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Cork Tricks - Magic Tricks
( Article orginally published July 1927 )
1. The Bouncing Cork.
This is a clever little trick that is quite perplexing.
The object is to drop a large cork so that it will stand upright. Different people try it, but whenever the cork strikes on end, it bounces at an angle and falls over.
The magician, however, can make the cork fall so that it stands on end, even when dropped a foot or more.
The secret lies in the position in which the cork is held. It is dropped so that it falls on its side; then, when it bounces, it will stand upright.
2. Upright Corks.
The object of this trick is to make several corks float upright in a bowl of water. The corks naturally float on their sides, and it seems impossible to make them float vertically.
Yet the magician can accomplish the feat very easily.
He does this by placing several corks in the bowl together, all upright, in a circular group. The sides of the corks become wet, and they stick together and float upright.
3. Two Corks.
This trick is always good. Two corks are used and they are set as shown in Fig. i, one cork at the base of each thumb. Then the fingers and thumbs grip the ends of the corks, and when the hands are taken apart, the corks come away freely, although one would suppose that they would hook together.
In fact, when people try the trick, they will invariably fail, as they make the corks interlock.
The magician accomplishes the separation thus: He holds his hands back up and places his right forefinger on top of the left hand cork. His right thumb goes on the bottom of the cork. The left thumb extends into the right palm and presses against the bottom of the right hand cork, while the left forefinger bends around and presses the upper end of the right hand cork.
In this position, the corks will apparently interlock and make it impossible to draw the hands apart. But actually the corks are separated, and the hands can be easily taken apart. Large corks should be used.
4. Cork and Bottle.
In this trick, a small cork is to be blown into a large necked bottle. This seems very easy, as the cork will slide through the neck of the bottle-but the bottle must be held horizontally, so that the force of a blow will send the cork in.
The person who tries it gives a big puffand the cork, instead of going in, comes out of the bottle!
This is because of the air in the bottle. The harder one blows, the less chance he has for succeeding.
The correct method is to blow very gently; or to blow the cork through a straw, when it can be propelled into the bottle.
5. Adhesive Corks.
The magician takes two corks and places them together, the ends touching. He holds the uppermost cork, and the lower cork remains attached to it.
Other persons, however, will be unable to make the corks adhere.
This is because the magician secretly moistens the top of one cork. Then, when they are placed together, they will adhere.
6. Removing the Cork.
This is more of a catch or a joke than a trick; yet it is quite interesting, and is often the cause of much speculation.
A corked bottle is shown, and the bottle is partly filled with liquid. Obviously the liquid cannot be removed unless the cork is withdrawn.
Yet the conditions of the problem, when stated are that the liquid must be removed without damaging the cork or taking it out of the bottle-and without breaking the bottle!
This sounds impossible; but there is a way in which it can be done. The cork is a short one, cylindrical in shape. So the demonstrator simply pushes the cork into the bottle. The liquid may then be poured out; but the cork is still in the bottle!