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Topic: Color-changing top hat-any ideas?
Message: Posted by: videoman (Jul 13, 2009 04:40PM)
In writing about my striped appearing cane on another thread it made think of another problem I've been trying to solve so I'll throw it out there for suggestions.

I'd like to open my manip act holding a black collapsed top hat. I produce a black silk, wad it up, and place it in the collapsed hat. Then I spring open the hat and the hat has now changed from black to one with red and white stripes, when I turn the hat over (brim down) a red and white striped silk falls out.

My first hurdle is finding a red and white striped top hat, but I'm thinking I could locate a white one and fashion some red stripes on it. Assuming I could pull that off, any ideas how I could change it from black to striped? Any resources out there with a method I may be able to adopt?

It is an opener so I could be "hooked up" in some way if necessary, but the next hurdle is that to hide the red and white stripes the black "cover" needs to be pretty opaque and therefore a fairly heavy fabric making it more difficult to use a type of pull or something of that nature.

Any suggestions, I'm at a loss.?

Thanks so much,
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jul 13, 2009 06:45PM)
Well Bill,
Marvyn Roy used to feature a color changing top hat in his Jewelry Act.

In your description of the trick you want to do, you describe putting a silk in the collapsed top hat and then popping it open to reveal the hat has changed color.

A couple of 'problems' : How will you put a silk in a collapsed hat? How do you prove the hat is black if the first time you pop it open it has changed color? I think more logically, you should have a black hat (collapsed or not) , pop it open , and drop the silk inside. THEN close it and now when you open it...the color has changed.

Alternately, you might put a striped silk in a black hat and have the circumstances reverse themselves...with a black silk falling out of a striped hat.

Now for the hat. Getting a white silk hat is not really a problem and you can use silk fabric textile paints to paint the stripes on the hat as you wish. The abric paint doesn't bleed, doesn't make the fabric stiff, and is easy to work with . The brand I'm most familiar with is Jacquard and available at all art stores.

I have some experience in recovering top hats. I think I have re-made a couple of dozen over the years, covering them in black, gold blue and white satin for Goldfinger , Billy Mc Comb, Jim Bentley and myself. ..so I know this subject well.

My recollection of Marvyn's hat was that it reversed itself because the rim or brim was movable.. this meant that it was pushed down and it went from it's normal position to the flat or top part of the hat and a fabric sleeve covered the former body of the hat. Gosh , this is tough to explain but it's kinda' like the mechanism that Jack Gwynne use dot change the color of a rabbit...assuming you have access to the Jack Gwynne book.

Alternately , as you mention ...a pull could be used but I would look to that as a last resort. I think it could be self contained.
Message: Posted by: bojanbarisic (Jul 14, 2009 11:43AM)
I think it is the same method described in J.G. Thompson`s "My Best" on page 288 as Tom Bowyer` Color Changing Hat and Gloves. Magic Christian also used color changing hat to open his manipulation act and Chris Moss whose video clip you can find on YouTube has a nice method as well.

Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jul 14, 2009 12:05PM)
YOu can always count on Bojanbarisic to have all the right information and details! He's beginning to remind me of my friend Levent...always there with several sources.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 10, 2009 02:24PM)
Looks like the dealers are always ease dropping in on us. I ran across this Color Changing Top Hat.


Not stripped but it is something I have never seen before!