Index Page Vol 51 100


Treasurer Society of American Magician*.

AS a compliment to his intertst in magic. Dr. Stram R. Ellison, a physician and* one of the best k>xwn members of the Af ystic Shrine in the United States, was recently elected Treasure*' of the Society of American Magteians of Sen- York, of whüh he ho* long been « mender.

Magic hau been Dr. Ellison's lifetime hobby. Though not a magician himself, he hat solved all the greatest illusions show* by the foremost enXertatners of the past forty yearx ami hoc made working modetx of most of them. He kesps i hem in a great cabinet at his home. No. 118 West One Hundred and Third street New York, along with his collection of ««and« used bf famove magicians of this and bygone centuries. Hi." libxarf of works on magic, old and modern, is the fined It tie world and r catalogued as "The Allison Collection'' in the New York Public Library for the public to see. Martinka wiil show you the tubed

At the request of this magazine Dr. Ellison has written sofa any day. Nothing wonderful down his solutions of some of the most famous mysteries of about that!

Now something even more mystifying—reading from a book held by one of the audience. I remember well—Heller used "Helen's Babies." then the book of the day.

"Won't you be so good as to cut the leaves?" he would ask of some

Treasurer Society of American Magician*.

NO feat of magic, no sleight of hand, no illusion before or since ever attracted the attention that Heller'« great "Second Sight" did some thirty odd yesfs ago. In a word, that gifted entertainer went about freely well known person in the orchestra, among his audience while his beautiful sister Haidee sat handing him an ivory paper cutter, on a couch on the stage, blindfolded, and read the dates The obliging person slipped the on coins, named objects shown to Heller by the audience, cutter between the leave® while repeated passages from books opened by any one and did Heller smiled and murmured all manner of other mystifying things. "Thank you."

It was certainly amazing! '¿Just to show there isn't any Nothing like "Second Sight" had ever been seen be- collusion," he'd add, turning to fore. Plainly there were no confederates because Heller some one else, "I will ask this lady always smilingly asked the best known people among his to open the book where the gentle-

hearers to assist him. Scores of articles were written man put the paper cutter and follow about his feats and many were the explanations which Miss Haidee as she reads."

didn't explain. Scientists even thought that Heller had Of course other persons near the solved the mystery of thought trans ference. Nonsense! It was nothing but the simplest of tricks smoothly turned by that perfect performer.

Most mystifying of all, just as one imagined he had caught the secret of things Heller would reach the same result in a wholly different way, throwing the would-be student of his black art completely off the track.

To-day Prof. Francii J. Martinka. a retired magician, has the sofa in his New York home on which Mile. Haidee used to sit. Jt was part of the trick—the beat I ever saw and one of the easiest.

To begin with. Heller used four different means—key words, a confederate, sleight of hand and an apparatus that any boy could make.

In the average audience there are certain articles one can always find— programmes, opera glasses, watches, handkerchiefs, rings, pins, eyeglasses, fans, gloves, coins, bills, visiting cards. Heller and his sister had key words for all these common things and hundreds more for less common ones. An inflection, a word, a pause—a dozen different little wayB indicated the article. But just as the astonished beholder of the mystery began to think he had the secret Heller would merely pass rapidly about, touching articles here and there and saying nothing while Haidee juat aa rapidly named them, though blindfolded and her back to the audience!

Easiest of all. They merely had a prearranged list of things to be found in any theatre audience and Heller touched each in proper sequence—fan, glove, hat, programme, eyeglasses, locket and what not. You were then all off the track if you thought his spoken words conveyed his meaning to Haidee; yet they did—at other times.

Concealed beneath the stage was a real confederate— Heller never stooped to one in the audience-—with a powerful pair of field glasses. As Heller held up other articles the man below saw them and whispered to Haidee through the speaking tube which ended in the sofa—

ladv could look over her shoulder. To their blank amazement Haidee would glibly recite the words in the book before their eyes. Wonderful?

Fiddlesticks! Heller merely had two paper cutters. As he stepped away from the gentleman who cut into the book he turned it upside down and presented the volume with the other paper cutter inserted where he wanted it. Of course Haidee had memorized that page and ran it right off. So simple!

So with her reading of sealed letters, Hello- had a set of steps, dowr which he ran to get among the audience. You didn't notice it, but he never used one particular step. It was made of cmrdboard and had a little trap in it.

Heller asked people to write anything they pleaaed and seal the slips up in envelopes, which he gathered in a little box. While doing something else he set the box on the steps in full view Somebody under the steps merely extracted the envelopes through the false bottom of the box, opened them with a little alcohol and whispered the answers up the tube to Haidee. Presto! she read aloud what was on thf slips when the envelopes were taken out of the box and held up! So simple!

From time immemorial the raising of the human body in the air without support has been the aim of all necromancers. In India they have tried it for centuries. Ascetics have fasted and prayed and have said they could do it, but theirs was rough work compared to that of Kellar, who followed in Heller's footsteps. He called his act "Levitation," and it was a wonder. But so simple, like all the best illusions. A beautifully robed «oman entered the stage, re-dined on a couch, apparently hypnotised and then slowly rose in the air in full view of everybody, assuming any poeture the magician chose to fix her in.

Kellar, now retired, was a very clever person. No stage hands were allowed behind the scenes daring his act, not even scene shifters; he brought his own assistants. He had an employee of the Otis Elevator Company working for months contriving an apparatus light enough to take on the road—it was a marvel of ingenuity. Forty-five fine wires, a series of springs, a steel harness, a set of weights and a windlan, all of which could be packed in two trunks, made up the trick.

"An audience can see one or two single wire«," Keflar confessed to me after I had solved his illusion, "but they can't see thirty or forty because they blend in the background."

Which is true. And that was his whole secret. Behind his couch was a striped background in which the wires blended perfectly. Hidden in the soft cushioning of the couch was a finely made steel harness to which were fastened thirty slender wires. These went up through the ceiling from the S bar back of the harness, connecting with a windlass behind the scenes, by which the subject was raised and lowered at will. The S bar is always a prime necessity in any levitation act because it enables the operator to step behind the subject or pass a hoop completely around the body.

Now, if the harness was raised by the thirty wires the woman in it would tip forward the moment her body left the couch. So there is a counterbalance running beneath the stage by fifteen more wires, which keeps the whole thing horizontal. The rest is easy. You can't see the wiree and there is no hole in the background through which a steel bar might be poked to support the beautiful lad y. Result—mystery!

Kellar had another illusion which^was splendid. He called it "The Blue Room." It was a huge box on the stage something like a square room. In it the magician took his place after a bit of patter and the light remark. "Now you're going to see yourselves as you'll be m thirty

And right in front oi you the magician slowly tuned into a skeleton—without the »id of a net!

How? Easiest thing in the world! You weren't looking at Kellar at all, hut at his image m a very finely i—itr mirror placed diagonally across the box, as he steed ■> its side, really out of sight- As the am wse atowty withdrawn the skeleton bsfaind it m into view, Manning exactly with the miUumjs «f the sssctrim's figm* ea the silvered glass. Presto, and he was out of the box. his old sell again!

It was. merely a clever ruse of inflection. Kellar carried a mirror thirty feet long to <k> that trick. No magician« do so how because they caa't afford It. Refraction. on the other hand, is the principle used in the Illusion "Galatea," old but ever good. It depends on the optical law that when light goes from one medium to a heavier one Its Line Is broken, a* from air to water, or from air to frt^s.

Houdfci has.» iflae trick with a milk can. »re invited to examine the can oarofBUy. You see that it is a good, stout om and that it hasn't aJahse bottom. 61* sturdy staples fit on the cover and you are invited to bring your Own padlock* and keys. Houdial gets indde and you lock him in securely by means of the padlocks and staple*, keeping the keys. The can fa hidden for a moment behind a «creea and—ah, there you are! Houdini Is out Of his tin orison and ihe can Is still locked up and you have th* keys.

This ougfct to be called a Joke, set a trick. He doesn't, have to pick even one lock, an art at which be Is an adept. The explanation is that while you hare locked the locka you Haven't locked the can. There is a. colliir fitting around thp neck and this holds the staplse. When the can la hidden Houdlnl merely shove« the whole top off. collar and all. get« out, puts back the cover and the can is still locked—apparently!

X>r. Herman had a fine llhwlon, 'The W»imjed iHou«e," that a child could work. It was a small house set on stilts so that you see under it You oould walk through it; ther« wer« big doors in front and back and Uttle Rights of step« led up to them. When you were satis-fled that nobody was in the house Herman closed the front door aid f» a moment a face appeared at the window and another half peeked through the door-a third pen-son popped his head out of the chimney and Dr. Herman threw open the door» with a bang—there were thr«« people ioaide!

So easy! During the preparation« a mirror wse tat dawn between the two rear stilts, and when you thought you were looking at the back set of step« you were seeing merely the reflection of the front ones. The three performer« merely got In from behind the mirror as soon as the doors were closed, that's all. Of course the floor was covered with the same material as the back of the stage— all lllu*io*« depend on color, reflection or retraction; do thing else.

E*ayt To be sure! Hie best trick» of to-day or of anr day are the simplest.

YOU SEE? (continued from page 355)

up on table one by one and the performer locates the three selected cards as well as Indicating which of the three spectators selected each«

The method for all of this is extremely simple but I must again advise that the proper presentation is what makes the trick paramount.

A "one-way" or "single-ender" deck does the trick. If the instructions to the first spectator are followed with deck in hand, it will be seen that the though card is reversed in the process. As performer stands some little die-tance away from spectator he should indicate In pantomime an overhand shuffle when a shuffle 1» necessary.

As deck is placed on performer's palm, he glimpses the bottom card and remembers it. The oards are held on the left hand and the head is turned to the right. As soon as the spectator (second) makea the cut, the performer says, "Look at the card but be sure I don't see it." As this is said, performer turns even farther to the right and left hand Is swung around so that cards are held behind his back. When cut portion is returned this entire section is reversed.

The third spectator now removes a card from the deck which remains resting on performer's left palm behind his baok. He notes the value and replaces It on top, finally giving the deck several complete cuts and placing It face down on the table. This process places the noted card (former bottom card secretly glimpsed) above the third selected card.

As the fourth spectator deals the oards faoe up one by one from the deck lying on table, the three cards are discovered as follows«—

The first card is the one singly reversed in either of the two sections.

The second card is the last card of the reversed section which is no where near the secretly glimpsed card.

The third card is the one following the secretly glimpsed card.

With the deck in hand, the above becomes exceedingly simple, and if one does a few one-way deck tricks, it is a nice finish.

While there is nothing original in the various methods used to locate cards, the combination of them In one continuous effect gives it more of a body than to merely find three cards separately and in three different ways. The trick is strictly a non-manipulative one and throughout the performer operates with but one hand.

The Impression is built up that the locations are solely mental, and such a build-up is strengthened because you never make a move which might be construed as a bit of sleight-of-hand.

Some may find it more practical to do the dealing themselves at the finish. As a selected card turns up, the performer can stop, pick It up, say that he feels someone Is thinking of it, and then hand It to the correct person. Such a presentation will, I am sure, be found more than satisfactory to any performer.

Page 356


One of thoae "miracle" effects to confound the erudite with a perfect "out" in case the working goes awry is this prediction stunt. So often magi pass up the taking of chances only because they have no "other way" to get through the trick In case the spectator doesn't follow the line of least resistance.

The magician has a shuffled deck of cards and asks spectator to cut it into three piles. He then tells spectator to carefully make his choice of any one of the three piles, but regardless of his final selection, the third card from the top will be the "Three of Clubs." This actually happens.

In riffling the oards together when shuffling the performer gets a glimpse of the third card from the top of any pack. In order to do this artfully, riffle them naturally without looking at them until you come to the last five cards in left hand pile. Slow up. slightly on your riffling; when you slow up, take a quick glanoe at these oards as they fall, and you'll be surprised at the ease with which you can see the oards and their position from the top. Give deck another riffle shuffle or two, not disturbing the top stock and have spectator cut pack Into the three piles.

Now move the piles about a bit on table so as to confuse spectators as to which is top one. Stop this when top pile is either In center or at right hand end of a spectator's reach; then explain that no matter which he selects, the third card from the top will be the ----, and name the card you noted in the shuffle.

Due to the psychological placing of the piles the spectator will pick the correct one In a great majority of the times. Tests will bear this out. And when the right one is selected, you have your miracle without further fuss or ado. However, if and when he does not select the correct pile, you have a perfect continuation.

If the spectator puts his hand on a pile not containing the glimpsed card, take out the third card from the top of that pile (but do not show it) and say, "In order to prove to you that I have In no way influenced you, I want you to point to another pile, and the third card from the top of that pile will be the ---, and here you name the card that you took out of the first pile. Count down to the third card of the second pile, take it out, place it with the first card you took out, ask spectator what two cards you predicted were in the piles, and when he names them, turn over the two oarde you hold and the trick Is done.

If by chance, the seoond pile the spectator selects is still not the one with the glimpsed card (and which will very very rarely happen), just continue by saying that you will also name the third card of the last pile. You, of course, name the second card as that of the third you are about to take out of the last pile. Then have the three cards named and turn them over.

Strictly impromptu, the stunt is one of those which can be worked smartly with the assurance that it will really befuddle. It also gets away from the usual "take one" trend of most card mysteries.

TRAVEL THOUGH* henry eetsch

Effect: From a set of road mapa any one la selected, opened to full size and placed on a table. Any three persons then scan the map and mentall select any city or town that may strike their fancy. Rie medium Is placed in a far end of the room facing a corner. The magus then Instructs the thrfee person to write down their mentally selected locations on a small piece of paper so as to have an acourate check at the conclusion of the test.

The last person to write upon the slip of paper is told to fold it and keep In his Inside pocket for the time being. Then he is to take the unfolded map to the medium. The three persons now form a circle with the performer by holding hands and the lights are snapped off to aid in the collective concentration. The performer lays stress upon the fact that from now on, until the medium either fails or succeeds in naming the mentally selected places, he will remain speechless. All Instructions are carried out and the lights extinguished. Slowly the medium names the three seleoted places. The lights are turned on and the three places as named by medium are checked by person who holds the slip. All are correct!

Apparatus: (1) A small pocket flashlight with the lens covered with red tissue paper. This is to be concealed anywhere suitable on the medium. (2) A small slip of paper and pencil in magician*s Inside coat pocket. (3) A set of six road maps, more or less, all different. These may be obtained from local gas stations, or by writing directly to any of the large oil companies.

Preparation: These maps have a complete section of the country on one side, while on the other side it is blocked off in a number of smalled sections of cities. On the section nearest the center paste a piece of carbon paper that will fit lnaide of the seotlon with a clearance of about a quarter of an Inch all around with the impression side of carbon facing you.

On top of this lay a thin pleoe of white paper the same size aa the carbon. From a similar may cut out this seotlon and paste it over the carbon on three of its edges. Thus you have formed a pocket over the oarbon and piece of paper, the latter being removable from the open side. Fold the map to its original form and prepare as many as you may care to use.

Presentation: It should all be very clear by now. Remove the maps from your pocket and have any one selected. The chosen one is spread open with unprepared side facing the audlenoe and the three cities or twons seleoted. Remove the 8lip of paper and pencil from pocket and lay on map over the prepared section .that is underneath. When the three persons write their selections, oarbon impressions are left on the white paper under the oarbon. The map is taken to the medium who removes the piece of paper from the pocket in map when lights are turned off. By means of the pocket lamp which so prepared will not throw a glow, she finds out the selections and slowly names them. The rest Is routine plus showmanship. The whole effect is so radically different and so simple and direct in working that a tryout is highly recommended.

watchistry martin Gardner

Effect: Pull out your watch and ask someone to think of any two numbers on its face, provided they are opposite to each other on the dial. Ask him to add them together and give you the total. Immediately you name the 2 numbers and proceed to repeat the effeot again with someone else.

Now pause and explain that probably several have figured it out. There are only a few possible combinations and it might be surmised that you have memorized their totals, etc. But you now offer to show something more difficult.

This time a spectator chooseii (mentally) another pair and SUBTRACTS the smaller figure from the larger. HE KEEPS THE RESULT TO HIMSELF. After due concentration and build-up, you tell him the correct answer!

Method: The first part is quite easy. There are only 6 pairs, with totals running 8-10-1214-16-18 (counting around the dial beginning with 1). When spectator gives you the total merely count around dial (by two's) until you hit the total.

The reason for repeating this first part the second time is to produce the Impression that for each pair there is a DIFFERENT total! The success of the trick depends almost entirely upon this psychological suggestion that different pairs give different totals. For If the results are different when added - they certainly should be different when subtracted (he unconsciously assumes I).

Actually - when any pair is subtracted, the result is AIWAYS 61 And before divining the "6" by telepathy, casually put your watch away so that he will have no immediate chance to experiment with the figures.

It's a nice stunt to work in connection with the old watch mlndreading effect in which you tap the figures with a pencil and stop on che correot hour. This has been published many times and makes a nice companion.

EDITRIVIA (continued from page 354)

Paite 357

sequel to "The Art of Magic" as a continuation of the Professor Hoffmann books, of which "Modera Magic" still stands as a bulwark against magioal mediocrity. "Greater Magic" was a dream of Hi11lard's and is a galaxy of dreams for the modern magician. Knowing Hilllard well, we had the wish several years ago to write the book. Now, in the cold light of day, looking at the 1030 pages and reading the 715 tricks so carefully written, we realise that our perversities and temperament would never have allowed us to even closely approach what Jean Hugard has accomplished. I truly believe that Angelo Lewis and John Hilllard are together In some temperate clime and sagely saying, "Only we could have done better." Harlan Tarbell's 1120 illustrations are perfect for technicians. My lowest bow to you Mr. Jones, for making John's dream a reality. My heartfelt regrets, to you, dear read er, If you don't possess "Greater Magic."

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