Secret And Patter To Prepare

Arrange glasses in a row as in Figure 3. Into glass No. 1, place half teaspoonful of the potassium carbonate solution; into glass No. 2 a few drops of the phenolphthalein solution; into glass No. 3 a teaspoonful of the tartaric acid solution; into glass No. 4 a few drops of the phenolphthalein solution; and into glass No. 5 a teaspoonful or so of the phenolphthalein solution.

YOU WILL HAVE TO EXPERIMENT TO GET THE PROPER PROPORTIONS to use of these solutions, but once you know the principles on which the effect is based, you will have no difficulty in working it.

Phenolphthalein is used in medical laboratory tests. An alkaline solution turns it red and acid solution turns it colorless again. The color will vary from light pink to deep red, depending on the strength of the phenolphthalein and alkaline solutions.

Potassium or sodium carbonate, being alkaline, turns the phenolphthalein solution red; the tartaric acid, being acid, bleaches it out again.

Some performers in emergency use a little ammonia as the alkali and vinegar as the acid. Some prefer strong agents like caustic soda and hydrochloric acid as only a small amount is required. For all around use, however, potassium or sodium carbonate and tartaric acid are the best for with them there is no danger of accidents.

The milk effect is produced in the fifth glass by pouring water on the strong phenolphthalein solution. You must experiment here to learn just how much of the phenolphthalein solution to use in glass to produce about two-thirds of a glass of milk by pouring water over it.

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