The Case of the Vanishing Mermaid

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Roberto B.
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The Case of the Vanishing Mermaid

Post by Roberto B. » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:55 am

Can I make use of the great detective skills that have demonstrated some of the members here?

This is the case:

Some years ago I got this vintage item called Vanishing Mermaid from Franco American Novelty.....it came without instructions.....and after several years of failed attemps I still have no idea of how it work and what is the purpose of it: a magic tricks?....a Puzzle?.......is one of the biggest mysteries that I have on my drawers.....

Any light about it will be highly appreciated :) ......what I know is that magnets are involved....there movable parts and some strange noises.... :roll:

Image
Last edited by Roberto B. on Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Elliot W.
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Re: The Case of the Vanishing Mermaid

Post by Elliot W. » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:05 pm

Very interesting.
It's list here as a mechanical puzzle. No clue to as it's workings though...

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SimonC
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Re: The Case of the Vanishing Mermaid

Post by SimonC » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:30 pm

no idea but I love that box, I'd put that in a frame!
Now you see me...

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BobD
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Re: The Case of the Vanishing Mermaid

Post by BobD » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:50 pm

I think the effect is the same with the name of the trick. This might be the trick where hydro die was based upon. In John Scarne's book on magic tricks there is a trick where a doll moves up and down inside a bottle of water. The secret is to squeeze the glass bottle. Maybe you can apply these principles to vanish the mermaid.

Another way to vanish is to have a heavy circular disc with holes concealed in the cover. It is released to make the vanish. Is the mermaid collapsable?

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Roberto B.
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Re: The Case of the Vanishing Mermaid

Post by Roberto B. » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:51 pm

Elliot W. wrote:Very interesting.
It's list here as a mechanical puzzle. No clue to as it's workings though...
Yes I contacted that page from an University.....they answered today that they don´t have any clue also.

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Roberto B.
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Re: The Case of the Vanishing Mermaid

Post by Roberto B. » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:56 pm

More images from a recently ended eBay auction.....sold as a magic trick....I contacted the seller, but no response yet:
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BobD
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Re: The Case of the Vanishing Mermaid

Post by BobD » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:12 pm

Did you try pressing the top of the cover with your thumb or finger? If you did, did the mermaid sink? Is the stripped tube moveable? Can you rotate the disks at the base?

It is a scientific principle that a floating object can be made to rise and fall inside an airtight glass bottle by squeezing the bottle or pressing it's top or bottom.

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PeterW
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Re: The Case of the Vanishing Mermaid

Post by PeterW » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:01 pm

I believe other forum members here have it right and this trick uses the scientific principle of pressure to cause the mermaid to rise and fall in the tube of water most likely by pressing on the top rubber area of the tube. Here is an original magazine advertisement for the trick. Looks like an interesting piece of historical magic!
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David DeTenyo
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Re: The Case of the Vanishing Mermaid

Post by David DeTenyo » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:20 am

Great to see these old advertisements and tricks :)

I also think it works with pressure on the tube. The magnets and 'movable' parts might have something to do with holding the mermaid in place on the bottom perhaps?

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Roberto B.
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Re: The Case of the Vanishing Mermaid

Post by Roberto B. » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:32 am

Sorry guys.....,my mystake for not putting more info about the mechanics of the trick. Here some key points:

_ I believe it does not use the pressure principle because the mermaid is on a base and the top of the cylinder is not flexible.
_ A black tube goes up and down in the interior of the cylinder hidding or showing the mermaid.
_ The upper part of the base separates and is kind of a magnetic ring.....but I don't know what to do with it. I believe in some way it activate the black cylinder (hidden in the photos).

Here are some clues from and eBay seller that recently sold one:

"I recall there was something about turning the ring to make the magnet work . I'm pretty sure the liquid has metallic qualities, and it works on changing the magnetic poles".


Well not sure abot the metallic qualities of the water but I will try turning the ring and putting some water on the tube....I just realice that ....mine has no water and I never realice that it should have water :oops:

He also resommended me to contact the purchaser to get the instructions: n***d ( 276) ........does anybody know how to contact a purchaser from eBay?

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