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dcjames
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“Magic is very easy to do - poorly.”

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Andrew Zuber
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Great link! Thanks for posting that Smile
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J.G. the magnificent
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Quote:
On 2010-11-30 18:57, Bill Palmer wrote:
@ J.G. -- "Crotches"? This is where you need to bear in mind that specific words have specific meanings.

Do you mean "crochet"? I don't want to see your crotch on a table when you are performing the cups and balls.

Second -- you have an interesting mix of fact and fantasy here. To say that "the first balls only needed to be small because magicians didn't have routines requiring larger balls for the most part" is rather strange. If you pay attention to the size of the cups that were used up until the middle of the 19th century, you would understand that they were rather small. The cups described in Hocus Pocus, Junior, for example were not even three inches tall. Neither were the cups that are described in Ozanam and Guyot. You start seeing larger cups toward the end of the 1700's and even larger ones through the 19th century. You basically couldn't use a larger ball with a small cup.

Performers tended to use a small ball, about 1/2" in diameter, because that's basically what they worked with. The venues weren't large. They were mainly performing for people across the table from them, not on stage. Some of the paintings show the use of a larger ball, but there isn't much in the literature to indicate that larger balls were used until roughly the middle of the 19th century. At that point, you have performers such as Bosco performing in larger venues. Consequently, they would need to use a larger ball, simply so the audience could see it. This also necessitated the development of a differernt concealment, which Robert-Houdin called "The Bosco Palm."

Charles Bertram used a cork (or pith) ball that was about 7/8" in diameter or slightly larger. The ones he used are on display in the Magic Circle museum.

Crocheted balls came into vogue somewhere around the 1940's to 1950's and have been used ever since. We know that Vernon used them, for example. I haven't found any earlier references than this.

However, there is no reference at all in any of the material for Vernon using his crotch.

I never claimed to know all my history. You obviously know it better than I probably most of us. Anyway I think it is really how you look at it. Yes they were small to fit in small cups. None the less though were their really any other magical applications for balls besides juggling when the two arts were still seen closely. Their was really no need for bigger balls. P.S. Sorry if my spelling was off I loved your joke at me though. That gives me an idea for a final load that would be appropriate for adult audiences. Probably an adult themed routine.

Quote:
On 2010-12-02 19:05, Bill Palmer wrote:
There are also some "Persian Carpet" mouse pads.

Yes my mom recently got one from a old high school friend of hers that just came back from Iraq. It is a true work of art.
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Quote:
On 2010-12-12 20:16, J.G. the magnificent wrote:

I never claimed to know all my history. You obviously know it better than I probably most of us. Anyway I think it is really how you look at it. Yes they were small to fit in small cups. None the less though were their really any other magical applications for balls besides juggling when the two arts were still seen closely. Their was really no need for bigger balls. P.S. Sorry if my spelling was off I loved your joke at me though. That gives me an idea for a final load that would be appropriate for adult audiences. Probably an adult themed routine.


Jeremy:

The history is well-documented. If you would read some of the FREE downloads that are available on the cups and balls museum site, you wouldn't make some of the statements you make.

I seriously doubt that you have ever considered the relationship between the length of the skirt of a cup and the size of a ball that will fit between two cups. It can be expressed in a very simple mathematical formula. d = l - t, where d represents the diameter of the ball, l, represents the skirt length and t represents the thickness of the metal of the cup. Basically you can look at a cup and tell what the maximum size ball that will fit under it is. In 1634, when Hocus Pocus, Junior was written, there were no shoulder beads on the cups. So there wasn't as fixed a distance between the inside of the upper cup and the top of the lower cup when they were nested. In the Ozanam and Guyot manuscripts, the distance is defined, and it isn't very large. That right there put a restriction on the size of the ball.

The Guyot manuscript and its routine are very important, because most of the routines that were printed during the 1800's were translations of that routine. It appears in German books, English language books and some that are in Spanish as well. The Guyot routine actually has color changes of the balls. The only thing that is missing is the larger loads. We know that they were being done from the graphics of the period, though.

In fact, there is a hint of this in HPJ. Right after the cups and balls section, there is a segment that explains how to pass a large ball through a table. The kind of ball used was called a "stoole ball." Stoole was a game similar to cricket or baseball that involved hitting a ball with a stick and running toward a goal.

But to limit what was being done in magic to the little balls used in the cups and balls and the balls used by jugglers shows a complete lack of knowledge of what was going on. For example, Sports and Pastimes shows tricks that use larger balls, such as the Globe Box (similar to a ball and vase). And even though you didn't see people doing the multiplying billiard balls on stage, it doesn't mean they weren't doing tricks with billiard balls.

My problem is simple. It's not that you don't know all your history. You barely know ANY of your history. So you make it up. And you don't start off with any kind of statement that indicates that what you are saying is conjecture.
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Dale Houck
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Quote:
On 2010-12-01 12:43, Bill Palmer wrote:

No, on second thought "crotches" isn't ambivalent. It's just the WRONG word!


There's a term for this: malapropism

The term came from a Richard Sheridan play "The Rivals" in which a Mrs. Malaprop was constantly using words incorrectly that sounded similar to the correct words. Of course, this misuse occurred well before Sheridan's play. My younger sister and I used to have fun with this, talking about "an ellipse of the moon" or "I'm cereal about this." The problem is, if you play games like that you can use the wrong word when you don't mean to and it becomes a bad habit. It might be fun to do a complete routine using malapropisms but I'll leave that to someone else.
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Bill Palmer
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Norm Crosby made this famous of course. His skill at malapropisms came from being very hard of hearing.

My mother would have made Mrs. Malaprop proud. Mom had a particular skill at confusing various words.

However, in response to J.G. the Mangificant and his thoughts about the history of magic with balls and the way balls were used in juggling, I would like to suggest that he find a copy of The Art of Jugling, a treatise on magic and juggling that was published in 1612. There are several tricks with balls that J.G. will find of some use.
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fortasse
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Dale:

What you say reminds me of the line from the spoof-comedy "Airplane" when the pilot tells the late Norm Nielsen "Surely, you can't be serious", to which Nielsen famously replies "Yes, I am serious, and don't call me Shirley".

Posted: Dec 13, 2010 4:18am
Sorry, that was LESLIE Nielsen...now of happy memory.
fortasse
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Sorry, that was LESLIE Nielsen...now of happy memory.
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Here is a piece of trivia concerning Leslie Nielsen.

Does anyone know what popular recent joke item Leslie Nielsen basically invented?

Related to that -- Does anyone know what he requested to have as his epitaph?
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ringmaster
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In the past, the balls were referred to as nutmegs. That suggests a rather small size. Perhaps, they were the less expensive carved wooden nutmegs, sold by the Rom in 18th. century market places.
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Tom Fenton
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No idea Bill.
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HerbLarry
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Joke item is the fart noise gimmick?
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Quote:
On 2010-12-13 12:41, ringmaster wrote:
In the past, the balls were referred to as nutmegs. That suggests a rather small size. Perhaps, they were the less expensive carved wooden nutmegs, sold by the Rom in 18th. century market places.


This is where a look at the literature is crucial. The French works and the German works both use the word "muscade" or a variation thereof to indicate the ball. However, when you actually read the text, it says something completely different. For example, the works of Ozanam and Guyot both refer to using a cork ball. Ozanam says that the ball is about the size of an aveline, which is a filbert. Guyot says that the cork balls are called "muscades". Similarly the German texts refer to the balls as "Muskaden" or "Muskaten" which is clearly a muscade. But they continue to explain that the balls are made of "Pantoffelholz."

I had never heard of "Pantoffelholz." The word literally means "slipper wood," that is wood that one would use to make slippers. I called the Goethe Institute and asked one of the ladies there if she knew what that was. She looked it up in one of her multi-volume dictionaries and found that it was the bark of a tree called "cuercus suber."

Don't google it. "Cuercus suber" is the cork oak. The balls were made of cork.

So, why did the French and German conjurers call them "muscades?" Because they look like nutmegs, and they probably did not want the spectators to know that the balls were light cork instead of the denser nutmegs.

Unless Lawrence O has information to the contrary, I don't have any legitimate references to these conjurers using anything other than the burnt cork balls.

Quote:
On 2010-12-13 14:10, HerbLarry wrote:
Joke item is the fart noise gimmick?


Yes, specifically the remote controlled "electronic whoopie cushion." Leslie explained on the Letterman show that he thought "the voice from the rear" was the funniest sound a human being could make. He even rigged one up underneath a seat in the set of one of the serious scenes in one of the movies he was making. It was a courtroom scene. I think that when it went off, two of the actors left the set to check their briefs.

BTW, his epitaph is to read "Let 'er Rip!"
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
ringmaster
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Verrrrry interesting ...... you've solved one of the mysteries.
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J.G. the magnificent
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Quote:
On 2010-12-12 21:44, Bill Palmer wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-12-12 20:16, J.G. the magnificent wrote:

I never claimed to know all my history. You obviously know it better than I probably most of us. Anyway I think it is really how you look at it. Yes they were small to fit in small cups. None the less though were their really any other magical applications for balls besides juggling when the two arts were still seen closely. Their was really no need for bigger balls. P.S. Sorry if my spelling was off I loved your joke at me though. That gives me an idea for a final load that would be appropriate for adult audiences. Probably an adult themed routine.


Jeremy:

The history is well-documented. If you would read some of the FREE downloads that are available on the cups and balls museum site, you wouldn't make some of the statements you make.

I seriously doubt that you have ever considered the relationship between the length of the skirt of a cup and the size of a ball that will fit between two cups. It can be expressed in a very simple mathematical formula. d = l - t, where d represents the diameter of the ball, l, represents the skirt length and t represents the thickness of the metal of the cup. Basically you can look at a cup and tell what the maximum size ball that will fit under it is. In 1634, when Hocus Pocus, Junior was written, there were no shoulder beads on the cups. So there wasn't as fixed a distance between the inside of the upper cup and the top of the lower cup when they were nested. In the Ozanam and Guyot manuscripts, the distance is defined, and it isn't very large. That right there put a restriction on the size of the ball.

The Guyot manuscript and its routine are very important, because most of the routines that were printed during the 1800's were translations of that routine. It appears in German books, English language books and some that are in Spanish as well. The Guyot routine actually has color changes of the balls. The only thing that is missing is the larger loads. We know that they were being done from the graphics of the period, though.

In fact, there is a hint of this in HPJ. Right after the cups and balls section, there is a segment that explains how to pass a large ball through a table. The kind of ball used was called a "stoole ball." Stoole was a game similar to cricket or baseball that involved hitting a ball with a stick and running toward a goal.

But to limit what was being done in magic to the little balls used in the cups and balls and the balls used by jugglers shows a complete lack of knowledge of what was going on. For example, Sports and Pastimes shows tricks that use larger balls, such as the Globe Box (similar to a ball and vase). And even though you didn't see people doing the multiplying billiard balls on stage, it doesn't mean they weren't doing tricks with billiard balls.

My problem is simple. It's not that you don't know all your history. You barely know ANY of your history. So you make it up. And you don't start off with any kind of statement that indicates that what you are saying is conjecture.

Bill I have actually read you cups and balls ebook Hocus Pocus Junior. I understood it up until the end. Involding the ball penatration through the table and a bit before that. I have thought of using the skirt of the cup to determine the ball size. I had not known of your formula though. Nor did I understand that bit of information about the jugglers. Didn't know that magicians were using billiard balls before they multiplyed either. I feel I do know my history though to an extent. I have read Ricky Jay, Jim Steinmeyer, and some others all very detailed books. Read your material as well and I read everything carefully. My memory may not be perfect, so when I reference things on the magic Café I try my best to be accurate. I look back through the book or a website if the book is not at hand to double check. Sorry if I am not perfect but I feel as though I did make good statements. I listed dates, and to my knowledge I had the understanding that magicians didn't have routines requiring larger balls for the most part. Correct me if I am wrong in any of my other statements. Are balls really used for those reasons. Are Crocheted really just for looks?

Quote:
On 2010-12-12 23:33, Bill Palmer wrote:
Norm Crosby made this famous of course. His skill at malapropisms came from being very hard of hearing.

My mother would have made Mrs. Malaprop proud. Mom had a particular skill at confusing various words.

However, in response to J.G. the Mangificant and his thoughts about the history of magic with balls and the way balls were used in juggling, I would like to suggest that he find a copy of The Art of Jugling, a treatise on magic and juggling that was published in 1612. There are several tricks with balls that J.G. will find of some use.

Thanks

Quote:
On 2010-12-13 12:41, ringmaster wrote:
In the past, the balls were referred to as nutmegs. That suggests a rather small size. Perhaps, they were the less expensive carved wooden nutmegs, sold by the Rom in 18th. century market places.

I do recall a very old book mentioning nutmegs.
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Here's a rule of thumb concerning what magicians could and would use. They used whatever was at hand.

If you read the Hoffmann books and those that are contemperaneous with them, you will see a lot about tea caddies. These were boxes that every middle class and upper class family in England had at the time. They were lockable boxes that held tea. Tea was quite costly and heavily taxed (Remember the Boston Tea Party???). The locks were to keep the servants from stealing the tea.

So parlour magicians had trick boxes made that looked like tea caddies. These appeared to be normal accessories to the Victorian magician.

But here's part of the problem, Jeremy. You don't really understand what you are reading. It doesn't sink in. I did not say that magicians WERE doing tricks with billiard balls. Reread what I wrote. I said specifically "And even though you didn't see people doing the multiplying billiard balls on stage, it doesn't mean they weren't doing tricks with billiard balls." That's not the same thing at all.

"Stoole" was a very common game. It was played in the streets. So stoole balls were commonplace. It does not take a leap of logic to figure that if the magician could make a stoole ball pass through a table, that he also might be able to load one into a cup, if the cup were big enough. Remember, these early magic books were not really supposed to be exhaustive instruction manuals. They were, to a large part, a way to keep the constabulary off the backs of the performers.
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J.G. the magnificent
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Bill I noticed in your cups and balls museum their are two very old sets with the final loads as juggling balls. I am curious were they used for juggling at the time then by magicians. Or used as loads by magicians then adopted by jugglers later being called juggling balls. Besides magicians used to be called jugglers as well.
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Jeremy:

Those "juggling balls" are not juggling balls. They were horsehair stuffed segmented cloth balls. Just because something looks like a juggling ball doesn't mean that's what it is. They also had some like this that were stuffed with sawdust. This design was popular because it was brightly colored and easy to see.

Are you aware that most street jugglers probably didn't use balls?

Have you ever seen a circus juggling act? They don't use balls for the most part. Why? Because the audiences can't see them well. They use clubs, knives and torches.

I know that magicians and jugglers used to be lumped together into one category. If you would read The Art of Jugling, you would understand this.
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J.G. the magnificent
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I caught that they were stuffed with different materials. Nonetheless though for whatever reason sectioned multicolored stuffed beanbag like balls are seen as juggling balls. Yes their are many other things to juggle. I will read the book though. Check the library for it now.
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It may be hard to find in the library, but you can probably find it on line. BTW, when you search for it, make sure that you spell Jugling with just one "G". That's the way it is in the title.

Also, there is a book called Rogues, Vagabonds and Sturdy Beggars that has the entire text of the book in it, but transcribed into modern type, which makes it much easier to read.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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