing the gloves, make then appear at his fingertips.

One mail-bag escape he called "Metathesis", began with an assistant being heavily manacled and place into a Post Office mail bag. The top of bag is tied with cord and also a borrowed handkerchief. The bag and assistant are placed in a cabinet. Next the magician is handcuffed to two helpers from the audience. Two silks are placed over the manacles and when the conjurer gives a twist, he is free. He instantly opens the curtains and discloses that the assistant is now also free of the mail-bag. Freeman darts behind the cabinet, and the assistant draws the curtains. In a moment they are re-opened and the mail-bag, still tied with the borrowed handkerchief, is found to contain Freeman now heavily manacled. [1]

Another mail-bag escape he called "Nataprate" was a follows: He allows himself to be handcuffed, wrist strapped, legs ironed and is blindfolded, and then put into a genuine mail bag, which is then strapped and locked up. The bag and performer is then placed into a tank of water, which is then placed inside a packing case, the latter being securely locked and nailed down. Freeman then escapes.[2]

Later in his career he billed himself as "The Fifth Ace in the Pack", one of his effects was being thoroughly blindfolded, yet naming the cards in the pack with the greatest speed, despite repeated shuffling.[3]


  1. Magic Wand, December, 1915
  2. Sphinx, November 1914
  3. Linking Ring, April, 1935