Roundabout

with ALAN KENNAUGH

We talk of first class magical secrets being "given away" in boy's books of today, but this is nothing new. As far back as 1856, and probably beyond that date, boys were being instructed in the "correct method" for the cups and balls. They were taught how to perform the Die effect to the complete bewilderment of the public, and a twist on the "Linking Rings" was prominent in the instruction. Numerous other effects were also revealed to young people in magazines, and most of the effects retain their popularity today.

"Every Boy's Book", published well over a hundred years ago by George Routledge and Co., London and New York, has just been handed to me. The Conjuring section foreword recalls "jugglery" through the ages, and relates that in the Norman times, the juggler was termed jongleur, or jocuiator. In the fourteenth century, he became entirely a performer of tricks and feats, and bore the name of Tregetour.

James I was perfectly convinced that feats exhibited by the tregetours of his day could only be performed by the agency of the "old gentleman" whom it is not polite to name. The profession had already fallen very low, and at the close of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the performers were ranked by the moral writers of that time with blasphemers, thieves, and vagabonds. In more modern times, we are told by the foreword, the juggler was called a hokus pokus, a term applicable to a pick pocket or a common cheat.

Then we are enlightened. The generous flow of words go on. "The following pages are not intended to make the young reader either a cheat or a trickster. There is nothing perhaps so utterly contemptible in every day life as trickery, and deception.

"We would caution our young master not to obtain by these amusements a love of deception which is only allowable in such feats of amusement. Also which is no way culpable when every one knows he is deceived. But we would advise him strongly to cultivate in his own mind the virtues of sincerity, straightforwardness, candour, openness, and truth; to shun subterfuge,, and deception'as he would a venomous reptile; and to hate a lie as he would hate that same old gentleman whom we were too polite to name, and who is the father of it." So now you know.

I found the book most enlightening for it's well described pieces of magic, not only under the conjuring section, but under a scientific chapter.

Here we had items of natural magic with principles explained, and on which I know many of our popular effects of today are based. Items, uncanny in their appearance are fully described, and are brought about by magnetism. Optical illusions, and those depending for effect on scientific principles are very interesting.

In the actual conjuring section boys are told how to make the pass; how to perform the rising cards; and numerous other lessons in legerdemain are brought out.

Under the heading of "Fire Eater" we are told—"If the young conjuror is desirous of appearing in the character of a fire-eater, it is very easily rpanaged." Then under "Ventriloquism," the passage goes—"This is an art by no means very difficult of acquirement, if the young reader will take the pains."

But I hasten to close this column, lest Lenz, and George Blake, reading the above paragraph bring the weight of their experience about my ears.

Pase 182- magic magazine

"DIVINING DISC

Len sent this script along minus a title, but we think the above is an apt one, as you will see upon reading the effect. The performer sets upon the table a disc upon which he places ten playing cards, face downward, clockwise fashion. In the centre of the disc and pointing towards the edge is a cut-out hand or pointer. He demonstrates how the disc itself can be revolved, and yet the pointer remain stationary, thus the cards can be made to travel past the pointer. In other words, the clock face moves round but the hand stays put.

He now invites a spectator to move the disc round, clockwise, and to note how many cards pass the pointer. This is done while the performer's back is turned, and, facing front, the performer is able to immediately turn up one of the cards, the spots on which tally with the number the spectator is memorising. This effect can be repeated ad lib.

Len's idea is an elaboration of a 'Ten Card Effect' the formula for which will be found in Modern Magic, page 104. But please do not despise it because of its age. Before a lay audience it is a complete mystery.

In the old effect ten cards had to be laid out edge to edge and moved from one end to the other, the performer divining how many cards had been moved, but the lay-out was cumbersome and there was a great risk of the obliging-as-he-might-be spectator making a mistake in the transposing of the cards. That is why, back in 1934 George Blake devised his 'Burmese Bangle', an effect similar to that now described by Len^Wallace.

Imagine a circular base, about 14" in diameter, in the centre of which is fixed a small spindle, and over this, another disc, similar in size, complete with centre hole, so that the upper disc may be revolved. On the spindle is now fixed a pointer about 3" long, so that it almost reaches the inner ends of the cards. (See illustration). Of course the dimensions of the discs can be considerably reduced if one decides to use miniature instead of full sized cards.

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It is suggested that small clips be used to temporarily hold the cards, otherwise the well meaning spectator may disturb them during the process of revolving the disc, and small tongues of brass would serve the purpose.

The ten cards used are of any suit but their values range from Ace (for 1) up to 10. They are set up in correct order, the ten being on top and the ace at the face. With the arrow pointing away from him (that is towards the spectator) the performer starts to deal the cards round the disc, placing the first one at the arrow point. He proceeds clockwise, thus dealing out the nine, the eight, and so on, concluding with the ace on the left of the first card dealt, the ten.

He now illustrates what he wants the spectator to do, that is, to slowly move the disc clockwise, at the same time noting just how many cards pass the pointer before he stops revolving the disc. The performer illustrates by moving say 2 cards, or to be correct he moves the disc until two cards have passed the pointer. This appears to be just an illustration, but from here on, he has all the clues he needs. He turns his back, the spectator moves the disc, and the performer now turns face up a card which corresponds with the number of cards which passed the pointer. How?

The operator must visualise the positions of the cards as they are placed round the disc. (See the OUTER figures in the illustration), and please note that the POSITIONS are numbered in the opposite direcrion to the sequence of the cards values. The positions are 1 to 10 in a clockwise manner but the values are 1 to 10 in an anti-clockwise direction.

Now ler us go back to the beginning of the effect. The cards have just been placed on the disc and the performer knows that the ten rests opposite the arrow, that is at No. 10 POSITION. He obligingly illustrates the procedure by moving two cards clockwise. Thus he now knows that the ten is at Number 2 POSITION. He merely adds the VALUE OF THE CARD THERE TO ITS POSITION ON THE DISC, that is 10 plus 2, and the product is 12. Ignoring the first digit of the product the remaining figure, 2, is the key. NO MATTER HOW MANY CARDS THE SPECTATOR MOVES THE CARD AT NUMBER TWO POSITION WILL COINCIDE IN VALUE. Suppose the spectator move 4 cards. Turn up the card at the 2nd position and it will be a four-spot.

Again, the performer mentally adds the VALUE of the card to its POSITION and gets his next key. Thus, 4 plus 2 equal six. He turns round, the spectator moves the disc and the performer, facing front goes straight to whatever card is at position 6 and the divination is correct. Suppose a seven turns up, then the spectator revolved seven cards past the pointer. Again, he adds the VALUE of the card (Seven) to its position (Six) making 13. Ignore the first digit and 3 will be the key number for the next repeat.

So the formula then is:—ADD THE VALUE OF THE CARD TO ITS POSITION ON THE DISC FOR THE NEXT KEY NUMBER, and repeat this after every turn up of a card. It is of course, advisable to ask the spectator NOT to move more than 10 cards, as, you say, "there are only ten cards on the board."

"PRO-VAN"

GLASS & LIQUID

by ALEX McKEOWN

This trick, the vanish and re-production of a glass of milk or any other liquid, is a combination of rwo effects, one, the well known Sucker Beaker Vanish, and the other, a Square Circle type of effect.

Firstly, the beaker of the Sucker Beaker Vanish is dispensed with, for, although suitable for the sucker effect, it does nor resemble a glass of liquid. So I recommend the use of a bottomless tumbler of similar size, treated on the inside to represent milk, or whatever liquid you use. I made three of acetate (celluloid) bur, for handling, I much prefer the glass.

You also need a genuine tumbler to match and two tubes, one to fit inside che other, and both to cover the tumbler. These tubes can be round or square, or, if you like, one of each shape. A small hole, is made in each tube, borh holes to co-incide, and to be below the half-way line of the tumbler. Decorate the covers to suit. Mine are made in copper sheet and chromed to match the Sucker Beaker Effect.

The glass is filled with liquid (obviously of the type your fake represents) and a patch of black tissue paper is stuck on the outside of the glass, right where the glass would be seen through the holes in the tubes. Use Melrose, vaseline or similar to srick the paper, so that it may be removed with ease, later on.

The effect you should now know. First show the tubes to be empty, one by one, after the fashion of the Square Circle effect, nothing being seen in either tube due to the black art effect" of the pieces of tissue of paper. Leave the nested tubes for a moment and perform the Sucker Beaker Vanish, returning later to the tubes, to produce the vanish liquid and glass.

When removing the glass of liquid reach into the rubes with the left hand, lift and turn the glass as the right hand takes it to slide the paper patch down and crumple up. The curtain on the Sucker Beaker Vanish can have a Jittle added feature. Paint the words on the rear side, such as "Caught", "Cone with the Wind", etc.

" CURIOUS CURRENCY"

A Further Routine on this trick—

I have found that the routine supplied with this effect does not suit my style of working and I feel that the ingenious principle of it is not appreciated fully owing to the fact the average spectator believes that you can palm the two pennies, halfpenny and farthing underneath the handkerchief. I have therefore evolved the following routine.

You can commence by either putting on the table the fake with the other three coins, or by borrowing the coins and switching one of the pennies for the fake. In either case you have a further ordinary penny in your right coat pocket. For the sake of illustration, let us assume you have chosen the former method.

Place the four coins on the table, with the feke at the top right hand corner, and patter as follows:—"A magician was showing me a trick the other day with two pennies, one halfpenny and a farthing. First of all, he laid them on the table and then covered them with a handkerchief". As you cover the coins be sure to let the audience see that both your hands are empty.

"Now while this magi was explaining the trick I sneaked my hand underneath the hanky, and stole one of the pennies, which I slipped into my pocket". Do this, taking one of the faked pennies (those who possess the trick will understand) and put it into your right coar pocket. Then afterwards show the hand quite empty, although not mentioning the fact.

"Still the magician carried on about the marvellous trick he was about to perform, so l thought I'd be a devil and steal another by "TERRY"

penny". Take the other faked penny from underneath the handkerchief, place it in the right pocket, and this time palm the ordinary penny from the pocket, keeping it in the finger palm position.

"Well, after I had done this, he was still muttering about this trick, so I wondered what would happen if I stole the halfpenny? Anyway, in the end, I did!" Take out the fake halfpenny, leaving the palmed penny in its place and put the halfpenny in the pocket. "I thought I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb, so I stole the farthing too". Drop the farthing in the pocket.

"Suddenly the magician made the dramatic announcement that he was going to vanish the two pennies, the halfpenny and the farthing and with that he whipped away the cover only to show that the coins were still there! Then he sorrowfully explained that the trick had gone wrong!" Of course, at this srage there is usually a dive for the coins, but of course they are quite ordinary.

NOTE.—This trick is a minor miracle and you are strongly advised to get it. I must emphasise that each time you take your hand out of your pocket let them see that it is quite empty and when you palm out the penny rest your hand on the table in a natural position. Above all don't draw attention to the hand. If you use this routine you will find that you have the slickest little close-up you could wish for. One final point. You can if you use false pockets show the pocket empty afterwards. using, of course the trouser pocket, but this is not necessary.

A DREAM COME TRUE — by EDDIE JOSEPH (Continued from Page 187)

Magicians and one of three founders. It is worth mentioning here if for no other reason except to amuse the reader, that in the book section Gene has this sign on display in bold letters "THIS IS NOT A LIBRARY. THESE BOOKS ARE FOR SALE." I got a great kick out of this and everytime I think of it I chuckle to myself.

Thus ended our glorious visit to Buffalo. At 2 a.m. one morning we were driven by Rev. and Mrs. Elz to the Central Station to catch the New York-Chicago bound train for our destination, about 600 miles away . . . Battle Creek. Can we forget the roaring time we had over there? . . . NEVER !

(To be continued next month)

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