them. As this lever is screwed to the underside of the tray it is necessary to raise the floor of the latter from the table (Fig. 2).
Fig. 3 is a view of the underside of the tray and shows the lever and the mechanism for locking it. When the lever is in the position indicated the right-hand cube is expanded and the left-hand cube contracted. To reverse this state of affairs catch B is moved aside, thus releasing the end of the lever. The opposite end, A, is then pulled in the direction of the arrow until it is locked by catch C. Pegs attached to the catches and the lever and projecting through slots in the top of the tray enable the performer to operate the mechanism from above. The lines marked T indicate the threads which connect lever and cubes. I hope I have made this clear. Broadly speaking it is a sort of see-saw arrangement. The cubes are attached to a common lever, so that when one is up the other is down.
The screens which are used to cover the cubes have three sides. The centre panel is four inches wide and the two side panels six inches wide. They are set at an obtuse angle and are held in this position by fastening them together at one end with a piece of card or playwood, shaped as in Fig. 4.
Fig. 5 shows a partially collapsed cube, one side having been omitted for clarity.
Now let me explain, if I can, how the apparatus is used to produce the illusion of passing four solid cubes through the glass pane. At the commencement the tray rests on the table, and on it are four cubes. Three are solid but the fourth is the rearmost dummy cube expanded. The screens stand on the floor and the pane of glass rests against the continued on page 59
continued on page 59
BRICKS THROUGH THE WINDOW — continued from page 58
table leg. The tray mechanism is on the left hand side and the performer commences operations standing to the left of the table. He picks up two solid cubes, knocks them together and lets one fall back on to the tray. The third solid cube is picked up and knocked against the first, and both cubes are dropped back on to the tray. The three solid cubes are stacked on the dummy cube, the pane of glass is proved solid and fitted into the pillars attached to the tray. The cubes, which are now behind the glass, are covered with one of the screens (Fig. 1) and the other screen is placed in front of the glass. The mechanism is operated and the screens are removed. The spectators see one cube in front of the glass and three behind, but in order to give them a clearer view of the latter, the performer turns the tray right round. This brings the three cubes to the front, and, as they are all solid, opportunity is taken to lift them one by one from •the tray and drop them back again. One result of the reversal is that we now again have an expanded cube at the rear of the glass and a contracted one in front. To pass the second cube through the pane the performer leaves one solid cube in front and places two on the dummy cube behind. The screens are placed in position, the lever operated (this time from the right hand side) and when the screens are removed there are two blocks on either side of the glass. Once more the tray is turned round to show the two cubes behind it, and these are idly picked up and returned to the tray. A third operation of the lever increases the front pile to three and reduces the rear pile to one. The tray is turned round as before and two cubes are taken from what is now the rear stack and placed.on the one solid block in front. The final operation of the lever increases the stack from three to four. The three solid cubes are lifted from the stack and dropped on to the tray. The reversal of the tray is designed to make the best use of the see-saw arrangement. Although the performer appears to be passing the cubes through the glass one by one, he is really passing one cube (and a dummy one at that) backwards and forwards. But the reason for turning the tray round is so very plausible that no further excuse is necessary.
It may be found that even with a strong spring the creases in the dummy cube may tend to show. This is easily camouflaged by painting a pattern on the linen to conform with the creases. This pattern is naturally duplicated on the solid cubes.
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