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Topic: Cold Fire
Message: Posted by: Pedro Haluch (Dec 11, 2009 02:08PM)
Hey guys.
I've been doing some research, and found out that there's this chemical mixture with tetrachloride of carbon and petroleum ester (sorry if the chemical names are incorrect. Well, probably the mixture has a very own name).
Fact is! when burned, it creates a fire that burns at 50C (OR 122F), which would make it suitable to burn in your own hand.
Anyone know if there is such thing in the world of magic, or it's just a very obscure mixture that some crazy scientist discovered and is probably harmful.
Thanks guys.
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Dec 12, 2009 08:20AM)
Or it's complete BS. Cold fire is a myth.

Now using a fan with flashy ribbon and a yellow lamp will give an illusion of fire.... you might want to run with that.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Dec 16, 2009 10:56AM)
Complete fiction. It does not exist.
Gwyd
Message: Posted by: Danny Borneo (Dec 28, 2009 02:07PM)
Santa Clause uses cold fire to fuel his sleigh.
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Jan 9, 2010 04:58PM)
Cold fire was something from early 70's used in conjuntion of a cotton glove to hold fire on your hand.
Ihad found a company that had some 10 years ago and got it. it sucks.

first off it burned a funky color and didnot look good and it was NOT cold.

I inventied my own h ands on fire years ago and perofrmed it all over. I have since taken it out of th e show as to many idiots have burnt down clubs and theatres making it hard on the pros and responsible magicians.

I still use fire but not both hands on fire.

you can see it on my website samsandler.com watch the preview video.

good luck
sam
Message: Posted by: Der Magier (Nov 18, 2010 04:00PM)
Yeah. If you see the word "cold" used to describe fire, it's like that saying "if it sounds too good to be true, it is."
Message: Posted by: sporkofconfusion (Jun 10, 2011 11:31AM)
Actually, that is correct. Carbon disulfide and Carbon tetrochloride mixture will give that effect. The flames do look a little funky, but it the carbon tet forms a protective layer between you and the highly volatile/cool burning carbon disulfide. This mixture has its place in chemistry magic shows, but I don't think it is very useful for performance.

I do fire contact juggling and I use 70% ethyl rubbing alcohol (acetone denatured). It gives very nice colors of flames and when kept moving requires only moderate heat tolerance.
Message: Posted by: ThatsJustWrong! (Jan 10, 2012 01:10PM)
Back when I was in college in the early 80's (1980's NOT 1880's - it just feels that way), there was a case of bottles of something called PCF Cold Fire in one of the backstage storage closets. Most of the theatre folks played with it at one time or another. It was a viscous pink liquid that burned more blue than orange and, while not really cold, didn't burn your bare hands either. It was fire, however, and spread to a combustible source other than the gel created a genuine, hot fire. I've looked for the stuff over the years and have never found it but it's probably just as well because I'm sure it contained dangerous chemicals taht would cause one to develop a third eye or slowly disintegrate over time if used on a regular basis. Does anyone else remember that?
Message: Posted by: Ihop (Apr 24, 2012 11:07AM)
[quote]
On 2009-12-16 11:56, gsidhe wrote:
Complete fiction. It does not exist.
Gwyd
[/quote]
Late post but I just saw this.

I am a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry and actually it does exist.
I have used it for kids touring our labs back in the mid 70s.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Apr 24, 2012 02:30PM)
[quote]
On 2012-04-24 12:07, Ihop wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-12-16 11:56, gsidhe wrote:
Complete fiction. It does not exist.
Gwyd
[/quote]
Late post but I just saw this.

I am a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry and actually it does exist.
I have used it for kids touring our labs back in the mid 70s.
[/quote]
I call BS.
What is the chemical composition?
What is the flash point? The autoignition temp?
If it burns higher than 451 degrees (The autoignition point of paper) then it is by definition not Cold Fire. It is just Fire.
Message: Posted by: Ihop (Apr 24, 2012 03:14PM)
When I did it in the lab it was with CCl4 (Carbon Tetrachloride) no mixture. It evaporates quickly and is cold because of that.
Back then we used Chloroform & Benzene openly.
Now almost everything is considered hazordous in one way or the other.
The propertirs for Carbon Tet are available online.
Ihor
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Apr 25, 2012 10:51AM)
Um...Carbon Tetrachloride is non flammable. It has no flash point.

It was used in fire extinguishers. It actively puts out fires.

I restate, cold fire does not exist.
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Apr 25, 2012 02:12PM)
Yes it does, you can find it in the aisle between the collapsible blockhead nails and the silicone "broken glass"!
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Apr 25, 2012 02:23PM)
[quote]
On 2012-04-25 15:12, thegreatnippulini wrote:
Yes it does, you can find it in the aisle between the collapsible blockhead nails and the silicone "broken glass"!
[/quote]
I knew I should have asked the unicorn for directions.
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Apr 30, 2012 10:09AM)
Wait, are you calling me a gay horse?
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Apr 30, 2012 02:48PM)
*headdesk*
Message: Posted by: Ihop (Apr 30, 2012 09:58PM)
[quote]
On 2012-04-25 11:51, gsidhe wrote:
Um...Carbon Tetrachloride is non flammable. It has no flash point.

It was used in fire extinguishers. It actively puts out fires.

I restate, cold fire does not exist.
[/quote]
I restate.
I am a chemist and I have used it. (Mixed with Carbon disulfide)
Please believe me. There is such a thing as cold fire.
I have no reason to make this up.
You sound like you are an authority in chemistry but I assure you, you are wrong.
I don't want to get into a battle with you so I am giving you a link.
http://crsi.org.in/docs/magic2.pdf

Ihor
Message: Posted by: slyhand (May 1, 2012 06:15AM)
Maybe the term "cold fire" needs to be defined.
I would think that cold fire, if it existed, is a flame which will not burn you even if you keep your hand stationary over the flame.
Maybe someone will have a different definition of it.

Even with your link, Ihop, I don't think you would put your hand in or over the flame for more than a moment as it will still burn you. The reason you can handle it is because you are doing so from the bottom where it is the least hot and the heat is traveling upward. You still need to keep the balls of fire moving or you WILL get burned.

If you search the internet you can find tons of videos of people holding fire balls, but they keep them moving and they do not hold their hand over the flame for any length of time. Hey, if paper will burn if held over the fire, it's not cold.
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (May 1, 2012 07:27AM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-01 07:15, slyhand wrote:
The reason you can handle it is because you are doing so from the bottom where it is the least hot and the heat is traveling upward. You still need to keep the balls of fire moving or you WILL get burned.

.... Hey, if paper will burn if held over the fire, it's not cold.
[/quote]

Well, that sounds to me like fire that's not cold. That "cold" fire CAN and WILL ignite paper..... that paper ember could flitter off.... it could land on a stage curtain... or a canister of Colemans... then that will ignite... that could travel to stage floors, up walls, anything wood, paper, cloth, cardboard, etc..... a small fire will ensue... within 30 seconds that "small fire" will spread... within 60 seconds the chances of a buidling fire has gone up exponentially... that building will throw radiant heat... surrounding structures begin to ignite.... see the problem? Especially when someone has the false confindence some guy on the internet gave him by saying it's "cold fire" and isn't prepared.

Ihop, I am not a chemist. You are right. I am, however, a volunteer for the William Penn Fire Station in Hulmeville PA. There is NO SUCH THING AS "SAFE COLD FIRE", big fires start from small fires. A lit cigarette is safer than what you have proposed.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (May 1, 2012 07:43AM)
[quote]
On 2012-04-24 16:14, Ihop wrote:
When I did it in the lab it was with CCl4 (Carbon Tetrachloride) no mixture. It evaporates quickly and is cold because of that.
[/quote]
Sorry...You put "No Mixture" and claimed to be burning a non flammable substance. Can you see how I might take issue with that? Add carbon disulfide...Then yes, it ignites.
No...I am not any sort of chemist (Well educated, but not a chemist). I am a fire performer. I know fuels and flash points.
I also know the physics of fire. I would never argue that an on fire object could be held or that the skin itself can be lit on fire. I know it can. I do it all of the time.

And yes...What we are looking at is a difference of definition. Cold fire would be fire without significant heat. Not just at the base (Where the heat rises and the evaporating fuel cools the surface it is rising from allowing it to be directly held and manipulated) but throughout. With this legendary "cold fire" you would be able to light your whole hand on fire and leave it that way without concern. Even the surfaces of the hand that are facing down (Without the use of fire gels or anything other than human skin) would be unharmed. This is something that no fuel can do.
Message: Posted by: Ihop (May 1, 2012 11:28AM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-01 08:43, gsidhe wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-04-24 16:14, Ihop wrote:
When I did it in the lab it was with CCl4 (Carbon Tetrachloride) no mixture. It evaporates quickly and is cold because of that.
[/quote]
Sorry...You put "No Mixture" and claimed to be burning a non flammable substance. Can you see how I might take issue with that? Add carbon disulfide...Then yes, it ignites.
No...I am not any sort of chemist (Well educated, but not a chemist). I am a fire performer. I know fuels and flash points.
I also know the physics of fire. I would never argue that an on fire object could be held or that the skin itself can be lit on fire. I know it can. I do it all of the time.

And yes...What we are looking at is a difference of definition. Cold fire would be fire without significant heat. Not just at the base (Where the heat rises and the evaporating fuel cools the surface it is rising from allowing it to be directly held and manipulated) but throughout. With this legendary "cold fire" you would be able to light your whole hand on fire and leave it that way without concern. Even the surfaces of the hand that are facing down (Without the use of fire gels or anything other than human skin) would be unharmed. This is something that no fuel can do.
[/quote]
I'm glad we got that straightened out.
I was in error when I wrote "no mixture". I stand corrected.
I was responding to your comment:

"Complete fiction. It does not exist. "
Gwyd

And I did know that it (cold fire) did exist since I did it.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (May 1, 2012 01:11PM)
But what you did with the flaming balls is something I can do with any number of flammables. The fire is still not cold. If it will light something on fire or burn something that is above it, it is just regular old fire utilizing simple physics.
G
Message: Posted by: Ihop (May 2, 2012 08:53AM)
Nope
No flaming balls.
I poured the mixture into my palm. (it was cold)
and lit the mixture. It just burned in my hand
There was no heat detected. It remained cold.

I would never do that again because of the known health hazards. It is carcinogenic.

I'm just curious.
Have you actually done this?
Ihor
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (May 2, 2012 11:03AM)
Lit my hands on fire? Yes. Many many times. (And my tongue, leg, arm...) It takes a little more times with some fuels than others but it gets hot as the fuel is consumed (Less fuel, less cooling from evaporation).
With your mixture? No.
You poured it into your palm? A small puddle or just so the surface of the hand was damp with the mixture?
Could the flames off of the surface light an object above them on fire?
Message: Posted by: Ihop (May 2, 2012 10:38PM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-02 12:03, gsidhe wrote:
Lit my hands on fire? Yes. Many many times. (And my tongue, leg, arm...) It takes a little more times with some fuels than others but it gets hot as the fuel is consumed (Less fuel, less cooling from evaporation).
With your mixture? No.
You poured it into your palm? A small puddle or just so the surface of the hand was damp with the mixture?
Could the flames off of the surface light an object above them on fire?
[/quote]
Yes.
I poured a small puddle into my palm.

I never tried lighting an object above on fire but I doubt if I would have been able to even if I did try. It was only for a few seconds and it was never intended to be part of a magic show.
I was asked by my pharmaceutical company to show a tour group of kids some interesting chemistry. This was in the mid 70s.
This was before my interest in magic. My jobs' predecessor had a notebook with some interesting chemistry tricks.

Ihor
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Oct 14, 2015 11:49PM)
Louis Tannen sold Balls of Fire from paper bag, look it up in their old catalogs. The ad read, reach into a paper bag and remove a fire ball. Do this again and again.

They use to sell Doves from Gloves, the opening effect was to set the gloves on fire. Both hands burning, and by rubbing your hands together, puts out the flames. Then remove the gloves and produce a dove. Chen Kai from South America used this effect for years in his dove and fire act.

I bought the several bottles of this mixture from the defunct magic company in Germany, Magic Hands. The only place you can handle the fire is from the bottom. So the cotton ball rests on the palm. With the gloves, the hands has to be perpendicular to the floor, or shooting up. Any other position, and you will get burnt.
Message: Posted by: Hugo (Jan 3, 2016 05:29AM)
Stevens Magic once carried a device called "Canol Fire" (not sure of the spelling) that allowed you to dip your thumb in a liquid then light your thumb on fire with a flint. Diamond Jim Tyler showcased his Fireball effect on his "Pockets Full of Miracles" DVD using the device. Don't know if Stevens still carries this product, but it definitely allowed you to set yourself on fire. And it was impressive.
Message: Posted by: Powermagic (Nov 14, 2016 08:42AM)
I had the Tannens trick. No cold fire used. Just two gimmicks that got hot around the flame. I was a teen, I was trying to transfer the gimmick from hand to hand(it is not a ball by any means) and it the transfer around the heated gimmick was tricky and it dropped into a wicker basket and that started to burn and at some point I also burnt the carpet.

I did like their method for how they could appear from a paper bag or under the coat flaming. I was never sure if the wick material was asbestos.
Message: Posted by: e-man (Aug 13, 2020 11:13PM)
George Proust Cold Fire (Stevens Magic )