The History of Bottle Magic

In 1996, after reading an article about the death of the great Harry Eng, Jeff became fascinated with Harry’s Impossible Bottles. He simply had to learn how to make them.

After three and a half years of breaking hundreds of bottles and ruining hundreds upon hundreds of decks of cards, he finally put his first deck of cards into a bottle. That was just the beginning. Soon he was putting all kinds of objects into bottles: Bars of soap, baseballs, golf balls, ping-pong balls, packs of cigarettes, tennis balls, pairs of scissors, padlocks and even a pair of gym shoes. To Date, Jeff has duplicated about eight of Harry Eng’s Impossible Bottles and has plans for more.

In the year 2000, Jeff created the Bottle Magic website and began offering more than fifteen different bottle types to clients world-wide.

Jeff’s artistry has garnered him clients throughout the United States and worldwide. His bottles are collected in Australia, Austria, Germany, France, Japan, England and beyond. Every bottle is individually made and proudly signed for authenticity.

Jeff Scanlan’s work has followed in the footsteps of the master of Impossible Bottles, the late Harry Eng. Through Bottle Magic, Jeff has not only kept Harry’s art form alive, but has also created his own style of bottles as well. We invite you to view the catalog of bottles and find one for yourself, a client or that special someone.

Bottle Magic - Jeff and His Bottles

Who was Harry Eng?

Harry Eng was an elementary school teacher, educational consultant, inventor, magician, husband, father to two children and master of Impossible Bottles. He was born in 1932 and lived in La Mesa, California.

Harry was world famous for his Impossible Bottles. He put all kinds of objects in to bottles – Decks of cards, scissors, pack of cigarettes, tennis balls, baseballs, books, dice, pairs of shoes plus many other objects. He even put a bottle inside a bottle! Harry’s signature was always putting a knot of rope in each bottle. Sometimes a big knot, sometimes a small knot, but the knot was usually larger than the bottle neck opening.

Harry began making Impossible Bottles in the mid-1980’s, only 10 years before his death. In that time, it has been said that he created about 600 bottles – an enormous body of work in a relatively short amount of time. At puzzle and magic conventions Harry would always bring some of his bottles, which always sold out.

Today, Harry’s bottles have become collector’s items. Connoisseurs of this art form have paid hundreds and even thousands for just one of his bottles.

On June 29th, 1996 Harry passed away in his home. He took most of his bottle secrets with him. He will always be known as the master of Impossible Bottles.

Discover Some of Our Best Sellers