Practical Tips On Palming

Under this heading I propose to give my readers the benefit of my experience in palming large objects as Balls, Eggs, Handkerchiefs, &c., &c.

Palming Balls.—The ball should be a small size billiard ball not more than in. diameter; the egg should be a small sized hen's egg. Both the ball and egg are best turned in light wood and enamelled, the light wood is the proper weight and the enamel has a tendency to cling to the palm rendering the operation much less difficult. Cork, celluloid, or polished wood balls are to be avoided ; cork or celluloid is far too light, requiring a more sensitive palm than the majority of conjurers possess—the celluloid or polished wood on account of the smooth surface is apt to jump irom the palm at any moment.

Warm gloves are generally worn by Sleight of Hand Experts, but these, especially on very cold nights, are not sufficient to keep the hands in proper condition. When the gloves fail, rubbing the palm of the hand violently for say three minutes with the ball of the opposite thumb will generally produce the necessary moisture ; this, in fact, is a great secret amongst professional magicians.

Another aid to palming is glycerine. Having moistened the ball of thumb, on the top of the bottle (quite sufficient), rub well into the palm. Do not use too much. The hands prepared in this manner will remain in a fit condition for at least half-an-hour. No mechanical device or applications other than those above mentioned are of the slightest use to the expert in Sleight of Hand.

Palming; Coins.—Having shown the coin at the tips of the thumb and fingers, the thumb is removed and the coin is passed, by a movement of the second and third fingers, into the palm ; this is generally understood, (see

It is not, however, generally understood that, having palmed the coin, the hand should be held as indicated at Fig. 2. Most beginners are under the impression that if they can keep the hand perfectly flat and straight, like a board, they have ac. complished a clever 'palm,' not so however ; the hand in such a position is unnatural and at once attracts attention. Compare it with the position indicated in Fig. 2.

A New Reverse Palm for Vanishing a Coin.—The coin is first shown held between Fig. 2.

and thumb. (See the dotted

the tips of the fore-finger lines in Fig. 3). The hand is then apparently closed on the coin, and a moment later, on opening the hand, the coin has disappeared. In the act of closing the hand the fore-finger carries the coin to the Fig. 3-

right of the thumb which grips it as shown in Fig. 4.

The coin shown at the finger tips in the Fig. has nothing to do Fig. 4- w i t h t h e movement, the block was not, originally, intended to illustrate this Sleight.

New Handkerchief Palm,— Take handkerchief by one corner and throw it over left hand so that the corner you are holding is now in palm. Screw up this corner into a little ball and then bring palm of right hand over it and make a circular rubbing motion always in same direction. This will have the effect of twisting handkerchief rope-wise, and at the same time coiling it up tightly, leaving it in a condition to be palmed without any fear of exposing a loose end. The movement is graceful and quite natural, while the handkerchief appears to be actually rubbed away between the hands.

The Continuous Back and Front Palm.—This is an arrangement by which, to all appearance, an ordinary 15m. silk square is palmed and reversed palmed continuously as in the case of the coin (See Fig. 5. "New Coin Tricks," second series). In effect the sleight is as follows:—The performer shows a 15m. silk square, which he folds up into the size of half a playing card, placing it between the fingers and thumb of the right hand, from which position it suddenly disappears with lightning rapidity. The back and front of the hand are now shown in succession, while the handkerchief is produced, with the left hand, from the back of the left knee, or elsewhere.

It is not the handkerchief that is reversed palmed, but an imitation consisting of a piece of flesh coloured card, about half the size of a playing card, covered silk arranged to give a good representation of the folded handkerchief. The handkerchief is palmed in the left hand while seeming to place it in the right hand (or vice versa) the substitute being shown in its place. In conclusion the substitute is carried away under cover of the handkerchief which is passed into the right hand.

The manipulation for the continuous " palm" in the above trick is exactly the same as that for a playing card. As space does not permit of a full explanation being given here, my readers are requested to refer to " New Card Tricks." (See advertisement).

Qiogpaphç of Ppof. Anderson


Sketches from his Note Book, Anecdotes, Incidents, etc.

JN attempting a sketch of the early life and public career of John Henry Anderson, the "Wizard of the

North," we feel that we are bound to present the public with something very different from that which they would very possibly expect. The story of a Soldier, a Sailor, a Doctor, lawyer, Actor, or Artist, must perforce be a " twice-told tale;" but the history of a Wizard would seem to offer something new, strange, and exciting—some revelations of how the Magic Art and its mysterious influences are acquired—some disclosures of how the hierophant is introduced to the knowledge of his mystic lore; of how Prospero obtained the service of his Ariel, and subjected the elements to his command. Naturally enough it is to be supposed that he who deals in mystery should be himself mysterious, and that he should be as much a Wizard in his origin, boyhood, early life, domesticity, and daily habits, as he is when weaving his spells or elaborating his wonders before the public on the stage. The reader might anticipate, perhaps, some thrilling description of a Faust making a bargain with Mephistophiles, or of a Michael Scott holding a soiree with the '' bogles'' of his native glens. Nothing of the sort, however, have we to tell. "Bogles" no longer accept invitations to conversazioni among the Scottish heather; and in these prosaic times, Mephistophiles would be afraid to appear in the streets of Nuremberg or Gottingen, lest he should be captured by the detective police.

The story of the " Wizard of the North" is simply the history of a professional gentleman of the nineteenth century. Full of adventure and scenes in varied life,"we admit; but belonging to the age of express trains, penny newspapers, and electric telegraphs.

No profession, perhaps, has seen a greater change in the character of its representatives than that of Magic. : The Soldier still encamps on the tented field, and marches miles to meet his foe, as he did in the days of Alexander and Xerxes; the Sailor still climbs to the mast head to descry the land afar, as he did when the earliest Phoenician vessel steered for the coast of Cornwall, or when Columbus saw for the first time the New World rising from the waste of waters; the Sculptor still chisels his marble block in his stu lio, as Praxiteles or Phidias did in the days of old; and Mr. Lance paints his exquisite fruit pieces in his atelier to day just as Apelles executed that wondrous fruit which birds, believing in its reality, are said to have swooped down to peck, when the picture was drying in the sun outside the house of the painter, more than two thousand years ago. But with the Magician, it has been—to use legal phraseology—mutatis mutandis, and the '' Wizard of the North'' performing in London, Melbourne, San Francisco, or New York, is no more like an Egyptian Magus, a Delphian or Eleusinian priest, a Magician of the Middle Ages, or even a Wizard of the days of Wizard hating King James, than Ludgate Hill in j London is like the Hills of the Himalayas. Tempora ' mutantur—the "Black Ait" has become the Brilliant Art, and the Wizard's gloomy cave is a theatre glittering with gas.

At the present day a Magical Entertainment is )

nothing more than an entertaining series of illustrations, in which Science is made subservient to Amusement. But the " Black Art" of the olden times was the agent of superstition and cruelty, and rightly deserved its name. To quote from a popular author :—'' In the good old times the magician was looked upon as being in direct communication with the Evil One. The more learned was he, the more certain was he of perdition. The scientific researches of such men as Roger Bacon, Albertus Magnus, Paracelsus, and Cornelius Agrippa, were regarded only as so many diabolical spells and infernal enchantments. The imagination pictured to itself the Magician as a gloomy, long-bearded man in a robe embroidered with grim cabalistic characters; a staff encircled by serpents was in his hand, spectacles of magic crystal perched on his nose. He sat cn a tripod in the centre of a circle of zodiacal signs traced in blood. He studied out of books of weird and mysterious lore. Skulls, phials of poison, dried toads and snakes, were on his table ; hideous stuffed monsters hung from the ceiling. He was waited upon by a demon dwarf. Shrieks and groans were heard from his dwelling; hideous bats and spiders flitted about him. He passed all his time weaving maleficent spells, sticking corking pins into wax figures of persons he wished to injure ; distilling love-philters, watching the simmering of magic cauldrons, and changing men into beasts, and beasts into men. He attended witches' sabbaths, whisking through the air on a broomstick ; he appeared unbidden at banquets ; he dropped through roofs, and rose through floors ; and, some day or other, a gentleman in black, and on a black horse with a long tail, left his card with him, and there was a strong smell of sulphur perceptible and the magician was seen no more—exclaiming as he went, like the horseman in Burger's Leoiioia—

'' Tramp, tramp, across the land we go, Tramp, tramp, across the sea ! Hurrah ! the dead can ride apace— Dost fear to ride with me ? "

But the professor of the mystic art to-day wears a 1 white or embroidered waistcoat, pays rates and taxes, has a wife and family; and, instead of mystic adjurations of "hocus pocus," and "abracadabra," and " mumpo jumpo," issues invitations to his friends to come and see him at a theatre, an assembly room, or a public hall. And yet—quoting the author we have already borrowed from —"the magician's art has in no way deteriorated ; the marvels of magic are as feasible now as they were in the days of the Dioscuri and the magicians of King Pharaoh. Nay, further, we can do even more wonderful things now-a-days, only we are not bold or impious enough to ascribe them to supernatural agency. We are content to hail, shining on our magic, the pure light of 'science,' chemistry, and natural philosophy."

Emerson the American entitles those who hold preeminence in any art, science, profession, or calling, " Representative men," by which we understand him to mean, that a "representative man " is he who reflects his department in the height of its culture, and the full extent of the development to which it has attained. Considered in this light John Henry Anderson was professedly and ! without doubt the representative of the department of natural magic in Great Britain. He represented as fairly and as perfectly the magician of our own day, as Albertus Magnus or Cornelius Agrippa represented the magician of | the middle ages.

{To he continued.)

The first essential for success in this pleasing pastime is a proper light, and from experiments made I find the main points to be observed in its selection are as under:

First.—The form of the projecting hood should be exactly similar to that shown in the above sketch, i.e. the nozzle must taper this way > not this way <.

Second.—The source of the light must be as small as possible ; there is no object gained in striving after great power if the size of the flame is to be increased in doing so. For this reason—if the source of light be large, no matter what shape the projector may be, a blurred shadow will result.

Third.—The projecting apparatus must be quite black inside and outside and absolutely devoid of anything in the shape of a reflector; further, lenses are utterly useless.

The above sketch represents an experiment made with Acetyline Gas, and this when once going, produces an excellent shadow, on account of the power obtained from a small burner. The time taken however, in getting the light to settle down and burn steadily, to say nothing of the objectionable smell given oif by the carbide while charging (I don't say when the light is burning properly) makes this form of light impracticable.

It is well known that a candle, one candle power, produces an excellent shadow (I use nothing else for teaching and practice) and this with a loss of power on the sheet as much of the light is dispersed about the room. From this it will be seen that a 3 c.p. electric light with all the power concentrated on the sheet, must produce excellent results. Note that the electric light is the only light that can be completely enclosed in a projecting hood : hence its value. It does not require a very heavy accumulator to work a 3 c.p. lamp for five hours, i.e. a dozen shows.

In the absence of a better light a good composite candle is not to be despised for drawing-room work, if the resulting shadow is not quite so well defined the performer's dexterity (or the reverse) is still very apparent.

My idea is to reduce Shadowgraphy, as a portable entertainment, to a conjuring trick. This I have done by using a small screen, round, and at most i8in. diameter ; this, in a simple stand, may be placed on any table and will go in a small bag. A good candle completes the outfit.

For the production of the best hand shadows the hands must be well formed and pliable. Practice must be made until any one joint may be moved quickly and indepen dently of any other joint. This is necessary for the instantaneous production of a life-like figure. The Jew (Fig. 5) is an interesting figure for practice.

I have found Shadowgraphy a delightfully pleasing entertainment alike to children and adults and it is surprising on this account that so few conjurers practice the art. The introduction of a few laughable Hand Shadows in the course of an hours show will break the monotony of too much magic, and leave the audience duly impressed with the performers ability as an entertainer.

The Editor.

Items of Interest»

We should like to know the date of the publication, past or future, of Mr. William Benjamin's wonderful new book entitled "Modern Magicians' Magic," also why the title of the said work so closely resembles that copyrighted by Mr. H.J. Burlingame as "Modern Magical Marvels."

We believe Conjurers as a body are longing to learn the correct secret of the Great Box Trick in connection with the sketch entitled "Will the Witch and the Watchman," at the Egyptian Hall, with a view to securing the ^1,000 ; also whether the Wonderful Suspension in the sketch entitled "Trapped by Magic," at the said "Home of Mystery," is supported by voluntary contributions or otherwise. __

It is with profound regret that we inform our readers poor Will Hiam broke a blood vessel on Monday, August 26th, and expired almost immediately. His sad death is made the more sad following as it does so closely, that of his Father the well known and respected Frank Hiam, who died Boxing Day last from pneumonia after a very short illness. There is no descendant of the family left capable of carrying on the business, which will now pass into strange hands, but will, doubtless still, be carried on under the style of Frank Hiam. The magical fraternity have suffered an irreparable loss.

Thought reading, extraordinary, as introduced by Professor and Madame Steen, has recently been entertaining audiences at the Theatre Royal, Limerick. One of the most astonishing achievements is that of Madame Steen, who, blindfolded, and with her back to two local gentlemen engaged in a game of nap, named the cards dealt to them, and also correctly ordered the play.

Trovollo, an American ventriloquist, manipulates two walking figures that add greatly to the value of his act: also two little boys, one black and one white, whose witty repartee keeps the house in a continual roar of laughter. As a finale, a fine collie runs on the stage with a little figure dressed as a cavalry officer on his back. The dog stands like a statue, while the dummy talks and sings. Trovollo is certainly clever.

Lafayette, the new American performer, who recently appeared at the Hippodrome, is a perfect Admirable Chichton. He outdoes any quick-change artist yet seen in this country, and concludes his performance by dressing as a Chinese juggler, and bringing little boys, dogs, and wild fowl out of all sorts of impossible places.

The Gditop's liettep=0og.

To the Editor of "Magic."

Dear Sir, South Africa, June, 6th, 1900.

I must thank you for your kindness in wishing me safe through my perilous time in Iyadysmith during the siege, but I can assure you it was an awful experience for me. I took active part in all the assaults on L,adysmith, and in two sorties from it, I assisted to drive the Boers away from their trenches at Observation Hill on November 9th, 1899, and in the attack and blowing up of their big gun on Surprise Hill on the night of December ioth, and on January 6th, when the Boers attacked Waggon Hilt in force ; it was an awful day, I often wonder I was not killed, but I must have been in luck.

Nothing will give me more pleasure than to visit you in London when I return to England, and to have a chat with you on conjuring, I came across a lot of Chinese Conjurers whilst I was at Hong Kong and Singapore some of them were very clever at productions, they could produce almost anything from a shawl. I notice that one of them "Ching ling Foo," whom I saw give his performance at Singapore, Strait Settlements, is touring the Western World, he is clever at productions.

I also had a friend at Singapore, a Doctor " Eugen von Krudgey," he was a German, but a clever manipulator of cards, he had about 5,000 dollars worth of apparatus, I got some splendid secrets from him of some tricks of his own invention which I intend to produce on my arrival home, also some splendid billiard ball ideas. I went with him several times to see some Hindoo Conjurers who were very clever, but only did it for a hobby. I got the secret of the Mango Trick and the Native Indian Basket Trick from them with about a dozon other good secrets not known. I have given performances at following places abroad :—Hong Kong, Singapore, Bombay, Colombo, Penang, Port Said, Malta, Omdurman, Cairo, Alexandra, Candia, Canea, Gibralta, and Aden, so you see I have performed at nearly all the English Settlements. I have not given a performance of any note since I left Canea eight months ago, when I conducted a 2% hours per

Is now booking engagements for his CONJURING 4 VENTRILOQUIAL ENTERTAINMENT.

Group of Six lyife-Size Figures, with novel Electrical Effects.

For inclusive terms, lithos, &c., apply:


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