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The Girl Without A Middle

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The Girl Without A Middle (also known as "The Disembodied Princess" and "No Guts") is an illusion in which the torso of the assistant vanishes. The assistant is locked in a cabinet and with head and legs in full view. After blades are put into place, apparently severing legs and head, the center doors are opened showing the torso has vanished.

Carl Owen and Floyd Thayer developed Girl without a Middle, as we know it today, for Howard Thurston in the 1920s.[1]

Owen's more portable version was based on P.T. Selbit's "Man Without a Middle", in which a male assistant, dressed as a toy soldier was placed in an upright cabinet and had his middle disappear.[2]

The Sphinx reported in it's April 15, 1924 issue, "From London, Selbit is at Maskelyne's with his latest illusion, "The man without a middle," and reports are that it is one of the best illusions that he has ever produced."


  1. Owen Magic Supreme, One Hundred Years of Quality Magic, MUM, November, 20002
  2. Conjurers' Mechanical Secrets by S. H. Sharpe (1990)