Pentagram

An independent monthly bulletin for all who want good magic

SkcemB&i, 1946 frdce Cine SAMing.

SloSeit MatBin's,

Editor's Foreword.—The war was a great misfortune to Robert Harbin, as for five and a half years he had to sacrifice that period which might have seen the consummation of the Magical act that he had in mind. Not since the days of the late Oswald Williams has there been a British inventor Magician with such potentialities. His creative pozvers are of that order that having got an idea he gets into his workshop and presto—the effect is in being. Although most of the effects that Bob has published have been apparatus effects, he is catholic in his conceptions, and his Telephone, Whittaker's Almanac and and Dictionary Book test, is without parallel in the field of mental magic. Those who have recently had the opportunity of seeing him perform will know that none of the old charm is lacking and that it is only a matter of time, and a short time at that, when we shall see Robert Harbin presenting the big show he has in mind.

This is my latest version of the Vanishing Lamp. On the operator's table stands a solid-looking table lamp. It is picked up and around it is placed a sheet of newspaper. The operator walks forward holding it in one hand . . . his free hand is lifted and brought down on top of the paper which collapses. The paper is crumpled into a ball and may be thrown into the audience.

It is all in the lamp. This is made to collapse absolutely flat, the total thickness measuring not more than a quarter of an inch. Fig. A shows the general appearance of the lamp as it is seen by the audience. Fig. B shows the shape when flattened. Now let us consider its construction. First of all the shade. This is made of six sections of a shape similar to that in Fig. C. The size of these pieces is approximately seven inches in length, three and a half inches at the base and two at the apex. A pattern is cut out and a backing of silvery (not silver) paper glued at the back of each section. These now being joined at the edges with tape, and for additional strength stapled with an ordinary office-type stapler. You now have a shade which will collapse into a flat state. In Fig. D you see the part which forms the base of the lamp. This consists of two pieces of thin fibre board, measuring four inches by six and a half inches. These pieces too are hinged along the short sides with tape. Again staples are applied for strengthening. Now open this part out so that it is circular and cut two circular pieces of fibre board which will form a fairly tight fit (this tightness is essential). These circular pieces are now cut diametrically and also hinged (see Figs. E and F). Now the operator will require three pieces of fibre board, two measure ten and a half inches by one, whilst the third measures twelve inches by two. The two smaller pieces are hinged to F at the points shown, i.e., an inch and a half from the hinge, whilst the larger piece is hinged on the hinge. Three slots in all are cut in part E. Two of these correspond with the positions taken up by the smaller pieces on F, whilst the third slot runs through the hinge itself. The three pieces of card are pushed through the slots, and E and F are now placed in D and hinged with tape and staples at points ninety degrees to the hinges. At four continued on page 19

WMpcid Sjylerfd, umtian

Wd "Si

When Peter Warlock wrote his book " Designs for Magic " I received my copy on the very first day of publication. I was immediately struck with his " Silvertown Express" children's item. I made up the cards and other items required, and, with the aid of two friend's children, rehearsed the routine. Whilst going through it I saw the immense possibilities of comedy and childish reaction to simple movement. I decided to get away from the stereotyped kind of trick and base the effect around a game. Entertainment was what I was after, and using the effect with comedy actions, use of children to the utmost, and not even pretending that the audience were to witness a magical effect, I evolved a glorious piece of children's entertainment. I have used this in my programme ever since that book came out in 1940, and many are the times that I have been requested to repeat the item at subsequent shows.

The routine so far as the effect is concerned hardly varies from the original. It is difficult to try and pass on the complete plot in approved " script fashion," so I will now try and write the entire act in a descriptive manner. From this you should be able to visualize the whole ' game.'

Coming forward to the front of the stage I say " Boys and Girls, as a complete change from magic, I am going to introduce my magical game, and for this I shall want two children to play this with me. Will any who would like to join in put up their hands ? " The children do this and then I choose a boy and a girl whom I think are suitable. If possible you should get a boy about 5 /7 years of age and the same with the girl. To try and tell you of the type to select is impossible, but I have an uncanny way of selecting just the right type from experience, and all I can say is after presenting it several times you too will soon be able to recognise at sight the right type !

The children selected come up on stage, and, after the usual introductions, you place the boy on your left and the girl on your right (on stage extremes).

I am usually standing back a little but in the centre, and stepping briskly down to the front of the stage I say " Now boys and girls " (with great enthusiasm and excitement) " we are going to play the game of Magical Puffer Trains—won't that be fine ? " To boy : " Now if we are to play the game of Magical Puffer Trains we must have a couple of stations." Turning to the boy, " Do you mind being a station ? " '"No," says the boy. " That's fine," I say. To the girl: " Do you mind being the other station," to which she answers " No." " Grand," says I, " then I will find you your stations name boards." Going to table at rear I pick up cards (' Silvertown ' on top). Going down to boy I take card, show audience, and say " Silvertown ! That's a nice name isn't it ? We'll put that round your neck ! " Do so and turn boy facing audience. Walk over to the girl and say " Here is one for you. ' Pennygroes '—that's a funny name, isn't it ? " Put it round her neck and place her same as boy on her side of stage.

Walk to centre of stage and with right or left foot back a little and left or right foot forward—just as if you were getting stance for a quick get-off in a run and with hands clenched excitably extended slightly at side, say " Now we are all ready for the game of Magical Puffer Trains " with emphasis on the words " Magical Puffer Trains." Then suddenly draw left foot back and drop hands to side and pause for a second as if hit with a last minute idea. " Wait a minute," you say. " If we are to play Magical Puffer Trains we must have a station master, musn't we ? " Turning to boy say " Do you mind being the station master ? " He says " No." " Grand," you say, and go back to table and pick up whistle, go to boy and drape it own £aop/ce*&"

round his neck, saying, " There, you are now you're alright." Take up stance in centre as before and in exactly same manner say " We're all ready for the game of ' Magical Puffer Trains.' "

Once again pause slightly and again drawing back left foot and dropping hands, come out with the new idea that has just struck you. " Wait a minute." " If we are to play Magical Puffer Trains then we must have a guard, mustn't we ? " (Note—you will find by this time that the kiddies in the audience are full of fun and will unconsciously answer " yes " each time you make these indirect questions.) Turning to the girl say, " Do you mind being the guard ? " again she answers " No." You then go to table at rear again and pick up green flag and going down to girl, hand it to her asking her to hold it in right hand. Get back to centre of stage and once again take up stance as before, saying same pronouncement: " We are now ready for the game of Magical Puffer Train-s-s-s " (here slur the ' s ' as if again having another idea) and once again relax as before, pause, and say " Wait a minute. Now look here, if we are to play the game of magical puffer trains, we must have something to carry in the train, mustn't we ? I know, we'll have a couple of mail bags." Go to rear and pick up the two cloth bags. {Mine are six inches square and one is red and the other is yellow.) Going to boy, say " You have this little ' Wed ' one " (saying ' Wed ' instead of red always raises a laugh). Put hand in, turn it inside out and back again, and screw top up and say " I've got a little ' Lellow ' one for you," again turning it inside out and back again. The girl holds her's in similar manner to boy only in left hand.

Take up stance again and repeat the announcement of game as before, only this time slurring the ' n ' at end of train—not quite saying " train." Draw back, look at the children and then announce your new idea : " If we are to play the game of Magical Puffer Trains we must have something to go into the bags, mustn't we ? " (saying this to the two helpers). They say " yes." " I know," we'll have two coins." Pick up small tray (mine is eight inches by five inches and has a simple raised edge around it three-sixteenths high). As you pick up tray also finger-palm penny in right hand holding tray in right hand, come forward saying " Now I want one of the Mummy's or Daddie's (or teachers, if school) to loan me a penny and another a half-crown—each of you take a note of the date." Go down to audience and have coins placed on tray. As you are stepping up on to stage again, memorise date on penny loaned, and switching it, retaining real loaned penny in finger palm hold dupe penny in fingers of same hand supposedly reading the date on it (read it aloud to audience), but actually stating the date on real loaned penny. Lay penny down on tray and pick up 2/6, peering at date on this and reading date out for all to hear. Go to boy, in same movement asking him to hold out bag, you take this from him (having laid down tray temporarily) and with bag in left hand clearly show that you insert the 2/6 in bag, but as your hand lowers below edge of bag, switch and leave loaned penny, finger-palming the 2/6. Screw bag up and hand to boy asking him to hold it. Stand back a little and say " There we have the silver coin in the Silvertown station." Go to girl and, taking penny off tray, clearly show that you put in in the bag, but again switching once below edge of bag and really leaving the 2/6 behind, finger-palming the dupe penny. (The trick is now done so you can concentrate again on the presentation.) Again say " There we are, and the penny in the Pennygroes station." Screw bag up give it to girl to hold again and re-run to centre of stage and take up stance as before, after laying tray down on table. " Now, boys and girls, we are really ready to play the game of ' Magical Trai . . ." Again you draw back, pausing, and turning to boy and girl, say " Wait a minute,

I think it would be as well if we put a medal on each of you so that we really shan't forget where the coins are. You don't mind, do you ? " Go to table, pick up two large discs (mine are four and a half, inches in diameter) one with 2/6 on it and the other with Id. on it. On the back of each are display ticket pins so that they can be hooked on to clothing of children. Put the 2/6 one on boy, going to girl and hooking the Id. one on her.

Take up stance again and say " All aboard for the game of Magical Puffer T . . . Wait a minute." Repeat as before, this time standing back and surveying the boy say " You don't look very old for a station master, do you ? " He will say " No." You say " You don't mind if I make you a little older, do you ? " Go to table and pick up false beard (mine is a ginger one) put it on him and say, " Ah, that's better, now we're ready," Take up stance but casually glancing towards the girl don't say anything but draw back and say, " Come to think of it you don't look much like a guard, do you ? You don't mind if I make you more like one, do you ? " Go to table and bring down comedy railway guard's hat (I made mine by cutting a straw hat—boater—all around the crown, leaving a section of the brim for the peak. Black enamelled and with a red enamelled band around it made it look fine !). Set this on the girl's head and then again take up stance. " Off we go for the game of Magical Wait a minute "

draw back. (I meant to have said earlier that as you draw back each time you say " Wait a minute," with an emphasis on the wait. This always produces roars). " If we are to play the game of Magical Puffer Trains we must have a puffer train, mustn't we ? " pause . . . then, " I know, I'll be the puffer train shall I ? "; Stand back as if all set and then say " Wait a minute, this is really a game for little boys and girls and I'm hardly a little boy am I ? " pause . . . " I know, I'll be a little boy just for tonight " . . then pull up trousers over knees for short trousers, and put boy's school cap on your head at rakish angle and take up position by the side of the boy on left of stage, standing pin-toed. (By the time the laughter has subsided you are ready to at last explain the game to assistants.) Now you say " What I want you to do is " (to boy " when you are ready for the train to go to the other station, blow your whistle ; " (to girl) " and if it's alright for the train to come into your station you will wave the flag. Have you got that clear ? " Then say, " I forgot, I must collect the parcel we are to take," (pretend to extract the 2/6 from the outside of the red bag, holding up an imaginary 2/6). " There we are kiddies, can you see it ? " " No," they will shout, so pretend to hold it out further in front of you. Mind that you have dropped it and then get down on all fours and make an imaginary search for it, lifting up boy's foot and pretending to have found it. Once again take up position by boy at his side (close), right hand held aloft with imaginary coin in it and left hand at right angles to left side like small boys do when playing trains. (Whisper in boy's ear that he is to blow as hard as he can.) You make the accepted noise of a train getting up steam and say, " I'm ready," and the boy blows very loud. You throw decorum entirely to the wind, lose you balance, pull boy down on top of you and the two of you are in a heap on the stage. He then rises, leaving you sitting on stage dishevelled and looking blackly at him, saying " I didn't tell you to blow as hard as all that." Rise, take up position again and get him to blow once more. You then shuffle across stage imitating a train as children do, pretending to drop the coin in the yellow bag as you reach that side. Then, pretend to take out the penny as before, take up position, announce that this time you will take the penny across in similar manner and shuffle across again as before. Stand to centre and say " Now, if we have done this correctly, instead of having the 2/6 indicating the 2/6 badge, in this bag we should have the penny." Ask boy to take out coin and deposit it on the tray. It is the penny ! Go to girl and say, " Instead of the penny," indicating the Id. badge, " we should have the 2/6." Girl takes out coin and places it also on tray. Give tray to girl and ask her to take the coins back to the owners. Remove all the impedimenta from them and say " And that was the game of Magical Puffer Trains."

Well there it is. I presented it at the I.B.M. Convention at Hereford and following so many requests to use the routine I have decided to let it go and have pleasure in sending it to " Pentagram," so that you may all have the chance of using it if you want to. It's exhausting I admit, but well worth the trouble, and believe me when I say I always look forward to that part of the programme when it comes along, as I enjoy it as much as the children, and, after all, isn't that the secret of winning the hearts of the little ones in entertaining them ?

Stanley, (Mlim'

a 'Plaint

" « TRY NOT THE PASS,' THE OLD MAN SAID."— (Longfellow).

The late Arthur Ainslie (Wellesley Pain) was wont to submit to us a few of his unsolved problems in conjuring— some very good and some not worth worrying about. Here is one of my unsolved problems. Why do amateurs and alas (!) professionals also, some of whom should know better, still talk and write glibly about controlling a selected card by means of the old-fashioned and out-moded double-handed pass ? The Pass, as a means of card control is like the gearbox on a motor engine—a barbarous device working reasonably well used in very expert hands. The reader of these lines may ask what then do you suggest as a procedure better than the one you condemn ? Well, in a quaint little eighty-four page book, written over a century ago, entitled :

" The whole art of Legerdemain laid open" . . .by . . .

The Sieur H. Boaz, Thirty years professor of the Art, I find the following :—

In showing feats of juggling with cards, the principa point consists in the shuffling them nimbly, and always keeping one card either at the bottom or in some known place in the pack, four or five cards from it; hereby you will seem to work wonders, for it will be easy for you to see one card, which, though you be perceived to do it, will not be suspected if you shuffle them well afterwards ; and this caution I must give you, that,, in reserving the bottom card, you must always, whilst you shuffle, keep it a little before or a little behind all the cards lying underneath it, bestowing it either a little beyond its fellows before, right over the forefinger, or else behind the rest, so as the little finger of the left hand may meet with it, which is the easier, readier, and better way. In the beginning of your shuffling, shuffle as thick as you can, and, in the end, throw upon the pack the nether card, with so many more, at the least, as you would have preserved for any purpose, a little before or a little behind the rest, provided always that your forefinger (if the pack lie behind) creep up to meet with the bottom card, and, when you feel it, you may then hold it until continued on page 19

Qeafptey {Buckingham? &

Ucxlai

The following routine as performed by Geoffrey Buckingham during the past two years, offers one or two novelties on this well-known effect in that all coins are seen to be dropped into the containers and full use is made of the back-palm production. I think that most magicians in this country have seen Geoffrey perform this routine and without quibble acclaimed it as a masterpiece in presentation.

Effect. The operator enters (preferably centre stage) in full evening dress, wearing opera hat, cloak and gloves. Reaching centre stage he commences to remove his gloves, starting with the left hand. This glove is held in the left hand in the usual manner, while divesting the right glove. Upon commencing to remove this glove, however, the operator pauses, turns slightly with right side to audience, reaches out with the still gloved right hand and catches a silver coin in the tips of the fingers. This coin is transferred to left hand which still holds the loose left hand glove. While displaying this coin in the tips of the finger of left hand, the right hand reaches out and catches a second coin. These two coins are dropped one after the other into a small glass bowl which stands on a table at the operator's left. Several more coins are then caught with the right hand and dropped into the bowl one after the other. The loose glove is then changed from the left hand to the right hand and four coins caught with the left hand and dropped in bowl. The glove once more changes hands and the right hand catches eight or nine more coins, which are dropped into bowl one at a time.

Again the glove is passed back to the right hand, and the left hand reaches up and catches another coin. The operator then removes his opera hat and right hand and drops the coin into it.

The coin is seen, and is distinctly heard to drop into the hat. About a dozen coins are then caught with the left hand and dropped into the hat in the same way. They are all seen and heard to drop in and one or two are actually spun into the air and caught in the hat in that fashion. The opera hat is then passed to the left hand, followed by the loose glove which is held on top of the brim with the left thumb. The right hand again catches a number of coins (about twelve) which are dropped in quick succession into the hat ; at the end of which the hat is passed back to the right hand, which pours the coins from the hat into the glass bowl, and the hat placed back on the operator's head, leaving the loose glove in the left hand. This to the audience appears to be the conclusion of the sequence, and the operator's attitude should give that impression. Suddenly, however, he looks down, changes glove into right hand and produces another coin with left hand from

JjteciMvuf, behind left knee. This is dropped into glass bowl. The glove changes hands once more, and after two or three catching movements in the air the right hand with a stream of silver coins is dropped into the bowl with the right hand. The glass bowl is then picked up and all the coins poured into the opera hat, which is once more removed from the head for that purpose. The hat is then placed on the top of a coin ladder and the bowl at the bottom of the ladder, and upon a signal from the operator the coins are seen to descend the ladder from the opera hat and are caught in the glass bowl placed at the bottom to receive them

Requirements. Apart from the clothes mentioned at the commencement, the requisites are a small table with a glass bowl, placed on the left of the performer, and on the right a good sized coin-ladder of the type described in " Nelson Downs'—Art of Magic " with a magazine loaded with about twenty-five coins. For production about forty-five Nelson Downs' palming coins are required, and about eight or nine palming coins slightly larger than the N.D. coins. If these cannot be procured, real half crowns will serve, but are rather heavy for some manipulators.

Fifteen Downs' coins are stacked in the left hand tail pocket and nine in the right hand tail pocket. There is no need for special holders for these stacks if the bottom of the pockets are sloped slightly downwards towards the back in the usual way the coins will keep together.

One coin is placed in a small slot in the braid of the left trouser leg, just above the level of the knee so that half the coin is protruding and can be withdrawn quickly. The remainder of the coins, i.e., about twenty N.D. coins and the eight or nine slightly larger ones, are held in the gloved right hand at the time of making the entrance, the whole stack being pressed against the palm with the two middle fingers, the larger coins being nearest the fingers. When entering the stage, the two hands are together, the back of the right hand being towards the audience, the performer being in the act of removing the left glove. Thus the concealment of the large stack of coins is effected in a most natural manner.

Modus Operandi. It will greatly assist in visualizing this routine if it is remembered that the whole of the production is made with the right hand side of the operator towards the audience, either in the half left turn position or full left turn.

One or two steps sideways or backwards and forwards may be made for variation of position but this should not be overdone. Thus the whole production is principally made up of two moves: (a) the front palm production

made with the right hand with a glove on and the back of the hand towards the audience ; (b) the back palm production made with the bare left hand with the palm of the hand towards the audience. The gloves should be preferably of the yellow cotton variety, as the coins will slide over the cotton fabric better than over chamois leather.

It will be seen later that the loose left hand glove plays a very important part in the routine as it is changed from hand to hand. The whole sequence is carried out as follows :—

The operator proceeds to remove the left hand glove with the right forefinger and thumb, while walking nonchalantly towards centre stage, the timing being such that the glove is completely removed by the time this position is reached. The loose glove is then held in the crook of the left thumb, and the movement made as if to remove the right glove. This glove is not removed but at that instant the operator makes the half turn to the left and looks at a spot about three feet from the ground immediately making the front hand production with the right hand, thus the hand reaches out to the spot where the performer is looking, at the same time allowing the stack of coins to spread towards the tips of the fingers. The little finger is brought forward slightly to form a kind of ledge to support the coins as in Fig. A. The hand slightly tilted to assist in retaining the coins in this position. Almost simultaneously with this movement, the thumb pushes the top coin forward so that it can be held between the tip of the forefinger and thumb, thus effecting the production of the first coin. As the coin is pushed into this position the two middle fingers close up the stack of coins and hold it against the palm as at the commencement of the sleight. This assists in allowing the thumb to push the first coin as far forward as possible, and this position is illustrated by Fig. B.

The whole of the front hand production consists of alternate spreading and re-stacking the coins as each one is produced by pushing forward the top coin with the thumb. With practice this becomes one smooth, continuous sleight, and each coin will appear to be caught in the air. The audience will never suspect that so many coins can be held in a gloved hand, whilst in actual fact the glove gives extra cover. The first coin is transferred to the left hand and after a short pause to display it, a second coin, caught so that a coin is held in the tips of the fingers of each hand. Drop these into the glass bowl, right hand followed by left hand.

Almost simultaneously with dropping the left-hand coin, a third is produced with right hand, followed by one or two more, each thrown separately into the bowl.

The loose glove held in the left hand is now transferred to the right hand under cover of which the remainder of the larger sized coins are gripped by the fingers of the left hand in the back palm position. These can be picked off the main stack held in the right hand by virtue of their larger size.

The operator now looks at a position farther to the left and about head high, as if seeing a coin at that spot, simultaneously reaching up with the left hand and producing a coin by the back palm production. This production needs no explanation, being the well-known sleight described by T. Nelson Downs and other writers. The remaining three coins are produced in the same way and dropped into the bowl one at a time.

To be concluded next month

QAmle& Mwvumhi'a

Jjumei

Charles Harrison evolved this effect with the root idea that it should be a follow-on to the " Ropes and Rings." In the latter the operator has made use of a wand, two lengths or rope and a couple of rings. It is pointed out to the audience that quite obviously if a magician is able to remove a solid ring from a length of rope he should be able to reverse the process. In order that monotony shall be avoided, the operator tells his audience that this time he will use two wands and one piece of rope, as he is about to reverse the magical process. Two small wands or pieces of stick are now introduced, and each tied separately near the centre of the rope (see A). There should be a space of about nine inches between the wands. The ends of the rope are now threaded through the sleeves of the coat which has been used in the previous

Sting, effect (the outside of the coat facing the audience) and two spectators asked to hold the respective ends. They are asked to pull the rope taut. The operator now takes an examined ring, places it behind the coat for a moment or two, and then raising the rope and sticks above the level of the coat collar it is seen that the ring is now threaded on to the rope between the two sticks. Rope, rings and sticks are withdrawn from the coat and everything can be examined. In Mr. Harrison's hand this is truly a remarkable effect.

The requirements are quite simple, just a length of rope, two small wands or sticks, about eight inches long, a solid metal ring and a coat.

(Before detailing the presentation, it should be noted that the basic principle for threading the ring on the rope was given in the " Jinx " by Stewart James, in his effect " Se~ falaljia," and due acknowledgment is paid to that sourceJ)

With a spectator on either side of him, the operator passes the ring to the right hand assistant for examination, whilst the left hand assistant is requested to watch the operator whilst he ties the little sticks in position. On receiving the assent of the right hand assistant that the ring is what it is claimed to be, he is asked to retain it whilst the operator threads the ends of the rope through the armholes and sleeves of the coat. The ends of the rope are now respectively held by each assistant, and when pulled taut all that should be seen by the audience is the back of the coat, and the ends of the rope coming from the sleeves to the hands of the assistant. The ring is now taken from the right hand assistant and held by the finger tips. At this point the operator impresses upon his audience the apparent impossibility of his task. The assistants are each told that on no account must they release the ends of the rope. The ring is now placed behind the coat out of sight of the audience. Under cover of the coat, the operator places the ring over the lower end of the right hand stick (the operator's right hand. In the sketches the letters " R " and " L ", of course, mean right and left.) and carries it in an upward direction (as represented by the arrows in B) over the top of this stick. The result will be as shown in C. This is a matter of moments, and then grasping the sticks, one with each hand, and at the same time clipping the looped rope with the right, the sticks, rope and ring are raised to that level which makes it appear that the ring is threaded on the cord (illustration D). If the reader is thinking that a slackening of the rope might show the rope running through the bottom part of the ring, he need not worry, as he will find in trying this move, that despite what he is doing he can also grip the coat thus preventing a possible catastrophe. The left hand assistant is now asked to pull the cord through the sleeve, the right hand assistant, of course, slackening and then releasing his end so that this can be done. At this point the operator's thumb engages in the loop shown in E, which, as the rope is gradually withdrawn, has the effect of automatically threading the ring between the two sticks. Needless to say that whilst the rope is being withdrawn the coat must be held by the operator so that the rcpe is in a more or less horizontal plane.

PENTAGRAM GRADING : ***** (Five *** (Three stars)—Of Practical Value.

****—" BUT NOT TO PLAY " by Wilfrid Jonson Publisher George Johnson, price 21/-).

The author describes this book as a primer of card magic. That is rather an understatement, for within its hundred-odd pages the reader is carried from the novice to the expert stage. Credit has been fairly given to all sources from whence material has been drawn, and in describing the various sleights and moves, Mr. Jonson, with good journalistic experience, reduces his instructions to a minimum, with the result that greater clarity is obtained. Some examples are easily evident if one first reads Erdnase and then Mr. Jonson. There is plenty of worthwhile advice to both the novice and experienced performer, and the only flies in the ointment are the poor quality of the binding and the publisher's (one of his pet weaknesses) economy of blocks. Although there are over a hundred illustrations, which by themselves are completely adequate, they are grouped into masses of anything up to sixteen drawings. The result to the learner of continual reference through this method is wearying to say the least. Since the days of Hoffman this is the best book of card magic to be written by an Englishman. After the recent craze of books dealing with faked cards, supposedly for the " expert," it is a welcome relief to read a book in which skill plays a chief part, and where with an attainment of such skill, the reader with diligent practice may become an expert.

Unreservedly recommended.

**** " CONVINCING COIN MAGIC " by Victor Farelli (Publisher George Armstrong, price 17/6).

We are somewhat surprised that the author did not make this title completely allietrative and use the word " conjuring " instead of " magic." This is a specialist volume for those interested in coin work, and whilst some may grumble at the lack of novelty in the effects and sleights, he should feel more than compensated by the fact that the author in his usual manner, has analysed so thoroughly and aimed at perfection in the technical presentation. There is some good advice, especially that stars)—Outstanding. **** (Four stars)—Very Good. ** (Two stars)—No Reason for Publication.

on parade of dexterity. Only three actual effects are described, but in their description no point is evaded or omitted. With these effects the author should convince the reader as well as the audience that this is " Convincing Coin Magic." The book is well printed on fine quality paper and carries some fifty-odd photographs and diagrams. Whilst the binding is better than the Johnson publication it still leaves quite a lot to be desired. There is no spine title. This, we believe, is Mr. Armstrong's first publication and a very noteworthy one, auguring well for the future. Unreservedly recommended.

*** "INTUITIONAL SIGHT " by Eddie Joseph (Published by the Vampire Press, price 7/6).

This is an English edition of a routine which was published by Abbott's some years back. It deals very thoroughly with an act similar in effect to that which is associated with Kuda Bux. The reader is taken step by step through every point affecting the presentation, and whilst this is not everyone's magic, there is little doubt of its ultimate effectiveness. Clearly printed and covering nearly thirty pages it is protected with a semi-stiff stapled binding. Recommended.

*** "HOW TO PICK POCKETS" by Eddie Joseph (Published by the Vampire Press, price 5/-). The reader who has been impressed with the performances of various entertaining pick-pockets, will find a great deal of instruction and advice to enable him to formulate an act of his own. Whilst pick-pocketing may seem entertaining, it is not Magic in any sense and is only suitable for those who have pachydermic skins and fear no reproof from a member of the audience who may object to being mauled. The incident of a lady's garter may be passable in variety, but very low taste anywhere else. Mr. Joseph, however, seems to know his subject, and writes in his usual clear and logical way. This too is clearly printed on good quality paper and again is protected by a semi-stiff stapled wrapper.

CU tfiid, time of pxace and yaaduM ta ail mankind, J, &end my SCtruió. Q%eettng¿, ta all municionó, utñeieit&í they may fíe. 3ml the Mem y&ax, my udóA fa fax a yetwud stúuiuy fax Better mayic.

PETER WARLOCK.

Bramcote. December, 1946.

EAttoxiat

Sad indeed was the news of the passing of Wilfred Leyland ; news I found hard to believe, for less than a fortnight before he, Dick Ritson, Tom Boot and myself had been lunching together at the " Imperial," Birmingham. Wilfred was in high spirits, already making plans for the next meeting of N.A.M.S. at Colwyn Bay in March, 1947. He was the kindliest of men, and never did I hear him talk adversely of any fellow-being. With the laying down of his wand Magic in this Country has lost a lovable personality.

One point I should like to bring to the notice of my readers is that any trick which appears in the " Pentagram " involving apparatus has been seen, examined and tested by myself. Whilst it is not my intention to introduce a lot of effects which make use of involved apparatus, certain items, either because of their novelty or magical value— or both, will be described from time to time. Items which are apparatus for apparatus' sake, and which so often grace—or should it be disgrace (!)—sundry periodicals will find no place here. Next month a full description (with photographs and line-drawings) of W. F. Bruce's " Calendar" effect will appear. Old members of the Magic Circle will have recollections of the late Bruce Hurling performing this effect at Anderton's Hotel.

A new periodical is promised from Goodliffe. If it is a genuine attempt to educate the " man in the street " magically (and I am assured by the publisher that it is !) I believe that good may come from this venture. The lack of a good mentor regarding magic in one's youth, means to the enthusiast time and opportunities wasted at a most absorbing age. This magazine may be that mentor. I am, however, interested in the attitude of conjurers generally towards this idea, for to most the idea of magic on bookstalls is anathema. No real criticism can be given until the first copy is seen.

After many years' lapse into oblivion, the Floating Piano is to be revived. Willane tells me that he is causing a piano to float in his new act. It was in 1909 at the Winter Garden, Berlin, that the floating piano was first performed. Afterwards, I believe, Kellar used it in the States. We shall certainly look forward to seeing this new act.

The National Days of Magic have come and gone. It would seem that apart from the financial return to the charity involved that greater interest in magic has been created. I think that this might have been greater still had the various Societies in this country shown more enterprise in staging their shows. In the majority of cases a number of acts were strung together with a compere as a repeated link. With the months of fore-knowledge of the event, more than this might have been attempted by the larger Societies in an attempt to make the general public magic conscious. The shows we saw, with one exception were all good. The exception was one where the organiser saw fit to flounder through forty-six minutes of what he himself would have described as a Louis Lam-Annemann-Hull routine. God rest their souls !

LAMPS — continued from page 13

points on D, small pieces of thin brass are fixed to prevent the part E rising too high. The operator will now find that by pushing up the base part F the bottom of the stand is formed and looks a solid affair. A slight push, however, on E, at the point shown in A causes a complete collapse. A hexagonal shape is taken G, and this fits about half-way up the shade. This is cut into two halves and these too are hinged. A slot is made through the hinge and this is dropped on to the three strips so that the larger goes through the slot, the smaller ones being hinged. The shade is now dropped on top of this hexagonal shape and the two discs parallel with the hinge are fastened to the respective sides of the shade.

Fig. I shows the action of the closing and opening in simple section. A sleeve of linen is fastened round the upright of the stand and the lamp has only to be painted to the operator's choice. To present the effect, the lamp is first fixed in a solid position. On one of the operator's tables is a tray with a flap and on top of the flap a sheet of newspaper. The operator picks up the lamp with his right hand and walks over to the table. He picks up the newspaper and at the same time lifts the flap on the tray. The lamp is placed behind the newspaper and flap, a press of the thumb the lamp collapses and it is dropped on to the tray. Immediately the same hand comes up behind the paper, and, taking the flap, lowers it on to the lamp. A simulation of wrapping is carried out, the operator walks forward, the paper is crushed . . . and another lamp has gone into the unknown !

A 'PLAINT — continued from page 15

you have shuffled over the cards again, whilst leaving your kept card below. Being perfect herein, you may do almost what you like with cards by this means ; what pack so ever you use, though it consist of eight, twelve, or twenty cards, you may keep them still "together unsevered, next to the card, and yet shuffle them often, to satisfy the admiring beholders."

Nothing can be better or clearer than that and to add anything to it would be "an act of supererogation " as my old friend Dr. Byrd Page used to be so fond of saying. Even so, in all humility I would suggest an additional touch. Extend and separate all the fingers of the right hand, press the tip of the thumb hard against the proboscis and so, in the beautiful liquid Italian of Soho, cocka da snooka ! !

PCMT APDAM 1/1 per copy, post free i ILll 1 /\\J1\/\IV1 11/- per year, post free

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from " GREENBANKS," BRAMCOTE, NOTTS, or from your dealer

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THE MAG IO WAND

December issue now on sale. 48 pages of outstanding kiddies' effects and six entries for the Mental Magic Competition. Make sure of your copy by ordering now. Also contains details of The Magic Wand Year Book. Per issue 3/8 post paid Annual Subscription 14/6 post paid George Armstrong, The Magic Wand Publishing Company, 11 Monastery Gardens, Enfield, Middlesex

««CARD MAGIC WITHOUT SKILL**

A NEW BOOK (ready before Xmas) on effects with cards, embracing practically every non-sleight-of-hand principle yet evolved. Look at this list of contributors :—Geo. Braund, Herbert Collings, Douglas Craggs, Lionel King, Jack Kinson, Victor Peacock, Stanley Stevenson, Edward Victor, Peter Warlock — and that's not all ! !

I have seen the proofs, and must say I know of no greater value for money. — Peter Warlock

Stupendous Value : over 200 pages ; 90,000 words ; 150 illustrations and photographs ; bound in thick cloth-bound cover ; nearly 120 magical effects (real magic) ; and much valuable information, formulas, etc. ; Price 5/6 (5/10 post paid) from any magical dealer, including the publishers :

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The most valuable reference book yet published for the magical fraternity

All about everything. Tricks of the Trade, Workshop, Wrinkles, Radio Publicity for Magic, Magic Circle Enterprises Ltd., N.A.M.S., Magical Conventions, Society Reports, Trade Section, Cartoons and Illustrations. List of Dealers and Magical Publications, Classified List of Magical Societies, etc., etc.

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