Magic Trick: To Invert a Glass of Water

This is an effect which may either be accomplished separately, or may follow the third method of the preceding trick. The performer places the tumbler upon the table, fills it with water, and, in the act of shifting its position, places the lid, unperceived, upon it. He is provided with a half-sheet of note-paper, which he places upon the tumbler, and then, covering the whole with one hand, inverts the glass upon it. He then addresses the company, remarking that they are, no doubt, familiar with the schoolboy trick of holding an inverted tumbler of water, with merely a sheet of paper to keep the contents from falling to the ground. To illustrate this, the performer holds the tumbler by the base in the disengaged hand, and removes the one below. In the ordinary way the paper would fall to the ground; but the performer has taken care to allow it to become slightly wetted, so that it adheres to the glass top. The performer now proceeds: "This any schoolboy can do; but I dare say you do not think it possible for me to remove this paper and yet retain the water in the tumbler. However, I will show you that such a feat is possible." Taking the paper by an edge, the performer gradually removes it, all the time affecting to hold the tumbler with the greatest steadiness, and keeping his eyes rigidly fixed upon it, as though momentarily anticipating some catastrophe, to avert which a concentration of all his energies is necessary. If he pleases, the performer may swing the tumbler into an upright position and back again, repeating the action three or four times. The paper may be eventually replaced, and the top removed inside it, or that article may be got rid of without the aid of the paper at all.

A slight objection exists in connection with the use of the glass top, from the fact that it is liable to "talk," i.e., make a noise, as it is being placed in position. This does not signify on the stage, but, when performing before small audiences, it may be as well to use a piece of mica. As this has no sunken edge, it is not quite as secure as the glass top; but, with ordinary care, no mishap need be apprehended. In removing the paper from beneath, it will be necessary to adopt great caution in avoiding all approach to a sideways sliding movement, which would probably have the effect of shifting the mica, when a deluge would immediately follow. The paper must be boldly peeled off away from the mica. Mica may be purchased in sheets, and the conjuror should cut several sizes, both for tumblers and wineglasses, and carry them in his pocket-book.

When at a house, if even only for the evening, where he is likely to be called upon, he can soon obtain an opportunity for fitting the various glasses in use, by carrying a mica in the palm. Performed with a wineglass, the trick makes a very valuable addition to the few applicable to the table. In turning the glass back to the upright position, always place the hand beneath first, as, in removing it, it is then an easy matter to take away the mica.

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