Edited by GEORGE ARMSTRONG No. 254. (Vol. 46, Part 2) Now on sale
MATHEMATICS, MAGIC AND MYSTERY by MARTIN GARDNER gives you five first-rate tricks with cards, common objects, dice, numbers, etc., all based upon a mathematical principle—including a clever vest-turning stunt.
PARTY FOR PAMELLA by JACK GITTINGS continues the outstanding series for the children's entertainer, dealing this time with SILK PRODUCTIONS, together with suggested presentations for standard props, patter, tips, routines, etc.
MY MAGIC by BRIDGER LEWIS gives you the terrific B.L. EGGS FROM HAT ROUTINE. Whether you are a born comedian or a naturally straight performer you'll not be able to avoid getting laugh upon laugh if you use this item. It's ideally suited to adult or children's shows. Also a very novel item in THE TAPED BOX in which borrowed objects mysteriously get into a closed and taped box.
describes his beautiful FLYING SALT routine, and you do not need to buy expensive oroos for this one. For good measure A NEW CARD TRANSPOSITION causes a signed card to vanish from a sealed envelope and return to the pack reversed. And there is a useful article by E.V. also, on FALSE COUNTING.
THE QUEEN OF THE RIBBON CAGE by CLETTIS V. MUSSON will be for you if you have ambitions to be an illusionist. This stage filling illusion can be made for less than £5, is colourful, baffling and entertaining.
THE NAME IS MINE by PAYO is a really different type of Dead Name Test, ideally suited to the Seance Room or the Intimate Show.
KOYNINI'S SEVENTEEN by TONI KOYNINI is a feature card routine for the mentalist. Two spectators pocket a number of cards each. One spectator selects a card from the pack, and one returns his packet of cards to the pack. All with the performer's back turned. The performer then names the selected card, finds the card by the sense of touch, names the number of cards in a spectator's pocket, and says which spectator it is, and tells the other spectator how many cards he originally held but returned to the pack!
A SILK PRODUCTION by TRAVERS COOPER is just what the title implies, but it is beautifully routined and is an example of perfect magic.
THE WESTON PINKIE REVERSE by MARK WESTON is for card enthusiasts. A card is reversed in the pack single handed. This new sleight will have many uses in card magic.
SUPER MEMORY IN CLOSE-UP by ARTHUR W. ROOTS is a simple but effective method for presenting the Giant Memory Feat as a close-up or bar stunt. ROUND THE DEPOTS by PETER McDONALD gives you a Hat Production routine for the children's entertainer, packed with laughter and surprises, but using only standard props which you probably already have. (You'll need an Evaporated Milk Jug. an ordinary Funnel and a load of silks!)
TRICKS AND SLEIGHTS by TOM SELLERS describes a fine prediction. Three spectators name a number, colour and book title. These are noted and tossed into a box. A card, which the performer has previously written on, is then removed from another box and given to a spectator for checking. It lists all the items just named! Easy to make and do! Also a TOP CHANGE stunt for the card enthusiast, and a CARD PREDICTION using a slate in a new and novel way. And as much more fine material again, which we have not the space to list here. A total of 35 tricks and routines, plus miscellaneous articles. We are sorry, but No. 253 in now OUT OF PRINT. Rush you order for No. 254 before this, too, follows suit.
Price: 7/6, Postage 7d. For this Giant (84 x 11 in.) Book.
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Monday, February 2nd " Lower Cunning " Alex Elmsley
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HEN, on behaif of the British Ring, I asked my friend Eddie Joseph to give a lecture at the Eastbourne Convention and he said, " Yes!" I knew that those present would have placed before them some delightfully subtle ideas and effects. With the title of " Deluding the Senses" Eddie gave away some first-rate magic one of the items being that which he now describes. It is a lovely effect mainly because of its extreme simplicity and it was with some trepidation that in the role of host I asked whether I could publish it. There was no hesitation in Eddie's reply and in good time he not only wrote up the necessary details but also supplied the photographs which add to the story. This is the first contribution that we have had from Eddie Joseph and it is our sincere hope that it may be the forerunner of equally effective items in the future. Thanks a lot!
Two metal rings—a large and a small one— are tied in the centre of a lady's head scarf by means of a double knot. The scarf is then held, by its corners, in the left hand with the rings suspended in the middle.
You now ask some obliging spectator to nominate a ring. By the simple action of shaking the scarf the chosen ring escapes from its knotted confinement leaving its companion behind still tied in the centre.
For best effect do NOT use pure silk but the kind of scarf you get at Woolworths. The reason, as you will realise yourself after trial, a certain degree of friction is helpful when tying the false knot. Silk, Nylon and Rayon are far too slippery for this particular work. I do not intend to imply that silk is completely unsuitable and if you prefer it then just ignore my advice.
My scarf is 24" square. The rings are 5" and 3|" in diameter. The accompanying photographs are delayed action shots of my hands to help the explanation along.
(a) Thread the two rings on to the centre of the scarf as in Fig. I. Note particularly that the
corner in the left hand is passing between the first two fingers. The third and fourth finger of the same hand is bent over the part of the scarf at that point.
(b) The right hand now places its corner in the crotch of the left thumb. Study the position of the scarf, rings and fingers in relation to one another. See Fig. 2.
(c) The right hand is now passed through the larger ring as well as the loop formed by the scarf and the corner extending from the left fingers is clipped between the first two fingers of the right. This is shown in Fig. 3.
(d) Having got hold of the corner you pull it straight in towards yourself. However, as you
begin to pull, curl the second finger of the left hand against the portion of the scarf directly under it. Now as the right pulls in the scarf corner the left second finger acting as a sort of a
book pulls its point of the scarf outward. In other words the two hands move in opposite directions. Note Fig. 4. The second finger of the left hand is inside the bight which is formed automatically a\ this point. The view shown here is deliberately
exaggerated, in actual presentation you do not expose this necessary secret move. This is best done by pointing the second finger of the left hand downwards. Stand before the mirror and you will soon learn the right angle of execution. Study Fig. 4 in conjunction with Fig. 3.
(e) As far as the spectators are concerned you have so far merely tied the two rings together by means of a single knot. Now follows the next move which is an honest one. Tie a genuine knot at this point as shown in Fig. 5.
(f) Hold the scarf by the corners as in Fig. 6 Note only the left hand is used. The right hand at this stage hangs by your side.
(g) You will now be working up to the climax. Ask some spectator to name one of the rings. It makes no difference which one he names because by shaking the scarf only the larger ring will drop off. You can see this in Fig. 7.
However, in the actual presentation the right hand is held about a foot or so below the rings. The left is raised and then the rings are shaken. The large ring will drop out automatically and is caught by the waiting right hand below. The small ring only remains inside the genuine single knot.
Actually you employ the "conjurer's choice" ruse when you ask them to nominate a ring. If they choose the large, well you will have fulfilled their desires. If on the other hand should the choice fall on the smaller ring . . . then . . . you still appear to satisfy by retaining the small ring on the scarf.
In practice—whichever ring you wish to release you must pass your hand through that particular one when tying the first knot. If you want both to drop then pass your hand through both.
Personally I prefer to work the trick the way I have described it. I know you will like it when you see what it looks like in operation.
THE ETERNAL TRAVELLERS
HANS was good enough to send us this effect on tape some little while before the Eastbourne Convention. The plot is based upon Dai Vernon's '* Travellers" but with the difference that no extra card is brought into play. We had the opportunity of seeing Hans go through the effect and not only is it very deceptive, but the technique required should be well within the range of all those who study and practise card magic.
Let us repeat that the plot is that of the " Travellers" and for the sake of those who, unfortunately, may not be acquainted with the original, the effect is as follows:—
Four cards such as aces or four kings are removed from the pack and placed upon the table. If needs be they can be initialled by spectators. The cards are then openly returned to various parts of the pack, but on the performer's command vanish one at a time each being found in a different pocket of the performer's coat.
To start with the performer's coat should be buttoned. There should be a glass on the table. First of all run through the pack and remove the four aces. Fan the remainder of the cards faces to the audience and then insert the aces one at a time in various parts of the fan. Close the fan and then with a single cut perform one of the many multiple shifts so that the four aces are left on top of the pack. At this point it is wise to do what Vernon himself does, namely to fan the cards faces towards yourself and check that in making the shift, no ace has been taken away in the cut. If such has happened that odd ace will have to be brought to the top. Close the fan and take the cards with the right hand in such a manner that you are in a position to carry out a single handed palm of the topmost card which is one of the aces. Pass the pack to the left hand and at the same time execute the single handed palm with the right hand.
The right hand holds the lapel of the coat whilst the left hand undoes the coat button and then you turn full right pulling the lapel and allowing the audience to see the inside of the jacket and, of course, the inside jacket pocket to which the attention of the audience is drawn.
The performer states that already one ace has left the pack and arrived in his right hand pocket and to emphasise this the left hand holding the cards points towards it. With these words the right hand relinquishes its grip on the lapel
•and- goes inside the trousers pocket then coming out slowly and showing the card that was previously palmed. As you carry out this action you have turned so that your right side is towards the 'audience. The left hand is hidden by the performer's body and with the attention of the audience on the right hand, the left hand thumbs off the top card of the pack into the left hand jacket pocket.
The ace you have apparently withdrawn from the right hand pocket is dropped into the glass which stands on the table.
The right hand now takes the pack from the left hand and giving the cards a slight riffle, the left hand, after being shown empty, goes to the left hand pocket and slowly removes the second ace. This too is dropped into the glass with the first ace. The right hand which it will be remembered is holding the packet now single hand palms the top card in the act of passing the pack into the left hand and with the remark that the next card must not be impeded the right hand with the palmed card goes into the right jacket pocket, leaves the palmed card behind and removes any odd items such as a cigarette lighter which might be there. After riffling the cards with the left hand you reach into the right hand pocket with the right hand after showing it to be empty and remove the third card. This too goes inside the glass.
As this third stage is being carried out turn the packet of cards in the left hand so that they lie face up. The right hand now takes the pack thumb on one narrow side and the other four fingers on the opposite side, so that you are positioned for the more modern version of the 4 glide'. You should now be standing half left.
The left hand first shown empty makes a movement inside the right hand side of the coat and towards the inside pocket whilst the right hand near to the edge of the coat levers away the top card as in the " glide " or " Master move ". The right hand moves towards the lapel and the topmost card well separated from the rest of the pack goes under the lapel whilst the right hand holds the latter. The left hand turning down slightly grabs hold of the levered card and pushes it into the inside pocket.
The right hand continues to draw back the jacket and the left hand withdraws the last ace slowly from the pocket.
With this final move good timing is essential and it will be found that there is no need to rush the actions, smoothness being the thing to achieve.
NOW and again one comes across an effect to which no solution can be found, nevertheless from the original idea one may evolve an effect which can prove new and deceptive.
Some while back I wanted a solution to the following problem:—
The conjurer introduces two packs of cards, 'one with red backs and the other with blue. Each is ribbon-spread face upwards on the table. A is asked to choose a card from the face-up blue backs, whilst B decides on a card in the face-up red backers. Each slides his card out of the spread. The cards are gathered up and squared in each case and the chosen blue backer goes into the face-down blue backers face up. Similarly the card chosen from the red-backed pack. Both packs are given a magic touch and then ribbon-spread face down. In each case there appears to be no change for the card chosen from the blue-backed pack and which was returned face up still appears face-up in the spread and for that matter so does the card selected and returned to the red-backed pack. The difference has yet to be shown for when the cards are withdrawn and turned over, the card in the blue-backed pack has a red back whilst that in the red a blue back.
That was the problem and with provisos that no faked packs were used it was passed out to a number of knowledgeable card men in this and other countries. Not one came up with a solution.
For that matter I had no solution either but delving among the wreckage the following effect came into being.
The conjurer introduces two packs of cards. One has red backs and the other blue backs. Each is fanned, shown back and front, squared and placed face down on the table. Taking the blue-backed pack a spectator is asked to stop the performer as he cuts the cards in Hindu shuffle style. The card stopped at is noted and placed face up upon the table. The blue-backed pack is placed face down one card being taken away and placed down in front of it to indicate the colour. A card is similarly chosen from the red-backed pack and the same treatment given. The position at this point is that the main portions of the two packs lie side by side with a chosen card and a marker card in front. The card chosen: from the blue backed pack is now placed, still face up, on the face down cards and the pack is given a single cut bringing the chosen card to about the centre. This pack is then turned face-up the marker card indicating the colour backs. The other chosen card and pack are dealt with in a similar manner. The spectators are asked to well remember their cards and observe a strange case of sympathy. The two marker cards are changed over. " With this change of cards, gentlemen, strange as it seems, your chosen cards follow . . . just watch!"
Spreading the blue-backed cards face up one card is seen face down. It is a red-backer! The red-backed cards are ribbon-spread. face-up and one blue-backer is seen face down. When the red-backed is removed from the blue-backed cards and turned over it is seen to be that originally chosen from the red backed pack and when the blue-backed card is taken and turned over that is the card originally chosen from the blue backed pack!
One pack of red-backed cards.
One pack of blue-backed cards.
Two double faced cards. One we'll imagine is seven of diamonds/ace of clubs, the other four of hearts/two of diamonds.
From the blue-backed pack remove the seven of diamonds and the ace of clubs.
From the red-backed pack remove the four of hearts and the two of diamonds. Place the ace of clubs and the two of diamonds aside. They are not wanted during the course of the trick and if left in the pack might cause the performer embarrassment.
Take the red-backed four of hearts and place it in a face-up position at the bottom of the face down blue-backed pack. Under this card place any blue-backed card face down and then under this card place the double facer ace of clubs next to the pack and seven of diamonds showing as bottom card and finally one other blue-backed card which acts as the true face card. Reading now from the bottom of the pack you have an indifferent card followed by the double facer (seven of diamonds/ace of clubs), an indifferent card, the red backed four of hearts face up and the balance of the pack. With the red-backed cards the set-up from the bottom takes similar form, the exceptions being the values of two cards. It is as follows: An indifferent card, the double facer (four of hearts, two of diamonds, the four of hearts being the face card if the first card is removed—), an indifferent red-backer, the blue-backed seven of diamonds face up followed by the balance of the pack. Both packs in this condition are returned to their cases.
Both card cases are placed on the table and then opened and the packs withdrawn. Taking the blue-backed pack the cards are pressure or finger fanned according to their condition and the audience can see first faces and then blue backs. Needless to say there is little need for me to mention that in such a showing care must be taken not to expose either the reversed card or the double facer. The pack is squared and in the squaring a slight break is made and held between the bottom card and the rest of the pack and when the pack is square and immediately before placing on the table a double undercut is made so that the erstwhile bottom card becomes the top card and the face card is the seven of diamonds side of the double facer. The red backed cards are taken similarly shown and in the act of squaring and replacing on the table by means of the double undercut, the bottom card becomes the top card and the face card the four of hearts side of the double facer.
Taking the blue-backed with his right hand and holding it face down, the left hand comes in as for a Hindu shuffle and strips off the cards from the top of the pack in small packet. When the spectator commands " stop," the performer simply turns the packet he is holding in his right hand face-up and shows the spectator the face card the seven of diamonds. This is a very bold force but most convincing to a layman. At the same time that the right hand turns over its packet revealing the seven of diamonds side of the double facer the left hand turns face-up the cards it is holding and the packet in the right hand is placed face up on those in the left hand, the double facer then being slid off and placed on the table, the remainder of the pack being turned face down and placed just behind it. As an afterthought the left hand takes the cards lifts them from the table and the right hand slides off the bottom indifferent card and places it just in front of the chosen card. A card is similarly chosen from the red-backed pack the subsequent handling being as with the blue-backed pack.
Each of the chosen cards is placed on top of its own pack and a straight cut is given in each case to bring the chosen card and, of course, the face-up bottom card to the centre. Each pack is now turned face up, the odd face down cards denoting their positions.
The pointer cards are changed about and the packs ribbon-spread with the result that the only cards contrary to the usual run are the chosen cards, the red backer being in the blue pack and the blue backer in the red pack. Though in reading it may seem a little complicated the handling is very straightforward and the ultimate effect most convincing.
A NEW PRINCIPLE FOR THE "SYMPATHETIC SILKS"
IN this version of the " Sympathetic Silks " all the silks can be shown separately.
Four silks measuring twenty-four inches square are required. As there is no switch of silks two could be of one colour and two a contrasting colour.
Two of the silks require special preparation. Supposing that two of your silks are green and two yellow, first of all take one of the green silks and one and a half inches from one corner, sew to it a small bone ring measuring about half an inch in diameter. The ring is now bound round with the same colour silk cotton as the silk.
Now take the other green silk and one and a quarter inches from one corner attach by means of thread a small sponge ball measuring three-quarters of an inch in diameter. That is all the preparation needed before setting out your table for the commencement of the trick.
Lay the silks on the table in this manner:—
First of all the two yellows so that they hang down over the front of the table. On top of these two silks place the silk with the sponge ball attached. The end with the sponge ball is nearest to the back of the table. Finally place the handkerchief with the bone ring on top of all three and again the position of the ring is nearest to the back of the table.
Pick up all four silks by their corners with the left hand. They should be taken in such a manner that the ring on the topmost handkerchief is completely shielded. The right hand approaches the left and taking hold of the corner of the green (ring) handkerchief with the first and second fingers it is drawn away in an upward direction from the left hand. As it does so the right-hand thumb moves against the ring. The silk is well displayed and then coming back to the left hand the right hand (with the ring clipped between first finger and thumb), slides the ring over the corner of the next green silk, i.e., the one with the sponge ball attached. This silk is taken too in an upward direction and in the upward movement the second finger helps in pushing the ring over the sponge ball. The result is that both silks are, in effect, secretly knotted together and at a later stage can be handled quite freely without any fear of accidental separation. The two green silks are placed over the left shoulder with the knotted corners of course out of sight.
The two remaining yellow silks after being shown separately and displayed are tied together with a false knot, a false knot that can easily be shaken loose. Holding one of the yellow silks by its corner and allowing the knot to be seen, the performer gives a slight shake and the silks become separated, the lower silk fluttering to the ground. Placing the silk now held with the right hand over the right shoulder, the same hand reaches across and taking hold of a corner of one of the green silks pulls it away bringing with it the other green silk which appears to be tied securely to it.
IT'S been a busy month and we type these notes much later than they should be typed. This will be the last copy to be printed by our present printers, Herbert Walker and Son and for what they have done in the past we thank them.
It was good to hear that our old friend Roland T. Smith is well on the road to recovery. A constant Monday nighter at the Magic Circle, he has been very much missed by all those who have the courage to face up to these weekly meetings.
Instead of painting those rather ornate props which you may use from time to time, try covering them with " Fablon". This plastic sheeting which comes in many patterns, some particularly magical with stars on coloured backgrounds and delightful candy stripes is easily applied, doesn't chip and is washable. Most commonly sold in 18" width, it is possible now to get it in widths of a yard. At some time you may want to make up a ghost tube in a hurry and unless you are a tinsmith, you'll have to make it in cardboard. Whilst the outer tube is dead easy the truncated cone formation that goes inside can be the devil of a time waster in making up. To help you ** Sifta " salt comes along in a lovely conical package, which, when the ends are removed gives you a cone with a periphery of a shade over three inches diameter and an apex of two inches diameter.
We have had some very complimentary things said regarding the "Diabolo" act, and Francis Haxton and myself are most appreciative of such compliments. The last performance of the act took place at the Circle on November the 22nd, and the second house performance pleased us just as much as it did the audience. There was a difference from the original. We included the radio cabinet vanish based on a T.V. presentation and the finish was faster the flower growth never stopping. It was good fun and a good ending to a ¿-eat hoax.
In April we are giving a lecture that we have entitled the " Annemann Legend" at the Circle. Its main intention is to pay a tribute to this tragic man of magic and we should welcome any unpublished information that might be in some of our readers' possession.
Stewart James's "Case for Cards" which appeared serially in these pages is now obtainable in booklet form at the moderate cost of 5/-. For those who are new readers we recommend this fine little collection of card effects from the man who is the legitimate successor to Jordan. From Davenports the latest lists arrive and there seems no end to new tricks. Gamages send along a new catalogue running to some 64 pages and listing all the standard items. It is pleasant to think that thanks to Harry Baron this well-known store has brought back to life its magical department. To us it brings back nostalgic thoughts of our schooldays some 40 years when, on a Wednesday afternoon, in the winter, we would skip either football or hockey and take a tramcar to Farringdon Street and walking past Bleeding Heart yard and turning into Hatton Garden would reach the side entrance to Gamages. Inside we would go and wander around spending much time and possibly little money in the magic department which then was quite sizeable. Big apparatus was displayed in those days and the catalogue covered all phases including stage illusion. We can remember well the Conradi Vanishing Lamp which seemed to be a constant and never disturbed feature. Books of that era were different dealing more with direct effect rather than subtlety. The house magazine of Gamages, the " Magician " month after month brought some really workable novelty from the pen of that prolific writer, Robertson Keene. Priced only sixpence what wonderful value it was. From there we might wander along High Holborn into Hamley's where upstairs the magical department was housed. There was a Victorian touch here and one saw in actual fact the counterparts of those period pieces described in " Modern Magic" ... the Card Lyre, the Demon's Head and ornate tables with trapdoors and pistons. Later Harold Comden was to take his place as demonstrator at this branch and sell innumerable " Topits " and other items of his thoughtfulness. From there to Davenports, or perhaps to Ludgate Hill where Hamleys had yet another branch where a most engaging Mr. Wheeler officiated. An afternoon in Wonderland for then we looked upon our magic without the cynicism that has developed with the passing years.
In November the Circle Annual Supper was a wonderful evening and it gave all those present the chance of seeing those great Russian artists, Lidya and Uri Mazhuchin whose performance was immaculate and whose water vanish had most if not all of the company completely fooled. At the beginning of March, Tuesday the 3rd to be exact, we shall be presenting a Night of Magic at Wallington, the proceeds from which will go to the "British Ring" Benevolent and Welfare Fund. The bill is shaping very nicely and if Wallington is not too great a journey for you we hope to see as many magicians as possible at the show.
If you are looking for a delightful effect for an older children's type of show, get the December issue of the " Gen " in which Wilfred Tyler describes his own effect, " Startime". When quite recently we had the privilege of being in the Chair on the occasion of Wilfred lecturing at the Circle, he demonstrated this effect and I think that everyone in the theatre was greatly taken with it. A good plot with showy but not unnatural props it could form an effective part of any platform act.
Now and again one has an idea for an effect, makes up a model publishes the working details and yet nobody seems to take it to heart. It was therefore rather pleasant to see, some eighteen years after publication in "Designs for Magic", somebody make use of " Sawing Through a Doll" and to wit no lesser person than " Sooty " aided and abetted by that delightful puppeteer Harry Corbett. This, of course was at the Circle Supper where Harry was the guest of honour.
Congratulations to our friend E. Jackson Laurie who for the second time has been elected President of the Wessex Magical Association.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.