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Profile of Myrsolon
I’ve decided to work through the tarbell course as it was originally parceled out. One lesson every 10 days and focus on perfecting my understanding of the concept presented in that chapter per Tarbell’s suggestion. The problems with doing so I’ve noticed are: 1) I don’t get the goodies the original participants received and 2) Who really uses half-dollars anymore.

So, my question is this; What effect would you suggest I practice to work on the principles of lesson 1? (Since half-dollars are a bit dated and I don’t know where to get the gimmick to work dissolving coin anyway. )


P.S. I did attempt to search first, but my skills are not that strong, and using tarbell as a keyword yields way too many results.
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Profile of Cardician99
Although half dollars are not often seen in circulation, they are still available.
Go to your local bank and ask for them. Usually they have halfs on hand.

If you need a half dollar gimmick, I would suggest you email:
and address the question to him. He stocks just about any half dollar gimmick you can think of, and is very familiar with the Tarbell books.

Good luck!
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NJ, U.S.
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Profile of Jaz
I didn't know Tarbell gave out the necessary props? Hmmm.
Most magicians still use half dollars as well as silver dollars in performance because they are comfortable to handle. Personally, in impromptu situations, I most often use more common coins. If you're worrying about justifying half$ just say that you use them because they're more visible.

Here's a suggestion.
Go over the course. If you don't have the props you can still learn the principles and techniques used by going thru the motions or reading.

Most suggest asking a glass cutter to make you dissolving coins.
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Profile of Myrsolon

Tank you very much, I wasn't able to find it on the site but I did go ahead and e-mail Denny.

Yep, Tarbell originally sent everything needed for the first half of the course, the second half you would have to purchase or make yourself. I'm also looking into glass cutters so if I get a negatory from Denny I can start making contact.

As for your other suggestion, I've considered doing that as well, but I'm thinking of this as also a kind of experimen; doing everything exactly the way the lessons make out, or using varients.

The official start date is going to probably be in january though if I can get the props together I'll start sooner. I'm also probably going to intensify tings during the summer when I have less academic workload outside of magic so I'll do 1 lesson every 5 days then.
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Profile of Myrsolon
Denny happened to have some of the coins! So I have one on the way.

Thank you both very much for pointing me in the right direction.
Bill Thompson
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Profile of Bill Thompson
For the dissolving half you could also buy a "Nothing Box" it comes with two gimmicks.
"To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment.
Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven." - Chuang Tse
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