Help us get to over 4,000 biographies in 2018.

If you know of a past magician not listed in MagicPedia, start a New Biography for them or Email us your suggestion.

Square Circle

From Magicpedia, the free online encyclopedia for magicians by magicians.
Jump to: navigation, search

The Square Circle is a prop used for productions.


The magician shows a square box with a window in front and a cylinder which fits in the box. When the tube is in the box, it can be seen through the window. The cylinder is lifted out and shown empty while the black empty interior of the box can be seen through the window. Yet, when the tube is placed inside the box, the magician reaches in and produces all kinds of items.


Invented by Louis S. Histed, who called it the "Chinese Pagoda", in 1930. Morelle, of the Yorkshire Magical Club, designed the first Pagoda for his Chinese act in 1932. He lifted the tube to reveal a cardboard egg from which he released two doves. Cingalee also included this version in his act.

Many variations have been placed on the market and the basic idea has been developed for vaudeville work by Milton Woodward and the Great Levante for large stage illusions.[1]

It uses the black art principle which dates back to 1875. Robert Heller and Charles De Vere had used the idea to conceal a load chamber in a table.

The Davenports sold a Square Circle effect under the name of Wunda Villa (created by Eric P. Wilson).

In letter to Dariel Fitzkee in 1947, Stanley Collins also claimed to be the originator of the principle. Fitzkee asked, "Why didn't you mention it in A Conjuring Melange? You had a golden opportunity."[2]


  1. Masterpieces of Magic Vol. I. by Douglas Craggs (1946): 58
  2. Stanley Collins: Conjurer Collector and Iconoclast by Edwin A. Dawes (2001)