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 Daniel Fortunov's Blog » Harry Eng's Impossible Bottles

 6 Comments- Add comment | Back to Personal Blog Written on 28-Jan-2009 by asqui

Harry Eng BottleHarry Eng's instructions for producing this Impossible Bottle on the right:

"Find a piece of wood from the High Chaparral (Manginita wood). Drill Deck. Put case in bottle. Put cards in case. Put rope through deck. Tie knot. Put nut, bolt, and lock parts into bottle. Hold bolt with a magnet - screw nut on with dental floss. Assemble and lock padlock. Finally sign the pack of cards."

Although this one seems rather labour intensive to assemble — much like a ship-in-a-bottle — some of his others are downright impossible.

Harry Eng Bottle


For example, this block of wood and the metal lock are both too large to fit through the neck of the bottle. And although the lock could conceivably be taken apart and re-assembled inside, the block of wood most certainly cannot.

As a kicker, the wood block is engraved with his "Think" logo.

I give up... do you have any idea how this could be achieved?

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  • written on 14-Feb-2009

    Carrie says:

    Seven found this at the end of the wikipedia page on Impossible Bottles:

    "Another method, contrary to popular belief, is to use a MMAR. MMAR meaning Micro Molecular Adjustment Ray. Using a MMAR you may reduce in size a ship of your choosing. Then carefully place the properly adjusted ship into a bottle. The MMAR method is said to be highly unreliable and chances of success are around 15%."

  • written on 14-Feb-2009

    Carrie says:

    Also, I'm finally catching up on your blog.

  • written on 04-Jun-2010

    Phil [http://www.impossiblebottle.co.uk] says:

    Harry Eng was the godfather of impossible bottles. He took most of his secrets to the grave unfortunately. However, there are a small group of people who are continuing the art of impossible bottling. Check out:


  • written on 24-Nov-2010

    butch says:

    while harry eng was truly a gifted man, Iwould hardly call him the Godfather of bottled art. This art form has been around for hundreds of years and many bottles exsist that are way more mind blowing. And while this is a very difficult form of art, there are many more than a dozen who practice it. Three of them are in my family.

  • written on 01-May-2011

    Jeff [http://www.BottleMagic.com] says:

    I just came across your Blog, Daniel. Very interesting. I've been making Impossible Bottles for 11 years now. I'm trying to keep Harry's art form alive by following in his footsteps. So far, I have duplicated 6 of Harry's bottles with, hopefully, more to come. Currently, I sell over 15 different bottles throughout the world. If you want to see some amazing Impossible Bottles (Bottle Magic Bottles) you should visit http://www.BottleMagic.com.

    @ Butch: I wouldn't call Harry the "Godfather" of Impossible Bottles either. "Godfather" not a good choice of words. I would consider him more of the "Master" of Impossible Bottles. Harry was really the person that put these pieces of art "on the map" so to speak. I don't think "Impossible Bottles" have been around for hundreds of years (at least not in the form Impossible bottle are looked at currently), I think the bottles/art form you're referring to are more of the "Whimsey Bottles". Those have been around for hundreds of years.
    As far as only 12 people practicing this art form, I agree with you, there are more than that. Yet, I do not believe there are more than a dozen people who have actually "mastered" the art form. What I mean is there are MANY people who put a deck of cards in a bottle and then claim they are either an Impossible Bottle artist or that they are trying to follow in the footsteps of Harry. To me, both are false.
    To really "master" the art form you have to be able to do MUCH more than one simple bottle. You need to have done many bottles (different shapes, sizes and styles) with a whole array of objects. Like Harry, I've put decks of cards sealed w/ the cellophane wrapping on, baseballs, ping-pong balls, different types of padlocks, tennis balls, packs of cigarettes, bars of soap, scissors, cork screws in wine bottles, golf balls and even pairs of gym shoes. Like I mentioned earlier, I have duplicated 6 of Harry's bottles already. So, there are probably about a dozen or so people who have or can do all that I just mentioned.
    Wow, I'm impressed that you have three members in your own family who make Impossible Bottles. Are they Impossible Bottles or are they more like Whimsey Bottles? I've never met anyone who has three members that can do this. Impressive! Do you have a website where one can go to see these bottles? I would love to see them.

    Always be your best,

    Jeff Scanlan

  • written on 15-May-2012

    Martinka Magic [http://www.martinka.com] says:

    We currently have several Harry Eng bottles listed on our auction:

    http://www.martinka.com/martinka/auction/APVi ... 19179

    One with sneakers, another with a lock, tennis ball, and a deck of cards.

    It is always interesting to see the variations that Harry developed.

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