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Topic: Dunninger encyclopedia
Message: Posted by: MagiClyde (Sep 16, 2007 08:51PM)
I have a copy of [i]Dunninger's Encyclopedia of Magic[/i] and have looked at several old books on magic and some of them actually mention using chemicals for some rather unusual illusions. Has anyone ever actually done anything like that? Some of them, as written, sound quite dangerous to the performer.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 16, 2007 09:11PM)
Along the lines of FX I read once at the JIS (juggling Information Center) that if you mix different metals in with your torch fuel the fire would glow different colors.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Sep 16, 2007 11:03PM)
I've seen chemical effects used, don't recall if I saw any of those in Dunninger's used, but a lot of that stuff dates back to the 30s and 40s, a bit before my time. And yes, some of that stuff in Dunninger's would be dangerous. Magi and theaters are a bit more safety conscious these days, and fire departments have stricter codes.
Message: Posted by: MagiClyde (Sep 23, 2007 07:11PM)
[quote]Along the lines of FX I read once at the JIS (juggling Information Center) that if you mix different metals in with your torch fuel the fire would glow different colors.
[/quote]
Isn't that how they get fireworks to have different colors? They add different metals or chemicals in with the gunpowder?
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 23, 2007 08:40PM)
I would say yes.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Oct 8, 2007 05:53PM)
Yes, that's correct, various metals are used to color flame.

If I recall correctly, one idea in [i]Dunninger's Encyclopedia of Magic[/i] used a mercury-based chemical. That is dangerous, and is not recommended. Mercury is very nasty stuff to deal with. You will have trouble getting the chemical today anyway. There are better solutions (pun intended) in [i]Modern Chemical Magic[/i] by John Lippy.

Both of those books use unsafe chemicals. Do some research before doing anything in either book. Many of the ideas in [i]Modern Chemical Magic[/i] are relatively safe though.
Message: Posted by: Yellowcustard (Oct 9, 2007 09:10AM)
Just to let you know if you mix any thing up from a recipe make sure it tells you the strength and dilution of the chemical. You donít want to use a 100% alcohol, when the recipe should say use 100% alcohol diluted down to 50% I started a small fire when all I thought was going to happen is a flash of flame.

Along with not clear recipe and a list of tight health and safety guide lines and if you brake them your insurance wont cover you and your left to pay the damages I would not use stuff out of old books.

Look for the effect you want and buy a of the shelf version it will have strict health and safety guide lines for you to follow and all the information you need about it for insurance liability and you own risk easements.

I wrote this for people thinking of using stuff in shows but ha if you just want to play at home give it a try were all adults just make sure your will is up to date and no small animals are about.
Message: Posted by: spcarlson (Dec 20, 2007 10:05PM)
Here is a site mentioned in another post, looks interesting

http://www.howtoadvice.com/ChemicalMagic
Message: Posted by: dunlop (Dec 21, 2007 11:01AM)
Yes, you have to be very careful with this kind of magic, I've just had an accident two days ago :(
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 13, 2008 07:12PM)
[i]Dunninger's Encyclopedia of Magic[/i] was published as a series of cod explanations for the ways that illusionists really did magic back in the 1920's and 1930's. Anything in it should be taken with a pound of salt.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jun 16, 2008 06:07PM)
[quote]
On 2008-06-13 20:12, Bill Palmer wrote:
[i]Dunninger's Encyclopedia of Magic[/i] was published as a series of cod explanations for the ways that illusionists really did magic back in the 1920's and 1930's. Anything in it should be taken with a pound of salt.
[/quote]

Remarkably though there are a few gems buried in there as well.
I'll never forget the jolt of joy I felt when I went the the WMS a few years ago and saw that Owens had actually built the Heroes Mystery Horse. Had I had a few extra gazillion dollars in my pocket it would have come home with me.

I also have a modern "coffee table" magic book that supposedly has modern photographs of a magician doing the vanishing statue trick where the artifact is made out of several pounds of frozen mercury. The book of course fails to mention how you keep such an item at -38 F nor where to file the enviromental impact statement for having such a large amount of mercury in ones possesion. But I bet it would be a great feat if you could pull it off. I'm sort of suprised Angel hasn't tried it yet.
Message: Posted by: MagiClyde (Nov 30, 2008 12:29AM)
Payne states [quote]The book of course fails to mention how you keep such an item at -38 F[/quote]

I would a55ume (and everyone knows what happens when you a55 you me something! ;) ) that the use of either carbon dioxide ice or liquid nitrogen was used. The CO2 ice would be easier to obtain and get close to the proper temperature
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Jan 27, 2009 10:46AM)
Some of what was described in the Encyclopedia ranks alongside Al Jaffee's "Mad Book of Magic and Other Dirty Tricks."
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Feb 20, 2009 07:45AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-27 11:46, Steve_Mollett wrote:
Some of what was described in the Encyclopedia ranks alongside Al Jaffee's "Mad Book of Magic and Other Dirty Tricks."
[/quote]

... which is also dangerous !
Message: Posted by: Nosher (Mar 3, 2009 10:18PM)
I loved Dunninger's Encyclopaedia when I was a kid. There was a copy my local library. Sadly, I imagine ordering some of the chemicals required for even some of the smaller tricks would nowadays get you a visit from suit wearing badge-wavers.
Message: Posted by: malaki (Aug 16, 2017 12:58PM)
It should be observed that ordering a copy of Chemical Magic will get you put onto a list.

That being said, Dunninger's is one of my favorite books! Very dangerous stuff accompanies some really cool effects, so shop carefully. I believe it was he who spoke of filling a flame bowl with ether and producing it from under your jacket (or was that in Our Magic?). The only thing that I could think of was the trail of fumes leading back to your jacket, where many more fumes were residing. Sounded like a recipe for magician flambe, to me...

Also, lighting a cigarette with your finger. Small chunk of potassium in a cigarette, lit with a wet finger did not sound too safe to me...

It is somewhat like an article I once read about using a Krick (X-Ray) tube in your show. They sold the idea with "makes diamonds glow in the dark! and see someone's skeleton on stage!" When it came to the advise of tying the volunteer to the chair if they are scared, I knew that someone had WAY overstepped the boundaries of using new technology, especially when you consider the high amounts of radiation that came from those older tubes! Don't try this at home, indeed!

Older books are a treasure trove of information, but one must exercise good judgement and much caution. DO NOT try to make the flash paper in Chemical Magic!
Message: Posted by: Chris B (Dec 26, 2017 01:30PM)
[quote]On Jun 16, 2008, Payne wrote:

I also have a modern "coffee table" magic book that supposedly has modern photographs of a magician doing the vanishing statue trick where the artifact is made out of several pounds of frozen mercury. The book of course fails to mention how you keep such an item at -38 F nor where to file the enviromental impact statement for having such a large amount of mercury in ones possesion. But I bet it would be a great feat if you could pull it off. I'm sort of suprised Angel hasn't tried it yet. [/quote]

What's the title? I've been trying to remember it for years, as I want to track down a copy.