Magic Trick: Multiplying Balls

These, which are by some persons considered even more effective than the cups, can be made, for the most part, at home, with a little expenditure of ingenuity and trouble. They consist of an ordinary cloth ball covering, with an extraordinary interior, consisting, as it does, of a tapering spiral spring. Although I have succeeded in producing springs of the required shape by twisting wire round a peg top, I cannot conscientiously recommend anyone else to adopt a similar method of proceeding. A professed wire-worker would do the thing much more satisfactorily in every way. The covering is a very easy matter, and any one of the weaker sex may be confidently entrusted with it. Six of these balls, when pressed tightly together and tied with cotton, take up only a very little more than the space that would be occupied by a single ordinary ball. Eighteen, or more, in batches of six, can be introduced at one time if tied up in silk. The cotton of one batch being broken, the hat will be entirely filled, and the process can be repeated, the hat being each time shown to the audience in a replete condition. A tray should be at hand on which to place the balls, great care being neccessary to prevent any of them falling to the floor, which would at once reveal their unreal nature. When the balls are used, as is not unusual, in conjunction with the cups—that is to say, either immediately preceding or following them—it is advisable to have an ordinary stuffed cloth ball, exactly resembling the multipliers, inside the inner cup. This ball is allowed to fall and roll towards the audience (accidentally, of course!), who will require no admonition to examine it. The balls can also be made to multiply in the hands. For this purpose, take one bundle and spin it high in the air (be sure to spin it well), and, catching it as it descends, give it a sharp twist, to break the cotton. As the balls will all suddenly expand, the hands must be held very hollow and kept close to the breast, against which they should be sustained. Another method is to break the cotton, but prevent their bursting out, and, holding up the hand containing them, with the back towards the audience, roll the balls into view, one by one, by means of the other hand. These effects are both good, but must be done with dash.

Both the cups and balls are best got into the hat from the shelf. The safest way to get them is, in the first instance, to introduce the cards into the hat, which, after shaking about, empty on the table with a bang. A favourable opportunity for introducing anything is thus made. Some conjurors have an arm protruding at the back of the table, on which bundles of cups, balls, &c., are suspended, and got into the hat by means of a sweep of that article. This is an excellent method, when the performer does not make a bad shot, and sweep the whole on the floor instead of into the hat. Bringing the hat round the end of the table, and, tipping things into it from the corner of the shelf, is a method in use, but it is a bad one.

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