The Chinese Pigeon Production

A good flash and easy to perform.


Performer calls attention to a large easel-like structure with a frame at upper part. Two light frames with paper stretched across each frame, are then shown. One of these is placed at the back of the easel and the other in front. Magician thrusts his hands through the paper and produces a white pigeon. He then breaks paper still further and allows other pigeons to fly out. Paper in frames is then torn away and easel shown to be unprepared as at first.


1 -- Chinese easel, which is specially constructed for concealing a few pigeons.

2 -— Two frames with paper stretched across.

NOTE: This production could also be used for the appearance of other articles. A big silk flash could be worked from it.


The Chinese Pigeon Easel:

A study of the illustrations will give the method of construction. Fig. 39 shows the easel before it is decorated. The easel is made into two parts for packing. The upper part with frame fits onto lower base by means of wooden pins, Fig. 40. The center rod in base can be removed for further compactness in packing if desired.

Fig. 41 shows a rear view of upper part. You will note that the apparent decorative panel at the top is really a screen for a compartment to hold the pigeons.

Also that the bottom of the compartment is really hinged at one end and supported at the other end by a metal pin or bolt, Figs. 42-43. When pin is pulled out a bit, door drops to side of frame. To make this practically noiseless, a piece of rubber tubing is fastened to side of frame near bottom for bottom of compartment to strike against, Fig. 41.

Fig. 4 4 shows appearance of upper part of easel with pigeons inside compartment and door closed.

Fig. 45 gives a view showing bottom of compartment released and fallen down against side of frame.

Fig. 45 gives a view showing bottom of compartment released and fallen down against side of frame.

Frames must be built to fit into the frame of easel. Two frames are constructed as shown in Fig. 4 6 and covered with paper (opaque) as shown in Fig. 4 7.

NOTE: Easel looks well decorated in Chinese style, Fig. 48.


Easel is brought forward with front towards audience. The pigeons are concealed in compartment.

Walk behind easel and show it without preparation.

Show one of the frames with paper thereon on both sides and place it on the rear. A thumb screw on each side of easel is used to hold frame in place. Fig. 48.

Show the other frame both sides and place in front of easel, Fig. 49. Hold with thumb screws.

Release pin at side allowing bottom of pigeon compartment to drop down. This drops the pigeons down between the two paper frames.

Break paper about center. Reach in and take out a pigeon and toss it into the air. Tear paper still further and allow the rest of the pigeons to escape. Fig. 50.

Tear off paper as much as possible from both front and back frames so that audience can see through frame of easel again.


This type of illustration has been very illusive to audiences and is as much of a mystery today as when first introduced. Theodore Bamberg, Servais LeRoy and Dr. Nixon have made feature numbers of "vanishing" doves or ducks in a box, then dissecting the box and table, piece by piece, and showing that the live stock has actually disappeared.

Various methods have been brought out to accomplish the effect. The method I am about to describe was worked out by Floyd Thayer of Los Angeles and has the advantage of causing an instantaneous visible "vanish" of the doves or ducks. They can be seen by the audience up to the last moment then suddenly disappear.


On the stage is a neatly decorated oriental looking table upon which sets a handsomely decorated box, the lid of which opens at the top. On the front of the box is a door to open down, thus permitting a view into the interior of the box.

Nearby is a cage which contains a number of pigeons or ducks.

Performer shows a rectangular box with bars and opening in front and places same in the large box.

Performer opens front door of box so spectators can see interior.

The bar effect gives a sort of a cage appearance.

Assistant hands performer the doves or ducks one at a time and they are placed in the barred compartment. Audience can plainly see each dove or duck in full view behind the bars.

Performer closes the lid of box when all the live stock has been placed in the compartment.

The performer then fires a pistol and all the birds automatically suddenly vanish while the eyes of the audience are concentrated on them. The disappearance is startling and instantaneous.

Performer now closes up the front door of the box and turns the table completely around showing all sides. The box is then entirely dissected and the parts stacked flat one on top of the other. Finally the table top is removed, shown both sides and lastly the table frame itself.

The birds are gone.


1 - Thayer Super-Vanish Outfit which consists of Decorated Table Specially Constructed Box Barred Compartment for Doves or Ducks Cage for the Doves or Ducks.

2 - Animals that are to be "vanished" such as doves, ducks or rabbits.


Fig. 51 gives an illustration of the table. The sides are cut out with a scroll saw. The top sets on loose so it can be easily lifted off. The table base is 29 inches high, 28 inches long and 18 inches wide.

Figs. 52 and 53 give cross section views of table. Fig. 54 shows how sides are held together with corner blocks and reinforcing strips. The table base packs in one piece.

The table should be decorated. (54-12)

The Box:

From the standpoint of the audience the box looks just like a nicely decorated box with a lid and a door in front which can be opened so that they can look into the box, Figs. 55-56.

However, it is magically arranged in a very clever way.

The sides, top and bottom are arranged so they can be easily dissected. The various sides are held together with hinge joints. Fig. 57 shows this arrangement. The pin is soldered in one part of the hinge and attached to one side of box while the other part of hinge is attached to adjoining side. When both parts of hinge are fitted together the sides are held together but they can be easily separated by moving one side to the side and pulling pin out of other part of hinge. Fig. 57 shows hinge separated while Fig. 58 shows how the sides of box are held together. It requires two hinges on each edge of side to be attached to another.

Fig. 59 shows a cross section of box and arrangement of hinges.

Fig. 59 shows a cross section of box and arrangement of hinges.

Fig. 60 shows another cross section of the box, looking from top down. On one side you will note a special metal and wooden container that revolves on a pivot and arranged so it can be swung to the inside or the outside.

Fig. 61 gives another cross section of the box showing container with its raised wooden lid and door on its front. The container is concealed from audience because it is into this that the doves are placed to be vanished.

Fig. 62 gives another cross section of the container. Also Figs. 63, 64 and 65. The latter figures show how container is pivoted to swing in the side of box.

The front part of the container is fitted with special bars - Figs. 62 and 63 show this.

The bar arrangement is for the special purpose of causing the birds to "vanish" suddenly from the eyes of audience and are similarly constructed as the visible "vanish" screen in Lesson 52.

There are really two sets of bars one behind the other. The rear set is covered with black cloth and slides in a groove. When rear bars are parallel with front ones audience can see into box. When rear bars are moved to cover openings in front set, the vision is cut off. Box is dark inside with lid closed and it is difficult to tell whether the openings between bars are closed or open. A piece of glass is behind the rear bars far enough back so as not to interfere with bars sliding.

Fig 68 is a cross section working view of how front of dove container is built. Note the metal door, the permanent front bars, the sliding rear bars and the glass at back. Note also the catch in metal door, the pivot and the small slots cut in sides of box proper to receive Stop K so it can only go so far and hold swinging container in proper position.


Fig. 69 gives another cross section working view showing position of pivots, etc.

The rear bars are pulled back and forth by means of a string attached to ends of rear bar set. The string runs through ends of front side of container and then out into box proper and through side of box where it can be easily controlled from outside. This is the one that closes the bars and shuts off inside of box view from audience. The other cord to open bars again is merely a short one running out opposite end of front side of container. The container is painted black inside. The front bars are painted the same color as the bars in barred compartment.

Barred Compartment for Doves or Ducks:

This is a special section that is shown to audience and placed into the box for the purpose of holding the animals placed therein. Fig. 70-71 shows the container which is 22 x 12 x 6 inches. It is made of wood. The bars are same size and same distance apart as those in the special container. It is painted black inside. The outside color may vary.

Fig. 72 shows how compartment fits into box behind the dove container.

When compartment is put into box audience thinks you slide it up to front of box next to door. When you open front door audience sees the bars of the real container and thinks it is looking at the bars of the compartment you just placed into the box. The audience never knows of the revolving container into which the

doves or ducks really go. They are led astray by the other barred compartment.

The Cage:

To the audience this is just a nicely decorated cage with a hinged top and front door, Fig. 73, for the purpose of holding the live stock to be used in the illusion. The cage, however, has a DOUBLE purpose in that it not only holds the doves or ducks, but has a specially prepared top for the purpose of eventually concealing the live stock to be "vanished".

Fig. 74 shows the under side of top which merely appears to be reinforced by two-by-fours.

The cage is 20 inches wide, 30 inches long and 24 inches high.

Figs. 75, 76, 77 and 78 will give you a good idea of the construction of the top of cage with its movable panel which can be depressed at will. This is accomplished by curtains on spring rollers. The spring rollers have enough tension to keep panel in normal position until undue pressure is brought to bear on panel when panel sinks down supported on each end by a curtain.

Fig. 78 shows cross section of panel depressed when the side of box with container full of doves or ducks is placed on top of cage.

This gives appearance to audience of side of box being flat. They cannot see one side of the side but when it is laid down flat on top of cage they naturally take it for granted that there is nothing on other side, never figuring that there is a load which pushed down the top panel of cage to make room for it.


Have box on table with the door side of box towards audience as in Fig. 56. The cage with birds should be at your right side - say about three or four feet away.

You open top lid of box. This should be kept in place by metal holder. Pick up the barred compartment and show it all around and place in the box - Fig. 79. Fig. 72.

Open the front door of box as in Fig. 67 showing the audience the barred compartment you have just placed in (?). What they really see is bars of the revolving container.

Assistant opens cage and hands you the doves or ducks one at a time. You hold each one up a moment, then place into the real container. Audience can see each bird as it is placed in, through the bars - Fig. 80.

When all the birds are placed in container, fasten the wooden lid on container and shut down the lid of box.

Step to side of box where string is to cause the "vanish", grasp string with nearest hand while the other hand you point to doves or ducks inside. Pull string which closes openings between bars and birds have seemingly "vanished".

If you care to, you can shoot a small pistol, loaded with a blank cartridge at the moment you pull the string. This adds a little action to the "vanish".

Close the door and fasten with catch. Go to rear of table and box and raise the lid. Remove the barred compartment, Fig. 79, and show it inside and out to be empty. Place aside on the floor.

Close lid again and revolve the table with box so that door on front of box comes to the rear. Undo catch, push side of revolving panel and cause container to come to the rear outside of box - Fig. 83. Adjust catch to hold panel firmly in place.

Remove top of box sliding to side and separating hinges. Place on top of barred compartment after having shown top freely. Remove front of box and give to assistant, standing to the right, who displays both sides while you remove back side and quickly place it one the top of cage — Fig. 85. Let it drop onto drop which pushed down the panel and adjust itself into position - Fig. 78.

Assistant places side of box he is holding on top of this.

Then the other two sides are removed and placed on top of cage with other sides and finally the bottom is raised up, showing both sides, and placed on other sides.

Here you give time for applause and bow slightly. You should step slightly forward for this.

Following this, you should pretend to hear someone say that birds are in the table. Then shake your head, appear to hesitate, as in doubt, but finally go over, stand behind table and lift up the top. You should lift it up with a pretended exertion to give the impression that the top is very heavy. Do not let audience see the under or rear side of it. Pretend that the doves or ducks are really on the back of it, but that you are trying to conceal same.

Another good effect is made by tucking your hand under top while you are lifting it as though tucking birds in some place; do this, even though you have assistant reach under and tuck and finally help you in lifting it off. Set top down on left side of table base very carefully on one corner. Then shake your head and say, "Not there". But audience is not satisfied if you have properly worked it up and believe they are on the back of board.

Finally pretend to hear someone say, "Turn it around". It is very likely someone will make that request. Then turn board around as in Fig. 85 from one corner to another without showing back of the board. Then inject this patter, "Oh, you mean turn it around the other way". Reverse the turning process in the opposite direction, but do not expose rear of board.

"Now everyone is satisfied. The doves are gone".

Following this, there is generally a commotion amongst the audience until the board is reversed to show the back as well as the front.

Now have your assistant grasp board as you walk to rear of table base. Pick it up and hold it up so that audience can look through the opening seeing you on the other side. Place base on floor and bow slightly to the applause.


Handle the side with container on as though it were just as light as the other sides. You will get so you can just apparently throw it on cage as far as audience is concerned even though you really use extreme care. Lower edge of side must touch top of cage before side is allowed to drop down. Your speed on dropping down will depend greatly on the working condition of your top panel in top of cage.


In packing the illusion the box fits into the cage, and the cage in turn into the table base. It is well to place all into a specially made crate for protection.

In performing it is well also to place sawdust in bottom of cage as protection when doves or ducks are inside.


Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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