to Spelthorne Museum
is invited. Always Free.
Covid 19 Crisis the Museum is closed. We do have two new Exhibits
on line for you to see though. Enjoy!
site for those
Growth of Flowers
prettier trick was ever presented to an audience than this.
It was originally introduced in London by Colonel Stodare, and
was brought to this country in 1867 by Joseph M. Hart, better
known as M. Hartz, the Man with "The Devil of a Hat,"
and later was invariably included in Kellar's program. In exhibiting
this trick the performer uses two tables draped nearly to the
floor (in the original production three tables were used, but
Kellar used two only). On the top of each is a circular piece
of metal supported on light wire legs. Attention is first called
to a cardboard cone open at both ends, and positively empty
as the audience may readily see. Besides the tables and the
cone there are two flowerpots, made of pasteboard, to resemble
the common red clay pots. These are filled with sand. They are
placed on the little metal stands that are on the table, and
as there is considerable space between the top of the stand
and the top of the table it does away with the suspicion that
might arise that the flowers came from below. The performer
covers one of the pots with the cone and on raising it a bud
is seen just above the sand. He covers it a second time and
this time when he raises the cone a beautiful bush of flowers
is in the pot. The second pot is now placed on a small table,
without drapery of any kind, that stands nearer the audience.
This is covered with the cone and when that is again lifted
the second pot contains a rose bush fully fifteen inches high.
average layman when asked for an explanation of the trick generally
suggests that it is done by a spring. A very natural explanation
for, as we all know, Spring brings up the flowers. This case,
however, is somewhat different, as our readers will now learn.
Besides the cone that the audience see, two other cones play
an important part. These fit one in the other, and both, eventually,
go into the visible cone. Behind each table, near the point
where the drapery ends, there is a shelf. On this shelf stands
a plant, covered with a cone that fits inside Cone No. 1. The
base of this plant is a moss-covered wooden disk that goes into
the mouth of a flower-pot. From this disk a green cord ending
in a ring leads up to the top of its cone, where the ring goes
over a flat hook inside the cone and near the top. Picking up
the cone that the audience have just examined the performer
holds it with both hands, one at each end, and covers the first
flower pot. As he does this he drops from the top a rose bud
that is fastened to a small, loaded spike, so that it will be
sure to fall, right side up, into the sand. This spike he takes
out of his vest pocket or from his table, and holds between
the second and third fingers of his right hand which goes inside
the top of the cone, as he is about to cover the pot. Now comes
the most important move of the trick. The performer stands with
his right side to the table, and lifting the cone to show the
bud, he lets it drop in the most natural way over the cone that
contains the first bush. Seizing the two cones with his fingers
inside, he passes back of the table and stepping out on its
right (as it faces the audience) he carries with him the loaded
cones in his right hand and the flower pot in his left, to show
the bud. This flower pot he replaces on its table. Then he covers
it with the cone and releasing the ring inside the second cone,
lifts off the two cones, revealing the bush standing in the
pot. As he lifts the cones he drops them over the third cone,
that is back of the second table, and almost immediately passes
back of the table, to the front, carrying the three cones with
the second bush. It might seem as if the audience would notice
this movement, but it is so natural and the cone is out of sight
for such a brief moment, that nine out of ten people in the
audience would declare, if asked, that they had not lost sight
of it for a second.
now to the undraped table on which he stands the second pot,
the performer covers that and as he raises the cone he turns
the mouth momentarily toward the audience so that they see it
is empty. The attention of the audience, however, is so fixed
on the second bush, that they hardly give a glance at the cone.
attempts have been made to improve this trick, so as to do away
with the draped tables. One of these is worth mentioning on
account of its ridiculous ending. The performer who attempted
this improvement decided that he would have the flowers run
up from below into the cone, as it rested for a moment on the
stage. The idea proved better than the execution, for on the
first night when the performer gracefully rested the cone on
the stage a trap opened on the opposite side, and a bush was
thrust up in full sight of the amused audience.
real improvement on the trick was devised by that graceful and
brilliant performer, Mr. Karl Germain, whose retirement from
the stage is regretted by all who have had the pleasure of witnessing
his version, a single uncovered flower pot stood on a table.
Standing near it Germain began to fan the pot, when gradually
there appeared to spring from it a few leaves. These were followed
by buds, and then the plant increased in height until it was
fifteen to eighteen inches above the top of the pot. That the
flowers on it were real there could be no doubt, for the performer
cut them off and distributed them to the ladies in the audience.
beginning the trick proper, the performer passes around for
examination a flower pot filled with earth. This pot is in two
parts, an inner and an outer part. The outer is a mere shell,
without a bottom. The inner, which contains the earth, is held
in place by two bayonet catches or in any way that the ingenuity
of the performer may suggest. When he returns to his stage,
he rests the pot for a moment on a side table, while he turns
to speak to the audience. As he stands the pot on the table
he releases the catches and the inner part sinks, of its own
weight, through a trap. The outer part or shell of the pot the
performer finally places on his center table in a place that
is hollowed out to receive the bottom part, which stands over
an opening. Under this table is a tube leading up to the opening
in the table top. Inside this tube is the bush fastened to a
solid base, and at the proper time it is pulled up into the
pot either by clock work or by cords leading off to a concealed
assistant. The center table is of the three-legged variety,
but is shaped so that all three legs may be seen from any part
of the house. It is, in fact, almost a round frame with a triangular
shaped top. The space between the legs is filled in with black
velvet and back of the table hangs a handsome bright plush curtain,
the lower part of which, from a distance of about four and a
half feet above the stage, is of black velvet. The result is
that the audience imagine that they see under the table. The
effect is somewhat similar to that produced by a "Sphinx
table," but requires fewer curtains and does away with
the danger of breaking expensive glasses.
text comes from the following website: http://www.classicmagic.net/tricks/288.php
I didn't want the ads on the page so copied it to our own site.
Copyright belongs to Classic Magic .net
Once Reopened out of hours group visits to the Museum can be
Also members can visit your group to give illustrated talks
on various local history subjects.
See 'Education' for further details
We have again revamped the website for the 40th Anniversary
of the Museum. Please take a look at the Queen's Award page,
the Accessibility page, the photos of Staines page and the Lino
page. There is also a map page showing how to get to us, people
are always saying to us that they didn't know that we are located
through the Library, on the map page we show photos of our building
related to everywhere else around us.
We also have
NEW pages showing the Exhibits that are supposed to be in the
Thames Room, however they can be seen on here while we are closed,
due to the Coronavirus.
Story of Spelthorne Museum
Outer: 4,000 year old lady
Inner: Lino Design