You don't need a helmet to do these tricks

In the midst of all the election and economy news you might have missed illusionist David Blaine’s newest trick. The 35-year-old world record holder hung upside down for 60 hours, suspended four stories above Wollman Rink in New York’s Central Park. Aside from the inherent danger of dangling 40 feet in the air, Blaine risked permanent damage to his body—especially his eyes and head—by hanging upside down for so long.

304 For those of you who might not be willing to risk life and limb, may I present to you the Floating-Vanishing Glass and the Milk in Hat tricks. This catalog page from 1945, in the collections of the museum’s Archives Center, displays two relatively danger-free illusions from the Sterling Magic Co. of Detroit, Michigan. For the price of but $3 you too can learn to “cause a full size glass tumbler of water that is covered with a fancy cloth to cling to finger tips, then float into space…” Or perhaps pouring liquids into other people’s hats is more your forte. Simply pour “any liquid in the hat, then [place] a glass tumbler down in hat, immediately [lift] it out and there’s all the milk in the glass, not a drop remains in that hat.” Guaranteed to be “A Laugh Riot!!”

Daniel Hoerr is an assistant in the New Media Department.

Posted at 3:37 pm EDT in From the Collections