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CHEMICAL MAGIC lohn T>. Uppy


CHEMICAL MAGIC


Courtesy Fisher Scientific Co.

THE ALCHYMIST'

By David Tenters The Younger


Chemical Magic BY

JOHN D. LIPPY, JR. WITH

INTRODUCTION BY

HOWARD THURSTON

A. L. BURT COMPANY Publishers New York Chicago


COPYRIGHT, 1930,

BY

GEORGE SULLY & COMPANY, INC.

P B Z N T E D

I N T H E

U N I T E D

S T A T K S

O F A M E R I C A


Affectionately dedicated to my daughter SARA KATHRYN LIPPY who was always interested in my experiments


FOREWORD From the earliest times the science of chemistry has not failed to exercise powerful attraction and influence on the minds of men. It has never ceased to be a veritable store-house of wonder, surprise and mystery. The interest in it has increased with the passing of time, and goes on increasing, as more and more of its mysteries are explored and laid bare. Much has been discovered that for long remained unknown, much is now clear that was once obscure. Still, a great deal remains hidden for coming generations to uncover. Probably, no science lends itself so readily to the production of so-called magical effects as chemistry, yet its use for such purpose is of a quite recent date. In searching through the ancient records of magic and alchemy, wefindthat the early magicians, as they have been termed, possessed a knowledge of powerful drugs and chemicals. We, also, learn that they were held in awe and reverence by their f ellowmen. There are many curious descriptions of magical rites, as well as descriptions of apparatus and materials used in connection with these rites. Magic, in its modern conception, may be briefly defined as effects produced for the purpose of starTXl


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FOREWORD

tling and amusing those who witness them, and seemingly caused by supernatural means, or occult agency, or secret force beyond the apprehension of ordinary intelligence. In the following treatise, I shall deal with chemistry as a pastime or amusement, and not as a science, an amusement which, if properly used, cannot fail to be one of a profitable character. It is not my aim to produce a work of wonders, or of marvels and mysteries, not to launch on an already over-crowded market a description of all the tricks and sleight-ofhand performances of a host of professional or semiprofessional entertainers, but rather to explain to those who find real pleasure in amusing others, a working knowledge as to how desired effects are accomplished and results achieved and, in addition, to give the already "professional magicians" something which may increase public interest in their programs and prove of much advantage to them in their stage exhibitions and demonstrations. A word of caution in the presentation of chemical magic would seem in order. Never present a new experiment to your friends, or in public, until you have thoroughly mastered it in private in every detail, however good an experiment may appear to you to be. Always try to improve it. Present the experiment in your own way. Do not begin by using large quantities of chemicals. Commence with very small amounts, such as half-filled wine glasses ; you can always in-


FOREWORD ix crease the amounts for a large production. The exact amount of ingredients to be used in an experiment is not always stated. This varies with the nature and manufacture of the chemicals, with the purity, and with the care with which they have been kept. Again, let me advise, that you always try experiments in private, otherwise you may have a surprise, as well as your audience. Cordial thanks are due Howard Thurston, the World's most famous magician for the introduction to this volume ; to Dr. Henry Ridgley Evans, author of "History of Conjuring and Magic," from which I quote in my sketch on magic ; to Thos. C. Worthington, 3rd. of Baltimore, Md. to whom I am indebted for many of the illustrations, and to my friend, Clinton Burgess, of New York, for assistance and valuable information. JOHN D. LIPPY, JR.


INTRODUCTION Far back in the shadowy past, long before the building of the Pyramids, magic was a practiced art in Egypt, and therefore, the Land of the Nile has been called the "Cradle of Magic." The art of magic, then, dates back to the earliest periods of recorded history. It was used by the Egyptian, Chaldean, Jewish, Roman and Grecian priesthood, to deceive the ignorant masses. Bleeding and weeping statues, temple doors that flew open with a thundering sound and apparently by magical means, and the ever-burning lamps that flamed forever in the tombs of the so-called holy men, were some of the thaumaturgie or magical feats of the Pagan priests. In the middle ages magic was very popular. One reads strange stories of goblins, ghosts and elves in the literature of that period. Wrinkled old women were burned at the stake for the crime of witchcraft. The same fate befell even beautiful maidens, such as Joan of Arc, who was also accused of witchcraft and cruelly burned. Monks, in their dark cells, fought with Satan and the Powers of Darkness, and grimy alchemists toiled day and night over the red fires of their furnaces, seeking in vain for the charmed philosopher's stone and the wondrous elixir of life. In making a study of modern magic and chemistry, wefindthe alchemist in the background. Alchemy was


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INTRODUCTION

the pretended science which sought to change the baser metals, such as lead, into gold and silver. It is believed, that alchemy had its origin among the Greeks of Alexandria, during the early period of the Christian era. It was adopted by the Arabs, and, in turn, was handed on to the Europeans, where it became a developed science. It has been said that alchemy was never at any time different from chemistry. Although it failed to accomplish any of the purposes it sought, it was nevertheless the beginning of the science of chemistry. Its contribution to chemical science is found in some of the apparatus, much improved by modern methods, but the principles of which are still the same. Chemistry of today might well be called modern magic. The tricks of the ancient magicians and alchemists were crude attempts at deception, compared to the work of the chemist of the present generation, when one stops to think that the chemists have learned to make artificial silk, rubber, dyes, etc., and have created any number of things never known before. In many cases they have not only succeeded in duplicating the products of nature's laboratory— they have actually made stronger, purer and more lasting things than nature. Just a few of the many miracles of chemistry are the making of buttons from corncobs, radio dials and panels from oat hulls, umbrella handles and toilet articles from milk, poker, chips from cheese, and furniture and jewelry from


INTRODUCTION

xiiĂŽ

carbolic acid. Little wonder that chemistry is called modern magic. Men of all nations under the sun have contributed to the progress and development of this study. The most successful of them have been those who have made it their life work. The boy who becomes interested in chemistry from a desire to learn the secrets of nature and pursues it with earnestness is certain to be a contributor to the fund of human knowledge and a factor in the march of civilization. The world is full of wonders yet unexplored, for it is said, to experiment is to explore. The boy of a scientific turn of mind may become a successful inventor or a skilled entertainer in magic through the application of an acquired understanding of the science of chemistry. Because of the unconscious love of the mystic and supernatural, which lies deep down in the fibres of every human being, it is hoped that the present work, which occupies a unique field in the extensive literature of magic, will be found interesting, instructive and entertaining to those interested in both chemistry and the age-old art of magic, and, that all of these will be ample reasons why all good parents, as well as the public, should be interested in the progress of chemical science—and in the boys and girls who will some day become the men and women of chemical science.


CONTENTS CHAPTEB

I. II.

III.

PAOB

HISTORY OF MAGIC

1-19

CHEMICAL FIRE MYSTERIES I. Silver Stars from a Candle—2. Magic Flash from a Candle—3. Lighting Fire with Ice—4. Death Masks —5. A Ghost Light—6. Burning Names—7. The Ring Mystery—8. Fire from Water—-9. Burning Water— 10. Satan's Bubbles—11. Exploding Bubbles—12. Restoro—13. Fairy Candles—14. The Living Gas Jet— 15. Spontaneous Combustion—16. Silver Fire—17. Blue Stars—18. Red Fire—19. Green Fire—20. Yellow Fire—21. Pharaoh's Serpents—22. Purple Vapor —23. Burning Bands—24. Fire Flare—25. Climbing Flame—26. Improved Burning Cord—27. Surprise Cigarette—28. Fairy Fuel—29. Fire Burning Under Water—30. Fire-Eating—31. Chinese Fire-Eating— 32. A Lighted Candle for Dessert—33. Fireproofing —34. Demon Fire—35. Fire from Wood—36. Fire Raisins—37. Burning Banana

20

C H E M I C A L I N K S AND P A I N T S

36

1. Blue Writing—2. Light Blue—3. Navy Blue—4. Brown—5. Red Brown—6. Deep Red—7. Red—8. Light Red—9. Yellow—10. Golden Yellow—11. Purple—12. Violet—13. Green—14. Dark Green—15. Bright Green—16. Black—17. White—18. Invisible Ink—19. Red Invisible Ink—20. Brown Invisible Ink —21. Sympathetic Ink from Fruit—22. Simple Sympathetic Ink—23. Spirit Painting—24. Spirit Production of a Painting—25. Magic Black Paper—26. Magic Red Writing—27. Magic Blue Writing—28. Magic Blotting Paper—29. Another Magic Blotting Paper—30. A Blushing Picture—31. Polychrome Waters—32. Secret Writing Ink—33. Chameleon Liquid—34. Change-o—35. Winter to Summer—36. Disappearing Name—37. Crystal Picture—38. A ColorChanging Picture—39. The Ghost Name—40. Appearing and Disappearing Name—41. A Magic Picture— 42. A Ghost Picture—43. Blood Writing—44. The Mystery of Malabar—45. Chameleon Pictures—46. The Magic Rose—47. The Magic Wound xv


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CONTENTS

CHAPTER

IV.

PAGE

M I S C E L L A N E O U S

C H E M I C A L

T R I C K S

.

.

.

.

5 4

1. The Chemical Joker—2. Disappointing Match—3. Trick Matches—4. Anarchist Bombs—5. Telltale Cigarette—6. Permanent Bubbles—7. Rainbow Bubbles—8. Bouncing Bubbles—9. Rubber Egg—10. The Floating Egg—11. Magic Spider—12. Water Snake— 13. Water to Milk—14. Dirty Hands—15. Magic Tattooing—16. Floating Sugar—17. Chameleon Powder—18. Rubber Bones—19. Change of Volume—20. The Dry Hand—21. Color Soap—22. Iron to Copper —23. The Magic Rose—24. Chemical Barometer— 25. Magic Black Hand—26. Magic Fingerprint—27. Liquid to Solid—28. Sand of the Desert—29. The Restless Ball—30. Chemical Seeds—31. Magic Transfer—32. Solid from Liquids—33. Chemical Cannon— 34. Chemical Beacon—35. Diving Egg—36. Yogi Smoke Mystery—37. Another Smoke Trick—38. The Magic Card—39. Spirit Pad—40. A Novel Trick—41. Smoke from Fingertips V.

C H E M I C A L

S P I R I T U A L I S T I C

E F F E C T S

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.

.

7 4

1. Luminous Paint—2. Spirit Materialization—3. Spirit Skull—4. Movable Skeleton Hands—5. Spirit Ball—6. A Ghost—7. The Spirit Mirror—8. Luminous Pictures—9. Colored Luminous Picture—10. Black Art—11. Spirit Marionettes—12. A Man Who Walks Away from His Shadow—13. Vanishing With Shadow —14. Dancing Skeleton—-15. Spirit Flowers—16. Spirit Hands—17. Mental Telepathy VI.

VII.

LIQUID CHEMICAL EFFECTS -85 I. Water and Wine—2. Wine and Water—3. Water to Milk—4. Water to Ink—5. Water and Ink from Pitcher—6. Water and Milk from Pitcher—7. Milk to Water—8. Water and Wine—9. Claret and Water —10. Wine to Ink—11. Wine and Ink from Pitcher— 12. Wilkinson's Wine and Water Trick—13. Elliott's Wine and Water Trick—14. Water to Sherry—15. Water to Sherry—Sherry to Water—16. Water to Ink, to Port, to Water—17. Separating Wines—18. Another Water and Milk Trick—19. A Disappointed Guest—20. Changing Liquid—21. A Magic Wand— 22. Water to Blood M O R E

L I Q U I D

C H E M I C A L

E F F E C T S

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1. Magic Dye Works—2. Dyeing Green Cloth—3. Blowing a Liquid Red—4. Penetration—5. The National Colors—6. Muddy Waters—7. Red, Blue and

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