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Conjuring With Cigarettes - Magic Tricks
( Article orginally published July 1927 )
Cigarette tricks have come into great popularity recently, and the magician who uses them will find that they are very effective.
1. The Cigarette in the Hand.
A cigarette is thrust into the left fist-lighted end first. The magician squeezes his hand until the cigarette is extinguished. Then he opens his fist and shows that his hand has not suffered !
A thimble is held in the closed hand, and it receives the lighted end of the cigarette, which is extinguished when the right hand presses it into the thimble.
As soon as the cigarette is removed-or before-the right hand squeezes the left fist, the right palm being held below the left hand. This is done to "extinguish any sparks". In reality it allows the left hand to drop the thimble into the right, so the left hand can be shown empty, and uninjured.
2. Cigarettes in the Case.
The magician opens a cigarette case and finds it empty. He closes the case, and opening it again, produces two cigarettes from the interior.
The cigarettes are in the case all the time; but they are artfully concealed. The case used is the type that has cross-bands to hold in the cigarettes. One cigarette is laid crosswise under each band. Thus when the case is first opened, it is apparently empty. When the magician opens it again, he can extract the hidden cigarettes, keeping the case away from the spectators so that they will not see the interior.
3. The Rising Cigarette.
This is one of the best of cigarette mysteries. A pack of cigarettes is taken from the vest pocket. It opens itself, and a cigarette rises from the interior.
The preparation necessary for this trick is worth the trouble. Make two holes in the side of the pack (which is of the type that slides open) and run a rubber band through, tying knots in the ends. These holes are near the center of the pack, and the rubber band provides the motive power for the self-opening pack.
Remove all wrapping from the pack, so that the cigarettes are loose inside. Take a very short needle, thread it with black thread, and run it through the back of the pack-through both cover and sliding drawer. It should, however, go through the cover at the center, and through the drawer at the bottom. The needle is then pushed point upward into the bottom of a cigarette.
The thread is five or six inches long, and the loose end is wound around a button of the vest. The pack, filled with cigarettes, is placed in the vest pocket.
The operation is not difficult. Remove the pack from the pocket, taking care to push the slide shut. To prevent the slide from opening, press the bottom of the cover firmly between the left thumb and forefinger.
Wave the right hand over the pack, and release pressure with the left hand. The rubber hand will force the pack part way open. Continue to wave the right hand, and at the same time move the left hand slowly forward. The thread will become taut and then the cigarette will begin to rise until it is half way out of the pack. Lift out the cigarette with the right hand, and put the pack back in the vest pocket with the left hand.
4. The Nameless Cigarette.
The magician holds a cigarette between his thumb and forefinger. He shows that there is no name upon it. He raises his hand to show the other side of the cigarette, and there is no name there. But when he tilts the hand forward once more, a name appears printed upon the cigarette.
This is a deceptive trick. In raising the hand up to "show the other side of the cigarette", the magician rolls the cigarette between his thumb and forefinger, giving it a half turn. This motion of the cigarette passes unobserved. Thus both sides of the cigarette are apparently shown, but only one is really exhibited.*
The cigarette is then merely tilted forward and the name is seen upon it.
5. The Anti-Gravity Cigarette.
A cigarette is laid on the table so that about two-thirds of it protrudes over the edge. Yet the cigarette does not fall.
There are two methods of performing this trick. The first requires a prepared cigarette. A bit of metal is hidden in one end of the cigarette, and as that end is much heavier than the other, the cigarette can easily be set so that it apparently overbalances the table edge.
The trick was improved after further experiment, so that an ordinary cigarette may be used. Simply moisten one side of the tip of the cigarette. Press that side firmly against the table edge, and the cigarette will stick, although more than half of it hangs over the edge of the table.
Do not moisten all the tip of the cigarette as that would give the trick away. Use plain tipped cigarettes in both methods. A cork tip would arouse suspicion.
6. The Smoke Trick.
Drop a cigarette in a glass and put a plate on top of the glass. This will cause smoke to immediately form in the glass, and when the plate is removed, the smoke will pour forth.
Of course it won't work unless you know the secret. Put a few drops of liquid ammonia in the glass; and a few drops of spirits of salts (otherwise known as hydrochloric or muriatic acid) on the plate.
Dropping the cigarette, or half a cigarette, in the glass is just a "bluff". When the plate is put on the glass the acid and the ammonia unite and form smoke-and plenty of it.
7. Self-Smoking Cigarette.
This cigarette does not actually smoke itself-but it is smoked without the magician or anyone else puffing upon it.
The hands are crossed and clasped together, and the unlighted end of the cigarette is inserted at the base of the thumbs. Then the hands are squeezed together and separated very slightly. This is repeated quickly, and the suction will cause the cigarette to puff furiously, and smoke itself.
The trick may be performed with a cigar or a pipe.