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Updated: December 01, 2023

An original "Frankenstein's Lab" Kenneth Strickfaden developed, variable traveling arc as used in the Mel Brooks comedy Young Frankenstein ( 20th Century Fox, 1974 ).

This traveling arc is composed of wood, brass, plastic, and metal. Elements of the arc appear in the Young Frankenstein film, including the large base and interior clear plastic tubing, though certain components were added later for additional productions. This traveling arc was also used as part of Strickfaden's traveling science shows that toured the country and demonstrated his inventions.

This particular prop was used in multiple productions dating back to the 1930's, when Strickfaden was engrossed in the rapildy-growing genres of science fiction and horror. Strickfaden was responsible for the electrical special effects in more that one-hundred films and television shows, including The Munsters ( Universal Television, 1964-1966 ), The Wizard of Oz ( Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1939 ), Flash Gordon ( Universal Pictures, 1936 ), The Bride of Frankenstein ( Universal Pictures, 1935 ), Batman ( Columbia Pictures, 1943 ), Frankenstein ( Universal Pictures, 1931 ), and many more. Young Frankenstein was be the last film Strickfaden would participate in before his death.

The set of Dr. Frankenstein's lab, including laboratory equipment, was rented from Kenneth Strickfaden for the production of the film, which had previously been used in the laboratory scene in Frankenstein from 1931. This variable arc makes an appearance in the film during the scene where Dr. Frederick Frankenstein ( Gene Wilder ) brings life to The Monster ( Peter Boyle ), with the assistance of Teri Garr ( Inga ). The variable arc can be seen just behind the characters as The Monster's table is lifted through the roof of the laboratory. When the table is lowered, another shot of the arc is visible in the background.

In a book titled Kenneth Strickfaden, Dr. Frankenstein's Electrician ( McFarland & Company, Inc, 2005 ) Harry Goldman writes, "The variable arc was one of Ken's favorite inventions. The rate at which the electrical discharge ascended could be varied. In Tron ( Walt Disney Productions, 1982 ), it was used for sound rather than visual effects." Prop Measures: 53 x 17.5 x 17.5 inches; Crate: 62 x 28 x 22.5 inches.

Value: $15,000.

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