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Tumbler Tricks - Magic Tricks
( Article orginally published July 1927 )
There are many interesting tricks in which drinking glasses are used, and some of them have been chosen for this chapter. They make excellent tricks for the dinner table, but they can be performed in other places as well.
1. The Over-full Tumbler.
How can a glass be more than full? Very easily, as you will learn when you try this trick. Take a glass and fill it to the brim, until everyone admits that it is quite full.
Then take another glass or a pitcher and very carefully pour a little bit of water into the full glass. If you do this slowly, the full glass will receive a small quantity of water.
Then if you look at the full glass from the side, you will observe that it is actually more than full. The water will be piled up in the center of the glass and will form a tiny hump which is quite visible. That is, the water will be above the brim of the glass!
Care must be taken that the brim of the glass does not become at all wet.
2. A Two Tumbler Trick.
The performer states that he will pour a quantity of water into a glass. Then he will pour in some water from another glass; but with this strange result-there will be less water in the first glass when he is through than there was when he started!
To accomplish this seeming impossibility, fill the first glass almost to the brim. Then put some water in the second glass, and dash it into the nearly-filled first glass. You will actually transfer the contents of the second glass into the first; but the force of the water will dash out water from the first glass and it will contain less water than when you started. The trick should be performed on a tray.
3. Pouring Smoke.
The trick of pouring smoke from one glass to another is quite surprising; in fact, if it is done well, the smoke will act almost as a liquid.
The glasses should both be wet. Then puff some cigar smoke into one glass, very slow and gently. The smoke will settle and fill the glass.
Carefully pour the smoke from one glass to another, doing it very slowly and easily Be sure to avoid all drafts, and you will discover cover that the trick is not at all difficult.
4. Non-breakable Glass.
The magician pushes a tumbler off the end of table. It falls to the floor, but it does not break!
Practice this with a pillow. Push the glass slowly to the edge of the table and let it topple off. It will turn over in falling, and will strike on the rim. This absorbs the for of the blow, and the glass will not break as it probably would if it struck the floor its side.
Of course a delicate glass should not used. A cheap and fairly thick glass is to kind to do this trick with.
5. A Surprising Detection.
A tumbler is used in this trick-but its sole purpose is to draw attention from the true secret.
An object is laid on the table. The magician leaves the room, and someone pockets the object.
When he comes back, the magician inverts a tumbler on the table and asks each person to touch the bottom of the glass with his or her forefinger. When everyone has done so, the magician looks at the glass and names the person who has the object.
A confederate helps the magician. Not a word is spoken. The confederate, however, knows who took the object, and he waits until that person has touched the glass. Then the confederate touches the glass. The magician knows that the person who touched the glass just before is the one who holds the object.
6. Lifting Six Glasses.
The magician states that he can lift six glasses at once, with one hand. That sounds very difficult, and everyone wants a demonstration.
The method is this: arrange five glasses a circle with the sixth glass in the center. Put a finger in each of four glasses and the thumb in the fifth. Then lift, and as you do so, press the glasses together. The pressure of the five glasses will hold the sixth, and you can lift them all at once.
7. The Non-falling Glass.
Set a glass of water on the table, with handkerchief spread out beneath it.
Seize the handkerchief, give it a sudden pull, and it will come away, leaving the glass of water standing there.
This trick is not difficult; but it must be performed boldly. Pull the handkerchief straight out, with a quick, steady jerk.
The weight of the water in the glass makes the trick easier, as it holds the glass steady.
8. The Magnetic Tumbler.
The magician takes a glass and turns it over on the table. He places his hand upon, and lifts. The glass comes with his hand, as though magnetized.
The glass used in the trick should have a depressed bottom. Moisten the bottom of the glass, and set the palm against it, giving the palm a twist. The suction created will enable the hand to lift the glass.
Any glass may be lifted by burning a small piece of paper in it, and then pressing the palm flat upon the brim. This makes it possible to lift the glass with the palm.
9. The Mystic Pointer.
A tumbler plays a very important part in this trick.
A small piece of paper is cut in the form of a cross, and is folded slightly in the center of each arm. A needle is placed in a cork, which is stood upright, and the paper cross, which has one arm slightly pointed, is balanced on the needle.
A tumbler is inverted over the small contrivance, and the object is to make the pointer turn in any desired direction.
To do this, rub the outside of the glass with a handkerchief, and you can make the pointer turn. It can be made to revolve by rubbing the handkerchief rapidly around the outside of the glass.
10. The Top of the Tumbler.
The magician turns a tumbler upside down and lays a coin upon it. He hands a person two matches, and states that it will be impossible for the person to pick up the coin with the two matches and lift it from the top of the tumbler.
The feat looks so easy that the person in mediately accepts the challenge. He picks up the coin with the two matches and triumphantly lifts it from the glass.
Then the magician quietly informs him that he has picked up the coin, but he took it from the bottom of the tumbler, and not from the top. Hence he has failed to fulfill the necesary conditions of the trick.