Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Vanishing Cane in Newspaper

Rolling a Vanishing Cane in a sheet of newspaper before making it disappear was published in Henry Hardin's column in Mahatma, Vol. 3 No. 1, Jul. 1899, p. 261, as “The Trick of Enchantment”. It is said to be “of European origin” and features a steel coil that is stretched by hand to create the effect of visibly producing a cane. The stretched-out coil is locked with a handle cap in the open position. The cane is then vanished by wrapping it into newspaper and collapsing it secretly therein.

The idea was later rediscovered by Bobby Baxter, who unrolled “the paper with a quick flash”, see The Tarbell Course in Magic, Vol. 3, 1943, p. 27; also MAGIC, Vol. 15 No. 8, Apr. 2006, p. 78.

The idea of using an expanding spring coil of flat steel wire to transform a silk into a long stick-like “snake” was published six years before Hardin's column, and may have been an inspiration for the European prop and trick he describes. See Appearing Cane.