I thought I'd start with something that crosses a few genres of magic, a card trick which is also a showy and exciting platform trick. In brief a person selects and signs a card which is then shuffled back into the deck. The card is placed on a stand and an inflated balloon attached to the top of the stand. The stand can be held by the magician or placed on a table nearby. The balloon bursts and the card is found attached to the top of the stand.
The example above is by Davenports and was marketed as "Selected Card in Balloon" and was released around 1943 (though other models were sold by Davenports earlier).
Above shows the Demon Series trademark stamp on the high quality chrome plated copper mechanism. Also shown is the advert published along with the release of this model.
A few companies made versions of this trick and you can still buy it today in many forms. Earlier this year I found a very unusual model, shown below. Its secret and effect is the same but it takes very large cards.
It looks a bit like a tiny card stand and a normal deck of cards in the above but the picture below shows it with a modern model for scale. Also below is an advert from a 1965 Unique Magic (Harry Stanley) catalogue. It shows a normal sized stand which folds in the same way as this model and has similar wire extensions to hold the cards.
The credit in the above ad includes Yimka, a metal worker who did a lot for Unique Magic (Stanley's company) and I assume built the normal size "Marked Card in Balloon" tricks for Stanley. I believe my jumbo version was probably made by Yimka and if anyone can confirm or deny this please contact be using the box below!
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