Puzzle, Phantom Block

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This puzzle consists of a large hollow wooden cylinder painted red, a smaller wooden cylinder painted green, and a metal rod. Holes in the sides of the cylinders align so that the metal rod may pass through them, and the smaller cylinder is held within the larger one. One end of the smaller cylinder holds a magnet, which also can hold the smaller cylinder to the metal rod. Instructions on the box holding the pieces suggest how one might show the pieces to a viewer, having the smaller cylinder dislodged while the rod remains through holes in the larger cylinder.
A mark on one side of the box reads: ROYAL (/) “ROYDONS” (/) Phantom (/) BLOCK. A mark on another side reads: NO SKILL REQUIRED! (/) Phantom (/) BLOCK (/) A BAFFLING MYSTERY! A mark at one end of the box reads: PHANTOM (/) BLOCK (/) PAT.PENDING (/) ROYAL MAGIC & (/) NOVELTY CO. A mark on the instructions gives a copyright date of 1950.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1950
Royal Magic & Novelty Company
Physical Description
paper (instructions, box material)
wood (cylinders material)
metal (rod material)
overall: 10 cm x 3 cm x 3 cm; 3 15/16 in x 1 3/16 in x 1 3/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Edith R. Meggers
Mathematical Recreations
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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