Description

1. The performer demonstrates that a hat, borrowed from a spectator, is porous, by thrusting a finger, or his magic wand, or an egg, or practically anything, through it from the inside out.

2. An enormously long strip of paper is produced from a hat.

3. A pigeon, or a rabbit, or some small animal is produced from the hat after the paper strip has stopped coming.

Execution

1. The finger, or the egg, or the magic wand to be thrust through the hat are actually dummies: consisting of replicas of the items with a fine needle sticking out one end, the whole small enough to be palmed (without injury!) in the performer's left or right hand (depending upon whether s/he is right or left-handed). In either case, the performer takes up the item — finger, egg, magic wand — and thrusts it into the hat; the hat, being held in the other hand, is pierced by the needle of the palmed item; s/he grasps the needle inside the hat, and wiggles it around, giving the impression that the item is wriggling through the hat.

2. A roll of paper tape, such as used to be used in teletype machines only narrower, is wound up very tightly in the form of a flat disk with a hole in the center. The performer holds this under his jacket with his left hand and slips it into the hat when he holds the hat to his chest. The original description states that the disk is of sufficient size to stay within the hat by friction alone; it also states that it can be held in place by finger pressure through the hat; this is probably the more reliable method. Once the performer pulls the tape loose from the center of the disk, and holds the hat brim downwards, the paper will unroll apparently endlessly.

3. Once the paper stops coming out, the performer turns the hat brim-upwards and starts pulling the remaining paper tape out allowing it to fall all over the place: this emphasizes the great length of the strip. Once it has finished, the performer grabs the pile and takes it back to his table, giving as his reason that he's going to try to see if it will all go back in the hat! There is a pigeon or other small creature, lightly bound and hung on the edge of the table; when the performer piles the paper tape on the table in front of the creature, he releases it and plops it into the hat under the first handfuls of paper. Soon enough he'll "notice" the creature moving and reveal it to the astounded audience!

Comments

The artificial finger is simple enough to make; the artificial egg and the magic wand, though, must be shorter than the real thing, enough so that they can be palmed. The egg will look like half an egg only! More modern substitutes for the paper tape can be discovered by experiment. The small creature must be trained to jump onto or fly onto the table and stay there.