Where Objects in a Bottle Become Impossible Pieces of Art


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 years of breaking bottles and ruining many decks of cards, he finally put his first deck of cards inside a bottle. That was just the beginning. Soon he was putting other objects into bottles: bars of soap, baseballs, golf balls, ping-pong balls, packs of cigarettes, tennis balls, a pair of scissors and even a pair of gym shoes! To date, Jeff has duplicated six of Harry Eng’s Impossible Bottles and has plans for more.

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.

In 2000, Jeff created the Bottle Magic website and began offering more than fifteen different models of Impossible Bottles to clients world-wide.

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 created his own style as well. We invite you to view the catalog of bottles and find one for yourself!

Who was Harry Eng?

Harry Eng: elementary school teacher, educational consultant, inventor, magician, and master of Impossible Bottles. He was born in 1932 and lived in La Mesa, California.

Harry was literally world famous for his Impossible Bottles. He put all kinds of things into bottles — decks of cards, scissors, golf balls, ping pong balls, padlocks, packs of cigarettes, tennis balls, baseballs, books, dice, pairs of shoes, plus many other objects. Harry even put a bottle inside of 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 opening.

Harry began making Impossible Bottles in the mid-1980s, only ten years before his death. In that time he completed somewhere between 600 and 700 bottles – an enormous body of work in a relatively short period of time. He made and shipped them all over the world. At puzzle and magic conventions Harry would always bring some of his bottles, which were sure to sell out.

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

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