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T R E A T I S E

- O N -
THINGS
I LLUSORY-
BY
E D . V Y S O N . "
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2 WIZA RDRY .
The State Library of Victoria
A L MA CONJ URING COL L ECT ION*
-4 MZSRDRY.-
T o c ha nge a Pa c k of Ca r ds into a B il l ia r d B a l l .
Ef f e ct :A pack of cards is shown, and also a silk hand
kerchief. T he cards are placed on the palm of the hand and
the handker chief thr own over. On taking the handkerchief
away the cards are f ound to have disappeared, and in their
place is a solid billiar d ball.
Requisites :A silk or linen handkerchief about eighteen
inches square, with a wire frame sewn inside. T he fr ame
s hould be the same size as a pack of cards (3in. by 2^in.) and
mus t have two cross pieces soldered on Hi n. f r om either end,
that is, half- an inch apart. A pack of cards and a billiar d ball
are the only other requisites. T he wir e s hould not be in the
centre of handkerchief , bat about six inches from the side.
Presentation Show pack of cards and place on small
side table, then pick up handker chief in an appar ently careless
manner , and thr ow over left hand. L et the f r ame rest on the
palm of the hwid with the longest end of kerchief tow.ir.Is the
body. Now pick up cards and pr etend to put them on the
handkerchief , but instead, as the hand moves towards the
handkerchief , t ur n the kerchief over and gr ip wire fr ame.
Under cover of the handker chief you now drop the cards into
vest servante, and pr ocur ing billiar d ball f r om same place of
under vest, move up to handker chief and place billiar d ball
against wire cross pieces, with the fingers of left hand bolding it
in position. Show r ig ht hand empty , then place under hand
kerchief and take billiar d ball between fingers and thumb. T he
f r ame resting on the ball gives the audience the impr ession tha t
the cards are still there. T he handker chief is now jer ked away
and the billiar d ball passed for ex amination.
WIZARDRY. 3
B a l l oons fr om Ha t.
Ef f e ct :Perf ormer comes f orward with or dinar y silk hat,
which he shows empty . He then produces fr om it f our large
balloons, whieh he hang s on a stand, the balloons r emaining
there dur ing the rest of the perf ormance.
Requisites :Four strong balloons, five small (say 3in.
long) glass tubes, and f our indiar ubber corks to fit tubes.
Pr epar ation :Pr ocur e three f luid ounces of s ulphur ic acid,
and add two f luid ounces of water. Notice, the water mus t not
be poured into a bottle, as the tr emendous heat generated by
the mix tur e is liable to smash the bottle. It is better to pour
the acid into a basin, adding the water afterwards, and allowing
it to cool bef ore putting back in the bottle. Some bi- cavboate
of soda is also requir ed, this should be g r ound in a mor tar , or
can be done with a spoon on a piece of paper. T his mus t not
be neglected, as a gr eat deal depends on it. T ake one of the
tubes and f ill it with the bi- earbonate of scda, and insert tube
into neck of balloon, and dr on soda inside. T reat the other
balloons in the same way, and alway s keep the tube solely for
this purpose. Now f ill the r emaining f our tubes with the acid
solution, us ing a syringe. T his is most important, as the acid
s hould be within about half - an- inch of the top, and the sides
mus t be kept dry, or the indiar ubber corks will not bold the
same if the sides of the tube are wet. Now add a little water
to soda in balloon*, this f acilitates the mix ing process. The
tubes containing acid, w it h corks placed in f ir mly , s hould now
be put in balloons. T he easiest method of doing this is to put
them in cork foremost, and g r adually easing neck of balloon
along tube. Dr op tube i n balloon and tie neck up f ir mly , so
t hat the gas cannot escape. If an opera hat is used, the
balloons can be concealed under springs, but if us ing an or
dinar y hat, they are loaded in as usual. To produce balloons
inf lated, s imply take out the cork f r om one of the tubes, and
on the s ulphur ic acid mix ing with the soda i t will quickly
inf late. Bef ore pr oducing one balloon take cork of nex t out, so
t hat i t is inf lating while the other is being hung up. T his
saves a lot of time and y ou dont spend as much time over the
hat.
4
WIZA BDRY .
Va se Fu l l of Wa te r for Pr odu c tion fr om Ha t.
T his is a t in vase, enamelled blue, in imitation of an ir i
descent vase. (A f lor al or g ilt design will make it mor e
realistic.) T he chimney or neck s hould be separata f r om
the body and f air ly wide. It should also have a cir cular piece
of t in soldered inside, about one inch f r om the lower end, so
that it can contain water, and,*with an indiar ubber cover, be
perf ectly watertight. T he bodly of the vase shall have about
three- quarters or seven- eights of an inch of neck, so t hat the
chimne y can slide over it. It s hould also have a stud to
corr espond with a slot in chimney like an inver ted L .
T his keeps the neck in position. T he body may be utilised for
a load of flowers or other object. After the chimney and
body have been loaded into hat, take flowers out of body , and
l ay in the bottom of hat. Place c hi mne y over body and
give it a tur n, when the stud will catch, take off cover and dr op
into crown of hat, and then pr oduce vase and pour out water.
Now release flowers and shake out into a waste paper or other
basket. T he indiar ubber cover will not be noticed when
dr opped out with flowers.
--- :o:- - - -
Ca ge for Pr odu c tion.
T he bottom of ftie cage is made of t in (similar to a small
tambour ine or cake tin). T he top is much the same, but
shallower, and convex . T he top has the usual r ing fastened
to it, by which to hang it up. Hal f way in between the two
(or the middle of the cage) is a metal r ing , about half an inch
in depth, with a metal or wooden perch fix ed across. T he
three parts are joined together by thin, but very strong, gold or
y ellow blind cord. To prepare the cage ready for loading , it
is s imply screwed r ound. T he top par t will g r adually twist
down to the centre, and the centre wil l rest on the bottom,
thus f or ming a compact box . Whe n pr oducing f r om hat,
g r adually t ur n in opposite dir ection, and when suspended the
cords will be ex actly like wires. A str ip of lead s hould be
soldered in the bottom of the cage to prevent it s wing ing
unduly af ter the pr oduction. A nd a dummy bir d placed on the
WIZARDRY. 5
percb considerably adds to the effect of the trick. A real bir d
may be used in the trick, but there is a possibility of its br eak
ing thr oug h the cords if at all f luttered. T he cage s hould be
g ilded to match cords.
--- :o:- - - -
Anothe r Rising- Ca r d T r ic k.
Ef f e ct :T he perf ormer shows a glass r od about 18 inches
long , with a s mall velvet- covered platf or m on the end of same,
also a glass case made to f it a pack of cards. A ny person in
the. audience takes out a card, and, af ter noting name of card,
places it back in the centre of the pack. T he glass case is now
placed on the platf or m at end of rod and the pack of cards put
in the case. On calling out the name of card it rises slowly
f r om the case. Per f or mer takes out card and passes to chooser
to show it is the same card.
Secr et:T he r od is & double one, t hat is to say, inside the
glass rod is a thinner glass rod. T he platf or m at the top is
made j us t large enoug h to hold a pack of cards, and there is
a ledge, about a \ inch wide, all r ound the platf or m half an
inch f r om the top, on which the glass case rests. In the centre
of the platf or m is the end of the inner glass rod. T his is
plug g ed at the end and covered with velvet, so t hat it is not
disting uishable f r om the rest of the platf or m. A t the opposite
end of the rod (the handle end) a piece of velvet about 2 inches
deep is r ound it, and there is a pr ojection or trigger which
slides up and down, on the pr inciple of the f ir ing wand, but
minus the spr ing. T he pack of cards used in the ex periment
is prepared in the f ollowing way. Cut a piece If inches long
by 1 inch wide, f r om one end of 25 cards (about) and place an
even number of the r emaining cards on either side of these. It
will thus be seen that when the cards are placed together there
is a cav ity in which the inner r od can move up and down.
Whe n the car d is chosen care s hould be taken t hat it is not
one of the prepared cards. T he car d is placed back in the
centre of pack, and the pack put in the glass case on the top of
the rod. T he name of the car d is then called out, and the
per f or mer slowly forces card upwar ds by r aising trigger. Whil e
6
WIZARDRY.
still r ising the perf ormer takes the card out and passes for
inspection, if the card has been mar ked. T he cards should be
or dinar y play ing cards, f air ly thick, and not those used for
sleights.
-----:o:-----
T he Dy eing: Ha ndke r c hie f T r ic k.
A few methods of working. 1st method:T his is one that
has been perf ormed with considerable success in past years by
Prof . Dav ison, previous to his adoption cf the more modem
appar atus described in the 3rd method. It s beauty lies in its
s implicity , and the only dr awback is t hat y ou cannot show the
las t handkerchief . Take an or dinar y court size postcar d and
cut the corners off at one end, so t hat when rolled into a tube
it resembles a sugar scoop. Fix in a tubular position, then sew
a corner of one of the silks to the inside of the point of lube, so
that when the handker chief is hung over it completely covers
the feke.
Pr epar ation :Put the handkerchief , which is sewn to the
tube, inside first. T hen the 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Presentation :Show paper and intr oduce feke into same
in usual way . T hen pus h one of the handkerchief s f r om table
thr oug h tube with wand. T his pushes one of the previously
placed handkerchief s out at the other end. Repeat this, and at
the thir d time, as the last handker chief comes out, arrange it
over top of paper unt il y ou have suff icient cover for feke.
T hen take feke and handker chief (handker chief hang ing down
in f r ont of feke) between the thumb and finger, dr aw out of
tube, lay both together on table and show paper empty .
2nd Method :In this a t in tube is used which has a
velvet lined par tition in it, so t hat a wand may be passed
thr oug h dur ing any par t of the ex periment. T he handkerchief s
are put in loosely and are pushed out as the others enter at the
opposite end. T his is worked in the same way as regards
g etting the feke into paper, but when disposing of it, it is
dr opped into servante.
WIZARDRY. 7
3rd Method :A tin tube s imilar to the above is requir ed,
but without the par tition. It should be painted dead black
inside and out. A n or dinar y metal r ing which fits slackly
inside the tube is also necessary. Y ou now make a little black
bag, about one thir d as long as the tube, and sew the mouth of
it r ound the r ing . T he r ing will now f it t ig htl y inside the tube.
It s hould be placed half way down the tube, and the handker
chiefs placed i n at one end, one after the other. When wor k
ing the trick, as the handkerchief s are pushed in with wand,
the bag will t ur n inside out. Whe n the last handker chief is
produced, the tube will be precisely the same as it was at the
commencement, only it is reversed. T o dispose of feke it is
more effective to use a black ar t table, but i n def ault, the
or dinar y servante is used.
:o:
Pic tu r e Il l u sion.
Ef f e ct :A massive pictur e fr ame is shown back and f r ont,
all that can be seen is the white canvas at f r ont, the back being
boarded. T he perf ormer covers f r ame with a cloth, and on
f ir ing a pistol, cloth is dr awn'of f , and a beautif ul landscape or
por tr ait is disclosed.
Secr et :T he beading of the fr ame is planed down, so that
there is a space between f r ame and painting down both sides
and along bottom edge of beading. T his space is to allow a
piece of canvas to go down in f r ont of painting , and should be
about half an inch wide. A slot mus t be made in the top par t
of f r ame down which the canvas is put. Sew two rings on to
canvas so t hat they will rest on top of f r ame when canvas is in
position. T he f r ame can either be hung between two up
r ig hts , or rested on a s mall easel. T he cloth is now thr own
over, the pistol fired, and on cloth being dr awn away, fingers
are inserted i n r ing s, canvas is dr awn out and thr own on one
side with cloth, and landscape is ex posed to view.
8
WIZARDRY.
Ca r d Disc ove r y .
Ef f ect :Perf ormer gives lady or gentleman a pack of
cards and tur ns his back (or if per f or ming in a dr awing- room,
leaves the room), while they select one, merely r equesting them
to note the number of the card f r om top when placed back.
When the car d has been duly selected and noted, the conjur or
takes the pack and inf or ms the audience that he is g oing to f ind
the card while holding them behind his back. Put ting them
behind him, be takes a card out, and showing back of it to
audience, places it in bis pocket. He now asks what number
the card was fr om top, and on being told (say) the eleventh, he
counts the cards out on a table. On coming to the eleventh,
be tur ns it over and says, Is t hat y our car d. T he chooser,
of course, says No, and the perf ormer then says, T hat
proves to y ou that the car d I put in my pocket at first was the
one selected, namely , t h e --- at the same time pr oducing
car d fr om pocket.
Secr et:When perf ormer puts pack behind his back, he
takes out a card f r om somewhere near the bottom. He then
shows the back of it to audience and places it in his pocket,
immediately palming it out again and placing on top of pack.
T his makes what was f ormerly the eleventh card into the
twelf th. Therefore when reaching the eleventh card, be tur ns
it over and asks Is t hat y our car d. T he chosen card (which
is now on top of pack) is palmed off and hand placed in pocket,
br ing ing card out as the one previously placed there.
:o:'
T he Wa nde r ing Wa nd.
Ef f e ct :Perf ormer comes f orward with wand and two
long envelopes, pr ov ing one of the envelopes empty by putting
wand inside, withdr awing wand and placing i t on table. He
then seals envelope up and places it in a pr ominent position in
f ul l view of the audience. T aking the wand up ag ain f r om
table, be puts it in the second envelope, immediately af terwards
WIZARDRY. 9
cr us hing or tear ing it up, pr ov ing thereby that the wand has
vanished. On the other envelope being opened, the missing
wand is f ound inside much to the my stif ication of the audience.
Secr et:T he wand has a paper shell which fits slackly
over it, and which is an ex act duplicate of the wand itself.
A f ter tapping table with wand to prove it solid, he places it in
envelope, but withdr aws the shell only , leaving the wand inside.
Whe n the envelope is sealed up and placed aside, the wand is
alr eady there, while only the shell is on the table. T he latter
is now picked up and placed in the second envelope, the
audience being under the impr ession that it is the real wand.
T he envelope is then tor n or cr umpled into a ball, and the
wand has wandered away, being af terwar ds discovered snugly
ensconced in the f irst envelope. A ny k ind of wand may be
used for this ex periment, but one with white tips will be f ound
most effective.
--- :o,- - - -
M e thod for Ha t Loa d.
In this an oblong pl us h covered box is used, with only
three sides. T he load is put into box, and box laid on its side
on centre table. Box is picked np (still on its side) and carried
over to one of the side tables on which the hat is resting, after
being shown empty . T he box is passed over hat, and load
tilted in while so doing , the box being then placed mouth
downwar ds in f r ont of hat. If done quickly the audience never
suspect this bare- faced action. T he conjur or accounts for the
use of the box , by say ing the oper ations can be more pl ainl y
seen when the hat is placed on it.
A S e c ond Ha t Loa d.
A good way of getting a second load into hat is to have
load on a chair back. Pr oduce last f r om first load a few
handkerchief s, and drop on to chair seat. Dr op one on
the floor (appar ently accidentally ), and while bending down to
pick it up, place the band (with hat) on the chair back. Dr op
load into hat, and lay handker chief on chair.
10 W IZ A B DEY .
Anothe r M e thod for Loa ding
is to have a -wire f r amework with red plus h sewn ever it
(leaving one side open), in imitation of a hat pad. T his is very
usef ul where the perf ormer uses a silk hat. After smoothing
nap, oppor tunity is f ound to dr op load into hat.
:o:-
T o Constr u c t B l a c k Ar t T a bl e.
A small square table about 15 inches square is the general
and most usef ul size, thoug h, of course, the size must be
adapted to the size of the articles intended f or disappearance.
T he best method of concealing the traps is to have the table
top mar ked out in squares with gold br aid, s imilar to a chess
or dr aug ht board. Iir st of all, a wooden t o p is wanted,
which any car penter or j oiner will make at very s mall cost.
T he table may have one, two, or even f our traps, but two will
be f ound the best, as most of the table is left solid and prevents
or lessens the possibility of placing a small article on par t of
the table which is minus , and thus doing an unintentional
v anish. For a two tr ap table two holes 3 in. square should be
cut in the table top. These mus t he three inches apar t, and
the outside edges of the squares three inches fr om three of the
sides, and nine inches f r om the r emaining side. T his will
allow for the top being braided in 25 three inch squares, and
will leave 9" x 15" of solid table top. A y ard of velveteen will
also be requir ed, which will cost any thing up to two shilling s.
T ake a piece of the velveteen about 12-J" x 8" and glue r ound
one of the holes, f or ming a pocket when sewn together. A llow
a little to overlap, so that it will have a better hold on table
top. T reat the other trap in the same way, and when the glue
is thor oug hly set sew the pockets up. Nex t take a piece of the
velveteen about 16ins. square and g lue on to the table top,
allowing half an inch overlap on either side. T he overlap
should be glued down to edges of table top. T he g old br aid is
now br oug ht into r equisition, about 6 yards being needed. It
mus t be cut in pieces 17ins. long. Bef ore putt ing br aid on cut
out the velvet f r om over traps, f lush with the sides of same.
WIZARDEY. 11
Now put the br aid on by tacking it in six leng ths over table,,
not omitting to double the end under before tacking . Sis
pieces of the br aid put the other way, and inter laced will com
plete. the check design. A ll that r emains to be done now is to
fasten a piece of mantel border or other f ancy mater ial r ound
the table, us ing brass headed nails f or same, and y ou have a
very usef ul and or namental table.
Ha ndke r c hie f a nd B il l ia r d B a l l Combina tion.
T his is a moder n sleighfc in which the old bur ning globe
may be br oug ht into r equisition, and which f orms a connection
between handker chief sleig hts and billiar d ball manipulation.
Eir s t show bur ning globe (apparently ) empty , then v anis h a
handker chief (red) in any manner pref erable, after which pr o
duce duplicate f r om bur ning globe. Af ter showing to audience
t ur n left side to audience, and get poly chr omatic handker chief
chang er f r om under vest. T hen work handker chief thr oug h
f inger tips into the changer. Now show the poly chr omatic to
the audience and the red handker chief makes it appear to bo a
billiar d ball. Chang e for real billiar d ball and proceed with
billiar d ball manipulation.
--- :o:---
M y stify ing1Ca r d Va nish.
Ef f e ct :Af ter a few sleights with play ing cards, one only
r emaining , this is v anished without hands going near body,
table, or servante. Hands shown with finger s apart.
Secr et :T he car d has a flesh- coloured elastic band fix ed
across the back, and kept in position by a, piece of flesh-
coloured silk, put on with seccotine. T he silk, of course, com
pletely covers the back of the card. When ready for v anishing ,
the elastic is br oug ht r ound to f r ont, and finger s slipped thr oug h
unt i l elastic reaches thumb. T he finger s can now be separated
and hand s hown back and f r ont. T be card will be inpercep-
tible owing to flesh coloured back.
12 WIZARDRY.
Coffe e Ke ttl e Extr a or dina r y .
Ef f e e t :Perf ormer br ings f orward an or dinar y looking
kettle, and places it on small side table, at the same time
announcing his intention of making some hot coffee without the
aid of heating appr atus. He then proceeds to place in the
kettle some coffee beans, afterwards pour ing in a quantity of
water. In a few seconds, the kettle begins to emit f or th steam
f r om spout and lid, and hot coffee is poured into s mall cups and
banded to audience.
Secr et :T he kettle is not so innocent as it seems to be.
It has a circular t in par tition f rom the bottom to the r im on
which the l id rests, thus f or ming a k ind of well or basin. T his
par tition has two s mall holes (about one- eighth of an inch in
diameter ) near the top at the back, and there is another the
same size in the lid.
To prepare the kettle :A quantity of lime s hould be placed
in the well or basin, and the water which is to be poured into
the well mus t have one table- spoonful of spir its of salt in it.
War m coffee is poured thr oug h the spout into the receptacle
which runs r ound the well. T he coffee should be as hot as it is
possible to get it without it g iv ing off steam, and thus betr ay ing
its presence. When presenting the trick, after kettle has been
shown, the beans are dropped into well, the water is
pour ed in, and the lid placed on. T he action of the spir its of
salts on the lime produces steam, which issues thr oug h the
hole in l id and also thr oug h the two holes at back of par tition,
and thence r ound well and out at the spout. T his gives
the audience the impression t hat the coffee is boiling . T aking
the cups, the coffee is poured out thr oug h spout, and handed
to audience.
WIZARDRY. 13
T he Die B ox Contr ove r sy .
Bef ore concluding , I s hould like to mention a few facts
oncer r ing the or ig in and first pr oduction of the above trick
(with f our doors), the honour of which so many eminent (and
otherwise) conjur or s have been claiming . Sidney Lee claims
to have wor k ed it ten years ago, J ul i a n Wy l ie seven years
ago, and others at more recent dates. Most of the f r ater nity
will pr obably be surprised to hear that the trick as now per
f ormed was worked so f ar back as 1886, and possibly before.
T his was i n the States, the inv entor and pr oducer being
Alex Dav is , an Eng l is h mag ician and v entr iloquist, and uncle
to Prof . Dav is on, of Bolton, Eng . Alex Dav is sold the making
r ig hts to Otto Maur er , a New Y or k mag ical dealer, who l is ted
it in 1887. Prof . Dav ison, after seeing it out there, br oug ht it
across the pond and pr oduced the trick in Eng l and in 1889.
These facts prove conclusively that ndne of the present claim
ants have any need to argue over first pr oduction.
T h e En d.
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