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Sand and Sugar (Chrome) by Abbott’s, Louis Histed(c. 1932,1941) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)
This wonderful effect was invented by Louis Histed c. 1932. There was some controversy when this was released (stolen) by Abbott’s c. 1941 as the instructions and adverts said that Dr. H Park Shackleton was the inventor. Dr Shackleton may have been the first person to perform it in the USA (though Jack Le Dair performed it regularly in the UK years before this). Anyway, later ads and editorials in Abbott’s own Tops magazine admitted it was Louis Histed so there is no doubt who created it.
It is a great trick and the Chrome version by Abbott’s is a real beauty. Performance does require about 1.5lbs of white sugar/salt and 1.5lbs of sand or colored salt – partly depends on what your patter will be and what you can obtain. For my photos and demo I used fine ornamental sand in white and yellow.
You can always spot when a clever inventor is at work because they think about a lot of things, and there are few inventors at the level of Louis Histed. With Sand and Sugar you will see all of these elements at work:
- Reuse of materials – yes you will loose a few ozs of sand and sugar each time you perform this but a lot less than you might imagine, particularly if you are careful.
- Clean-up – anything dealing with sand is going to be a little messy, but if you have a tray you’ll find it pretty easy to empty out the containers and reset for the next show without too much effort. There is a convenient hole on the bottom of the large canister which lets the sand flow out freely from the bottom when you are done.
- Effectiveness of illusion – the pouring of the sand/sugar from the small canister to the large is perfect, it takes time (though not too much time) and looks like a lot of grains.
- Simplicity of Method – although there is a lot going on with the effect, the mechanics are surprisingly simple and robust.
You rarely see effects these days with this much thought and with props built so well. Another really fine effect from almost ninety years ago – they certainly don’t make them like this anymore 🙂
- Large and Small Chrome Canisters perfectly created by Abbott’s.
- Bamboo Tray to hold everything (bonus).
- Wand to measure the canisters (bonus).
- Full Abbott’s instructions.
- Use your own sand/salt/sugar – this is too heavy to ship and very cheap to buy near you.
Effect: A small and a large canister are exhibited, and from out of the small canister there is poured into the big one what appears to be a limitless supply of sugar (salt was actually used). There was so much that it seemed the small canister could not have held it, for it filled the larger canister and then overflowed freely.
When that was done, the smaller canister was again elevated and from out of it poured a non-ending stream of sand.
Next the sand and sugar in the large canister vanishes completely, leaving not a trace. Once again the small canister is lifted up and once again a non-stop stream of sand poured out into the larger canister, completely filling it.
Patter: I want to tell you the story of the dishonest store keeper. Rumor had it that he mixed sand with the sugar and, as you can well imagine, this did not go down so well. This small canister represents the sand supply, and this one – wherein the store keeper kept his sugar.
Sure enough, we find him sanding the sugar, but little does he know that the weights and measures inspector is peeking thru the window. Satisfied with what he has seen, he bursts in the door, saying; “At last, I’ve caught you in the act.”
He peered into the canister and was amazed to see that it was empty. Feeling sure that there must be some trickery, he measured both the outside and inside. He was more amazed than ever. Had he been dreaming? As a last resort, he said to the store keeper; “‘That have you in that small canister?”
“Oh,” said the store keeper, “This is all I have left of my high grade white sugar and I was just getting ready to empty its contents into the large canister, when you so rudely interrupted.” And, sure enough, he started pouring pure white sugar. With a look of bewilderment, the inspector made a graceful exit, muttering words of apology for his mistake.
After a while, the store keeper slyly peeked thru the window, saying; “The coast is clear, now for more sand, for I need lots of sugar for tomorrow’s special sugar sale.” and, believe it or not, from the canister that was less than one-fourth the size of the large one, he filled it to overflowing, like this. I can almost hear you say, – “Will Wonders Never Cease?”
Approx. Price: $350.00 (2022) ***
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