The Great Unus

The Great Unus (aka Franz Furtner) had a successful career in the circus, from the 1930s to the 1960s. He was billed as "the man who stands on his forefinger" because his act centered around him doing a series of one-finger handstands.

There was a lot of speculation about how he was able to balance himself on one finger. The main theory was that he must have had some kind of rigid, support device in the glove that he always wore during his act, as you can see in the video below. But in the photo, below left, (from the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung - Mar 27, 1941), he's doing the trick without a glove. So who knows. Although, of course, the photo could have been staged. As far as I know, he never revealed exactly what his trick was.

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 17, 2013
     Category: ShowBiz

I noticed that he didn't risk his 'expressive' finger.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 09/17/13 at 11:55 AM
What would happen if you pulled his finger?
Posted by KDP on 09/17/13 at 03:01 PM
Like Houdini he had a trick. Houdini had a huge set of keys (back in his day there weren't so many) and would break in to the places who built his boxes/escapes on display for his upcoming show the night before. They would then rig them with short nails/panels etc for his magical escape. I'm sure he had other "tricks". It still doesn't make someone like him or this guy not a legend. All magic is simple illusion, distraction, or a way to trick our brains because of how it works.
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 09/17/13 at 06:03 PM
Ouch! Good trick.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/17/13 at 07:46 PM
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