Secret Boor


Here is a prop such as apparatus [overs will smack their lips over, while the manipulators will lift their hands in horror and despair. I like it because it looks attractive and mysterious, and is a satisfying thing to work. In a children's show, you can't go wrong with it.

What the audience sees is a nicely decor-orated screen, the decoration being composed of a series of panels, one of which, the centre one, is much larger than the rest. Indeed, the small panels form a sort of frame for the large one. It could in point of fact be a representation of an oil painting in the usual elaborate gold frame. This is the sort of decoration I prefer myself.

The diagram will, I think, show you pretty clearly how the prop, looks and works. The picture (centre panel) hinges down towards the audience, and reveals what appears to be a shallow recess. Silks or large cards can be placed into this from the top and then the picture is hung back into place.

When it is once more opened the cards or silks have vanished, or have changed, according to what effect the performer wishes to convey.

You will see from Figure 1 that the effect is brought about by the use of a pivoted 'box', which is divided through its centre with a thin partition, thus forming TWO recesses, each of which is fronted with a sheet of celluloid or perspex. The top of each recess is open, bur it will be noted that the openings are at opposite ends, for a reason which will soon be apparent.

A length of strong wire is bent into the shape shown in the sketch and the short return ends of the wire are housed in two holes, drilled in the centre of the ends of the 'double box'. At this stage you should be able to rotate the box quite freely in the wire frame. The bottom of one of the receisses is then weighted, using lead strips so that the box always settles with the weighted portion at the bottom. Finafly, a small turn catch is screwed in the centre of each open end, the purpose of these being to retain cards in place, should you be using the apparatus to bring

about the vanish, production, or exchange of such cards. Silks, of course, will keep themselves in position. Two small clips will be needed ro fix the wire frame to the back of the screen, and this assembly is shown in Figure 2.

Sectional details of the screen are shown in Figure 1, "A" being the screen proper, "B" the hinged panel, "C" the cross struts (pivotted to form feet and to fold back parallel with rhe screen for packing) and "D" is a length of quarter round material glued to the back of the screen, on which to pivot the cross struts "C". A small catch will be needed at the top of the hinged panel, to keep it in place when in the vertical position. With rhe screen thus made, you are ready to fix the double box to its rear.

Fix the wire frame by means of the two clips shown in Figure 2 to the rear of the screen, and above the cut-out opening, so that rhe recesses of the double box will fit, in turn, over the opening in the screen. Note that the 'loop' of the wire frame is bent back almost at right angles, as shown in Figure 1.

The working shouTd now be pretty obvious. The silks, say, to be exchanged are placed in the compartment which normally has its opening at the top, and the weighted portion is then brought uppermost.

A Completely New Type of


I have made mv compass slightly different from the original one. I prefer it to be square, as it is more simple for the audience to foliow, and therefore, because of its simplicity more of a mystery.

The arrows on the back and front are at right angles to each other, and the sketch herewith will clarify the position and help you to follow the patter.

"When I knew I was coming to this theatre, I realised that you would all want to know where the show was being held, so I made this little wooden board and painted arrows on both sides". (Show both sides of the board by revolving on the corners B and C).

"I erected it outside the theatre and was very pleased with my handiwork I called the manager to see it. 'Very nice!' he said, 'for the people in front, but those at the back will be walking away!' " (Revolve the board on corners A and D).

"So I pulled the board down, repainted it, and once more called the manager. This time he said 'It's alright in the front, but the back is useless. (Revolve the board top to bottom and the arrow points downward). There's a hell of a show down there".

by RAYMOND, of Margate c front- d

"Once more I repainted the sign and carefully checked it to see that it was alright" (Revolve the board on corners B and C). "Again I told the manager bui: this time he did NOT come to see it. Surely, he thought, I could not be wrong three times".

"Well, as it happens the Mayor was coming to the show tonight and the last anyone saw of him, he was wandering around the roof looking for the way in, and no wonder!" (Revolve left to right and then change to corners A and D and revolve, arrow points upwards on both sides) "Believe me, this is the last sign board I shall paint".

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