This simple yet effective
experiment was first called to the attention of magicians by me,
and while copied by others the true source of supply has been
well hidden until now. The material cannot be obtained from drug
stores as has been suggested, nor do many of the chemical supply
houses carry the main ingredient. My source of supply was the
Department of Organic Compounds of the Eastman Kodak Company,
Rochester, New York.
Yes, this is a chemical effect,
but so little known that it is quite startling. The performer
makes his skin transparent, an effect quite equally unknown to
the public as well as to magicians. Required is a great deal of
showmanship and a dramatic presentation.
Concealed on the inside of the
fakir’s sleeve is a small container so hooked that it will be on
the back side of the arm, away from the audience. The
performer’s palm is held toward the spectators. The effect is
greater on this side of the arm, due to the number of blood
vessels under the skin there.
As the shirt sleeve is rolled up,
the opposite hand makes contact with the container, and quickly
and indetectibly empties it into the palm. The band is then
rubbed briskly over the arm. The shirt sleeve is given an extra
roll; this hides the container and the arm can then be shown
freely both back and front. Due to the distracting patter
concerning his great power, the fakir will have time to indulge
in the slight movement needed to empty the vial unnoticed. Even
though this motion is simple, it requires showmanship.
By all means leave this effect
alone if you think you can entertain merely by rushing over to a
pail, dipping your arm in and yelling, ”Lookee!”
The chemical used is a mixture
consisting of three parts salicylic methyl ester and one part
The performer asks a volunteer to
sit on a chair.
He explains that when the lights
in the room are turned off, the volunteer will be able to see
two glowing eyes staring at him.
When the lights are turned off,
the performer puts pressure on the volunteer’s closed eyelids
with his thumbs and index fingers while explaining the feat,
this will allow him to be more sensitive to vision in the dark.
He keeps pressing on the lids for a while until the volunteer
sees some fluorescent light on each corner of his eyes which is
just an optic illusion caused by the pressure on the muscles and
nerves. This is a subtle way to prepare him for the ”glowing
While the volunteer ’s eyes are
still shut, the performer places two sticky fluorescent plastic
rings to his own eyelids. Standing about five feet away from the
volunteer, he closes his eyes and asks the volunteer to open
The volunteer is astonished to
see two fluorescent eyes staring at him. Before the
volunteer gets used to the darkness, the lights are turned on
and the performer quickly opens his eyes which hides the
fluorescent rings in his raised lids.