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Topic: Broken and Restored Light Bulb
Message: Posted by: jstone (Aug 3, 2005 01:47AM)
I'm sure most of you are familiar with the "trick" where you drop a light bulb (metal side down) from any height, and it will not break. The metal absorbs the shock of the fall, and then the light bulb just tips over.

Well I was at work (years ago) in a machine shop, and I told a guy at work, "hey watch this..." I dropped the bulb, but when I let it go, I dropped it at an angle and it broke. Of course from his view it was a juvenile prank... watch me break a light bulb.

However, he knew I was a magician, and he said that he thought I did it on purpose and that the trick was going to be me restoring it. That inspired an idea that I never tried, but I have a method sort of worked out for a cool effect:

The basic effect is that I drop a light bulb and it breaks on the stage (my method would require a stage and could not be done in a parlor or close up setting). However, once it breaks, like a video tape in reverse, the pieces rise up from the floor and reform in my hand back into a light bulb.

As I mentioned, I have an idea of how this would work, but I've never even attempted to create it or do it... I just wondered if anyone would find this idea of value. PM me if you'd like. I'm not sure how much of this I want to post. However, It's such an unlikely thing that probably nobody would do it, so I may reveal it here on the forum.

Let me know what you think.
Message: Posted by: jstone (Aug 10, 2005 08:05PM)
Based on the response I'm getting from this post, I think this idea must suck. :)
Message: Posted by: accolombel (Aug 10, 2005 08:12PM)
Jeff, would the audience see it repair itself and rise up in the air. Or does it break,(or seem to) and then it appears to be whole again.
The idea sounds interesting, I don't know if I could use it but would be fun to play with and work out ideas.

Message: Posted by: jstone (Aug 10, 2005 09:40PM)
The would see the break, and they would see the restoration as it rose up to my hand. It would look pretty much like watching a video of a dropped lightbulb in reverse motion.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Aug 12, 2005 01:00PM)
Any chance for something parlor or closeup? I like the basic premise and would appreciate a working mechanics.
Message: Posted by: jstone (Aug 13, 2005 10:13PM)
On 2005-08-12 14:00, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Any chance for something parlor or closeup? I like the basic premise and would appreciate a working mechanics.

It would definitely have to be stage. Remember, this is a half baked idea, but here's what I've got so far...

once the piece are on the ground broken, they would rise up to my hand. I imagined that this would be some sort of thread or pull attached to what appears to be broken pieces of a light bulb... white paper (cardboard), or plastic... something along those lines.

Next, the pieces have to come together to form a light bulb again. For that to work, At the same time as the pieces are rising up, you'd have a real light bulb palmed or in some kind of a place where you can easily steal it. As the rising pieces come up to your hands, they will eventually go right past your hands and in your coat, or wherever your pull is. However, the timing of the appearance of the light bulb and the pieces "flying by" on the pull or thread would be such that the switch is not visible.

The catch is that at the beginning, you have to actually drop and break a light bulb which leaves pieces on the stage.

One way around this could be to create some sort of a break-away bulb that can be held together, but when dropped would fall to pieces. This would be the very bulb that would be attached to the thread or pull.

As I said, this is a half-baked idea, which is why I wanted some input... so what do you guys think? Am I crazy or is this something worth thinking about?
Message: Posted by: Brian Turntime (Aug 15, 2005 03:31PM)
Jeff-- I've got one you *might* like: the misdirection you need is LIGHT. if you have it glowing (LED) as it falls, you could have an opaque white exterior bulb gaff in a breakaway setup (maybe taped or threaded so the pieces don't scatter?) with an interior invisible bulb (polycarbonate or otherwise unbreakable) and the light could switch off at that point. A palmed HALF- BULB under a kerchief or something-- vanish the pieces, the light glows through the scarf-- slip the half-bulb onto the plug base... voila!

Just a thought.

Or you could make a half broken bulb, with the other half unbreakable, same principle, with the light going off when broken, on when "restored."
Message: Posted by: jstone (Aug 17, 2005 10:11PM)

Thanks for the feedback... you've got me thinking.