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After 11 years of service to the escape artist community, we have decided to close our shop, as of June 30, 2011. We have enjoyed getting to know hundreds of escape artists and handcuff collectors over the years and are honored to count many of them as friends.

We will be continuing to perform our escapes and provide consultation on a limited basis. Sheila is now a vacation specialist and will be focusing on providing exceptional service to her clients, based on first hand knowledge.

In almost all cases, when we sell the last of an item, we will not be making or replacing our stock. If there is something that you’ve been thinking about buying, we encourage you to do so now, before that item is no longer available.

Thank you very much for your business and your friendship over the last 11 years. We have been blessed.


Well, it really all began 30 years ago. That’s when Mark Cannon decided to shun a chance (?) of being President of the United States, and instead decided to pursue a career as a professional escape artist. A few years later he met Sheila and a little later they were married. (That’s when Mark decided “What the heck, while I’m locked up to this ball & chain, why don’t I think of a escape trick to do with it?”)

But seriously…

During the next three decades Mark found himself hanging upside down in a strait jacket from a hot air balloon, chained inside a mailbag and tossed into a cruise ship’s swimming pool and locked under a wall of spikes. He was even genuinely challenged to escape from a safe, a steamer trunk, and a plethora of various handcuffs. It became apparent that Mark & Sheila would constantly need new and different escapes, restraints, lock picking devices, resources, etc. Unfortunately, Mark & Sheila soon realized that very few escape tricks and supplies were available from all of the major magic supply houses. Even more distressing was the fact that from the scant few items offered, most looked like, well—–magic tricks! Not only that, but very few of the escape articles could withstand inspection. This forced M & S to begin a lifetime of research and to devise many of their own creations. Additionally, they began to literally search the WORLD in order to seek out unique devices for the escapologist. But, all of the escape articles had to meet several important criteria:

First and foremost, all items have to be of the highest quality.

All items must either actually be, or have the appearance of being a genuine restraint device. Looking like a gimmicky magic trick absolutely will not do.

Whenever possible, the restraint device should be “hands-on inspectable”.

While searching the four corners of the globe to find restraints that fit the above criteria, Mark & Sheila discovered high-quality craftsmen such as IAN McCOLL OF AUSTRALIA; European handcuff companies such as RIVOLIER, CLEJUSO and HIATT; American strait jacket manufacturers, etc. Additionally, they sought input from many of the world’s leading handcuff collectors.

The results of this thirty year quest is our catalog


Thank you very much for visiting our online catalog. Before you get started, just a few things that you might need to know…

First and foremost, we have taken every precaution possible to make sure our products are of the highest quality. However, it can not be said enough times that escape work sometimes involves certain risks. Unfortunately, every year several “escape artists” are seriously hurt, and yes, some even killed while attempting to perform certain stunts. Please understand that Cannon’s Great Escapes in NO WAY endorses the use of any of our products during any dangerous escape act, such as underwater, hanging upside-down, etc. You see, although we stand firmly behind our products, we don’t necessarily know the artist’s professional skill level or his or her ability to perform a stunt. Please understand that by purchasing any of our products, you the buyer assume all the risks that arise from the way you use them. It is for this reason that we will only knowingly sell our escape products to adults 18 years and older. The art of magic and escape is terrific, but unlike general magic, the art of escape is definitely more for adult performers— or at least it should be. But remember, a professional escape artist is also a professional magician. I remind you of this because I firmly believe there would be more escape artists still alive today if they would have stopped to realize that the “really cool escape trick they saw last night on TV” was exactly that—a TRICK. Too many young—and alas, some old— “escape artists” have met their demise because they saw something on TV or read about one of Houdini’s escapes and tried it themselves...never realizing the SECRET SAFETY DEVICE, TOOL, BACK-UP PLAN, etc.

Secondly, you will find lock picking/opening tools and books on our site. These are definitely tools of the trade—the ESCAPE TRADE. Unfortunately, they are the tools of a rather nefarious trade as well: BURGLARY. California law 466.1 PC REQUIRES THE SELLER of these tools to record the buyer’s name, date of birth, address, driver’s license number, and signature on the receipt. This is for all of our protection, and is how it should be. Additionally, we will only sell these tools to adults 18 years and older, and only those who provide proof of their magic affiliation (S.A.M. ID, I.B.M. ID, etc, or law enforcement ID).

When you purchase a magic prop, along with the product you are also discovering the secret. It is the secret that provides most of the intrinsic value in our beloved art. Therefore, we ask that you choose wisely before you buy, because once you receive the item and learn its’ secret, there will be no returns. Of course, any item that is found to be defective will gladly be exchanged.

Many of our items are custom made to your size. Please contact us first if you have any sizing questions.

Please use the order form attached as a master from which to make copies.

We are constantly searching the WORLD for new and unusual escapes. If you have any ideas, we welcome your input. We do BUY, SELL and TRADE .


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