11 Tips From a nineteenth Century Magic Guide


Magic books have an extended historical past, from The Hocus Pocus Junior (1635) to 101 Magic Tips (2016). And whereas some are classics, most of the older tomes appear very unusual to our trendy eyes. Take, for instance, The Magician’s Personal Guide, Or the Complete Artwork of Conjuring. Written by George Arnold and revealed within the 1800s, it claims to be a group of magic methods, illusions, and unanswerable questions packed stuffed with enjoyable for 1001 evenings. Listed here are 11 enjoyable, pleasant, and bizarre methods from the e book.

On the lookout for a trick to mess along with your chef associates? Nicely, this can be the one for you. For this easy trick, you solely want the substances to make an omelet—eggs, butter, milk, and so forth. Nevertheless, it is vital that you simply boil the eggs extremely laborious beforehand. Then wager your pal they’ll’t make an omelet with the substances you give them. You may win on a technicality, however you might also lose a pal.

Amaze your pals by making an omelet utilizing solely a hat and a candle as your cooking instruments. The very first thing you will want is an enormous hat, ideally a tall one. Then you definitely’ll want 4 empty eggs (emptied “by being sucked by means of a small aperture,” Arnold notes), one full egg, and an already-cooked omelet.

As soon as you’ve got gathered your substances, place the totally cooked omelet deep within the hat after which name your pals over. Preserve the hat up excessive (to allow them to’t see the underside) then begin breaking the pretend eggs within the hat. What’s the true egg for, you would possibly ask? To maintain these you are making an attempt to idiot from figuring out that the opposite eggs are empty: “The operator ought to, as if accidentally, let a full egg fall on the desk, which breaking, induces a perception that the others are additionally full.” Place the hat over a lit candle for a couple of minutes, then pull out the nice and cozy omelet. With a bit of luck, nobody will ask you to decrease the hat to allow them to peek inside.

Arnold wrote that “a number of methods could also be efficiently performed by sheer audacity. I as soon as astonished an entire social gathering by holding a pack of playing cards over my head, and naming every. The actual fact was, that I used to be standing precisely reverse a big mirror, wherein the playing cards have been mirrored, whereas the spectators, having their backs to the mirror, suspected nothing.” This trick, based on Arnold, is one which wants audacity to succeed: Let somebody draw a card from a deck. Ask them to take a look at it, then have the particular person return the cardboard to the highest of the deck and place the playing cards behind your again. Shuffle all of the playing cards aside from the highest one, then deliver the playing cards again in entrance. Ask the particular person if the underside card is their card—which you understand it is not—and once they say no, fake to be aggravated and shuffle once more, this time ensuring to maneuver the highest card to the underside of the deck.

Though Arnold has a whole part in The Magician’s Personal Guide in which he explains how magnets can be utilized in magic methods, you do not really want one for this trick, regardless of its identify. What you will want is horse hair (most likely not one thing you’ve got mendacity round the home) or black silk thread about two toes in size, in addition to two bent hooks which can be the identical coloration because the thread. Connect every finish of the thread to one of many hooks, then hook them to the again of your pants. Subsequent, sit in a chair and place a dark-colored cane on the interior a part of the thread. Now, “by a easy motion of the legs, you may make the cane dance about, and carry out a terrific number of implausible actions,” Arnold writes. However earlier than you try this, be sure to announce that you will magnetize the cane, and do not forget to maneuver your fingers “as professors of magnetism do,” in order that “the movement of the legs is not going to be observed.”

We guess a brainteaser is actually a trick for the thoughts, and this e book has a ton of them (a few of which contain math). Ask your viewers to unravel this downside: There are three jealous husbands and their three wives. All have to get to the opposite aspect of the river, however the boat can solely carry two folks at a time. How do you get all six throughout the river, with out having any of the wives alone with the lads who should not her husband? Ignoring the plain sexism (this e book was written within the 1800s, in any case), the answer is: “Let A and spouse go over—let A return—let B’s and C’s wives go over—A’s spouse returns—B and C go over—B and spouse return, A and B go over—C’s spouse returns, and A’s and B’s wives go over—then C comes again for his spouse.” Who says brainteasers with out math cannot harm your head simply as a lot as ones that do?

We aren’t positive why Arnold included so many methods involving eggs—maybe as a result of eggs are a family merchandise and straightforward to get? At any price, to carry out this phantasm, you will want to interrupt out the ol’ egg carton as soon as once more. Seize an egg and a few wine glasses. Place the wine glasses straight subsequent to one another, then put the egg in one of many glasses. Subsequent, “blow neatly on one aspect of the egg, and it’ll hop into the subsequent glass; repeat this and it’ll hop again once more.” That is it—that is the trick. It appears unlikely that it might work with any wine glass sufficiently big for the egg to fall within the backside (so … most wine glasses as of late). Good luck with this one!

We’ll assume that that is the kind of trick you play on somebody once they’re annoying you. Put a small ball in every of your fingers. Spreading your arms as far aside as potential, inform your viewers which you could get each balls in no matter hand they choose with out bringing your fingers close to one another. Then, “all it’s important to do is to put one of many balls down upon a desk, flip your self spherical, and take it up along with your different hand,” Arnold writes. “Each the balls will thus be in certainly one of your fingers, with out the latter approaching the opposite, agreeably to your promise.”

Arnold calls this trick “a first-rate delusion,” and it is fairly concerned: You want a vase lined with silk, a hollow-handled ladle with black ink in it, water, and a few goldfish. Inform your friends that the vase is full of ink; to show it to them, dip your ladle into the vase and pour the ink held inside onto the desk. Subsequent, put your handkerchief over the vase; mutter some magic phrases if you would like, then pull the handkerchief away, ensuring to additionally seize the black silk contained in the vase. Eradicating the silk will reveal goldfish swimming in water (the pressure of which had held the silk in place).

A few of these methods could also be incomplete—or possibly the most important trick is Arnold making us consider these methods are actual. This trick claims that in case you rub two items of superb lump sugar collectively at nighttime, you may produce a shiny electrical mild. We tried this simply to see, and we are able to report that this isn’t correct in any respect. Based on Arnold, “The identical impact, however in a extra intense diploma, could also be produced with two items of silex or quartz, the white quartz being finest for this objective. The identical impact might also be witnessed by rubbing the items of quartz collectively, beneath water.”

In case your grandpa pulled cash out from behind your ear, this trick may need been one thing he would have loved. It requires using a half-dime, which is not in circulation, however it’s going to most likely work simply superb with an everyday dime. Put some wax on the nail of your center finger and place a dime in that very same hand. Whenever you make a fist, the dime will follow wax; while you open your hand, it’s going to seem to have disappeared out of your hand. (Simply make sure that to not flip your hand round, lest they see the dime caught to your fingernail.) 

Arnold said that the aim for a lot of of his illusions was that “spectators ought to by no means be capable of say, ‘Ah! the trick lies within the field; he dares not present it to us!'” So a few of his methods have been extra about diverting the expectations of his viewers. This one is straightforward: Place a stuffed glass beneath a hat and state, “I’ll interact to drink the liquor beneath that hat, and but I am going to not contact the hat.” Get beneath the desk, making some noises such as you’re taking a drink, and knock on the desk thrice. Come out from beneath the desk and ask somebody to raise the hat to see that you simply drank the beverage. After they raise the hat, seize the glass, take a gulp or two, and say, “I’ve fulfilled my promise. You might be all witnesses that I didn’t contact the hat.”



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