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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Periods & styles of Magic » » Put your intitials (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gomerel
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If you are doing a pre-ink-pen period and you do a trick that involves having the audience member sign or initial something, what writing instrument do you use?
Mr. Woolery
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If you are looking for a lookalike, just stick the innards of a pen into a feather. If you want to, put it into a dry inkwell.

If you want to be authentic, how much of your historic audience would be able to sign their names in the first place?

Just a couple of random thoughts.

Patrick
gomerel
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Thanks. I guess I would tell them to make a mark.
gomerel
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Another option is pencils. Yes, they had pencils in the period that currently interests me - California gold rush. Would work for some tricks. Found an old Civil War forum post. Those guys are very serious about historical accuracy.
http://civilwartalk.com/threads/civil-war-pencils.21165/
friend2cptsolo
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Spent all this time on the Cafe' and all I have to show for it is
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Ask them to prick their finger and leave their mark.....
HenryleTregetour
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If you are doing pre-1600, you might try a stylus.

Here is a definition: "an ancient writing implement, consisting of a small rod with a pointed end for scratching letters on wax-covered tablets, and a blunt end for obliterating them."

Good for ancient Greece, Rome, medieval, etc. They were often made from various animal products, ie. horn, bone, ivory, etc.

HLT
HenryleTregetour
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Also you could go with a piece of graphite (ie. what pencil lead is made from).

You can get graphite at an art store for a fairly low price. IIRC I got 12 sticks for about $4.00, but I might be mistaken--it's been a couple of years.

Hope this helps.

HLT
Intrepid
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More on the history of pencils.
https://www.officemuseum.com/pencil_history.htm
Reproductions are easily found at many Civil War sutlers
Bob
magicalaurie
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Ontario, Canada
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Quote:
On Jan 17, 2017, friend2cptsolo wrote:
Ask them to prick their finger and leave their mark.....


Might be dangerous pre-antibiotics... or tetanus shot. Or now... depending.

How about charcoal, mud, chalk, plant matter & other natural dye stuff?
magicalaurie
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Https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ink

FWIW, varying forms of "ink pens" seem to go way back. Smile

The mechanical pencil, also referenced in previous posts here, is also rather interesting. Until recently I had forgotten that Anne of Green Gables (Edwardian) used one (I'll double check that). Smile

https://bleistift.blog/2013/08/origins-o......-pencil/
magicalaurie
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Sorry, I might be a little off on a tangent here, with Edwardian references. I can't find direct evidence (though the second photo below might be a hit) and it's been a long time since I've seen either Anne of Green Gables or the sequel, but of course a mechanical pencil would have been period appropriate for her, regardless.

I just have an image in my mind of her maybe taking one from a pocket when she was writing later exams.
And it just seems a more recent sort of contraption- I think many might be surprised to find out its origins and see one in a period film.

I find antiques very interesting and those from the 19th and early 20th century are so close to our own eras that they're really just a step away, so to speak. And since my father would be nearing 100 years, I've somehow become even more intrigued, I think, by such items since he passed in 2016.

I did find a couple of images of Anne with a pencil, at least. Smile

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