Demon Bowls of Fire

The performer has three 6.5-inch brass bowls on a table, and openly pours ordinary clean water (may be drunk) into bowls, until each is about half full. Then by simply passing the hand over bowls they each take fire and produce a flame 12 to 20 inches high.

Each bowl contains about 2 tea-spoonfuls of ether, upon which is placed a small piece of the metal potassium, about the size of a pea. If the ether be pure the potassium will not be acted upon. When the water is poured into the bowl the ether and potassium float up, the latter acting vigorously on the water, evolving hydrogen and setting fire thereto, and to the ether as well.

The water may be poured into the bowl and lighted at command. In this case the potassium and ether are kept separated in the bowl, the former in a little cup on one side, and the latter in the body of the bowl. The water is poured in, and on rocking the bowl it is caused to wash into the little cup, the potassium floats up, and the fire is produced.

N. B

The above tricks are not safe in any but specially made bowls, i. e., bowls with the wide flange round edge to prevent the accidental spilling of any portion of the burning ether.

The Burning Banana

Place some alcohol in a ladle and set fire to it. Dip a banana in the blazing alcohol and eat it while it is blazing. As soon as it is placed in the mouth the fire goes out.

Sparks from the Finger Tips

Take a small piece of tin about 0.5 inch wide and 1.5 inches long. Bend this in the shape of a ring. To the center of this piece solder another small piece of tin bent in the shape of a letter U; between the ends of this U place a small piece of wax tape about 0.5 inch long. Take a piece of small rubber tubing about 2 feet in length and to one end of this attach a hollow rubber ball, which you must partly fill with iron filings. Place the rubber ball containing the iron filings under the arm and pass the rubber tube down through the sleeve of the coat to the palm of the hand; now place the tin ring upon the middle finger, with the wax taper inside of the hand. Light this taper. By pressing the arm down sharply on the rubber ball, the force of the air will drive some of the iron filings through the rubber tube and out through the flame of the burning taper, when they will ignite and cause a beautiful shower of sparks to appear to rain from the finger tips.

To Take Boiling Lead in the Mouth

The metal used, while not unlike lead in appearance, is not the ordinary metal, but is really an alloy composed of the following substances:

Bismuth............ 8 parts

Lead............... 5 parts

Tin................ 2 parts

To prepare it, first melt the lead in a crucible, thou add the bismuth and finally the tin, and stir well together with a piece of tobacco pipe stem. This " fusible metal" will melt in boiling water, and a teaspoon cast from the alloy will melt if very hot water be poured into it, or if boiling water be stirred with it. If the water be not quite boiling, as is pretty sure to be the case if tea from a teapot is used, in all probability the heat will be insufficient to melt the spoon. But by melting the alloy and adding to it a small quantity of quicksilver a compound will be produced, which, though solid at the ordinary temperature, will melt in water very much below the boiling point. Another variety of easily fusible alloy is made by melting together

Bismuth..........   7 to 8 parts

Lead.............           4 parts

Tin..............           2 parts

Cadmium.........   1 to 2 parts

This mixture melts at 158°, that given above at 208° P.

Either one of the several alloys above given will contain considerably less heat than lead, and in consequence be the more suitable for the purposes of a "Fire King."

When a body is melted it is raised to a certain temperature and then gets no hotter, not even if the fire be increased— all the extra heat goes to melt the remainder of the substance.

Second Method

This is done with a ladle constructed similarly to the tin cup in a previous trick. The lead, genuine in this case, is, apparently, drunk from the ladle, which is then tilted, that it may be seen to be empty. The lead is concealed in the secret interior of the ladle, and a solid piece of lead is in conclusion dropped from the mouth, as congealed metal.