1. Floating Sugar
This is an interesting experiment with a lump of sugar. The lump is dropped in a cup of liquid, and of course it sinks to the bottom. But, a few moments later, the sugar suddenly rises to the surface of the liquid and floats there.
The lump of sugar is an ordinary cube of sugar, which has first been dipped in liquid collodion. When the lump is dry, it appears unchanged. When it is dropped into liquid, the sugar melts; but the collodion. preserves the shape of the lump and up it comes to the top.
2. Burning Sugar
Ask a person to set fire to a lump of sugar. He will be unable to do so. The flame of the match will merely blacken the sugar. But when you apply a match to a lump, the sugar burns with a tiny blue flame.
Sugar contains alcohol, and it will burn provided the combustion is once started. To do this, secretly dip the corner of the lump into cigarette or cigar ashes; then apply the match, and the sugar will burn.
3. The Cloud of Sugar
This trick has been attributed to the Hindu fakirs. A mouthful of sugar is taken from a spoon, and suddenly it is blown forth in a dry cloud. This is particularly effective when colored sugars are used, as two or three clouds may be blown.
The dry sugar is contained in a large capsule, which has pinholes at the ends. It is taken into the mouth with the spoonful of sugar. The loose sugar dissolves, of course; but the capsule is held between the lips, and by blowing through it, the cloud of sugar is formed.
4. The Mystic Letter
This is a very interesting problem in mystery. A person is requested to write an initial or a figure on a lump of sugar, and to lay the lump with the letter down. The magician takes the lump of sugar, and without looking as it, drops it in a glass of water. He tells the person to close his fist, then holding the glass of water above the spectator’s clenched hand. After the sugar is partly dissolved the magician tells the spectator to open his fist and there on the palm of the band, is the imprint of the letter on the sugar, perfectly reproduced.
Now for the secret, which is quite artful. ‘While the spectator is writing the initial, the magician secretly moistens the ball of his right thumb; this can often be done by merely rubbing the thumb along the outside of the glass. Just a bit of dampness is required.
In picking up the lump of sugar, the magician presses his thumb against the initial side; then he drops the sugar in the glass. The imprint of the letter remains on the magician’s thumb. With both of his hands, the magician grasps the spectator’s hand and closes it into a fist. In so doing, the magician’s thumb presses against the person’s palm, and thus leaves the imprint of the initial.