The Magic Vanishing Birdcage

One of the most classic and mystical tricks ever invented in the history of magic is the Vanishing Birdcage trick. There were many versions of vanishing birdcage but Clarence Slyter has made a decided improvement to it.

Slyter uses the arm pull. But he has a spring heavy reel attached to the strap on his left wrist. Before he is ready for the vanish the cord is sufficiently long to be easily attached to the cage. When the cage is in his hands he spreads his arms sufficiently to release the catch on the reel. This takes up the excess cord until it is sufficiently short to make the vanish in the usual way. A catch on the cord itself, entering the reel, prevents the cord from being pulled out under the force of the vanish. There are reels made which have sufficient strength to pull the cage into the sleeve or beneath the clothing when released.

We cannot overlook the elastic pull used to vanish a handkerchief. This is a pear shaped container used with a length of cord elastic. When the handkerchief is stuffed into the container it may be caused to vanish by merely releasing the container. The elastic pulls it out of sight. The elastic pull has been used for vanishing coins, decks of cards, color-change reels, watches, pencils, wooden cigars, cigarette fakes, balls, eggs. Frequently you will find the rubber attached to some queer-looking thing that acts as a holder of the object to be vanished. But the vanish depends upon the pulling power in the stretched elastic as anyone can verify who has ever stood in front of an audience and discovered that age has at last caught up with the elasticity.

A variation of the cord pull has been used for The Chimney Vanish. The handkerchief is hooked into a loop of catgut, as it is stuffed into the cylinder. The cylinder is held between the palms. The handkerchief is plainly visible through the glass. One moment it is there. The next, it is gone.

A spring reel, sometimes called a Flash Pull, has been utilized for this trick. The reel has a strong spring. The cord may be pulled out to the required distance. The performer presses a catch on the reel. This holds the cord in position until ready. A slight tug on the cord releases the catch. The tension of the spring then tends to pull in the cord. When you release the object it goes in a flash.

The conventional square cage is not the only object that has been vanished by means of a pull in the sleeve. There have been round cages, lamps and other large objects, all collapsible, which have gone up the sleeve powered by the arm pull. The exact reverse of the old decanter trick, the spider web and many other appearances can be made to apply to similar vanishes. So may be reversed also adaptations of the several gravity applications, or the revolving panel.