Magical History: Torn &
by Professor Spellbinder
"The Torn and Restored Paper Napkin Trick is not thought
of as tied to technological advancement, but prior to 1905, there
simply were NO paper napkins available. All napkins prior to that
time were made of cloth. In 1916, the first paper napkin folding
machine was invented.... " thus beginneth the history lesson
on the origins of the venerable Torn and Restored Napkin Trick.
Here are more samples from the article:
|The Napkin Ashes By Joe Rukus (circa 1930) :
TEAR a paper napkin to bits, set it afire and let it burn
to ashes on a plate. Take the plate and pour the ashes on
the palm of your outstretched left hand .... complete
article included in the History.
|From: Effective Tricks by Louis F. Christianer
(circa 1915) : The effect of tearing a paper napkin
into small pieces and then restoring it has become very
popular lately....complete article included in the
|From: G & M Magic Course; Grant and Menge
(circa 1940): This is a wonderful piece of Magic. Now
for the first time we explain the improved simplified
method of working this classic. In this method given we
have eliminated the one drawback to former methods. You
have no gimmicks or anything to slip into pocket...
complete article included in the History.
From Spellbinder's Magical
Memoirs (as yet unpublished): My own
introduction to The Torn and Restored Napkin Trick
came in the late 1950s at Mecca Magic in East
Orange, N.J., under the guidance of Professor Ted
Collins. By then the trick had become a standard and was
produced for sale in many magic shops.... complete
article included in the History.
And right up to the present day:
The Torn and Restored SIGNED Napkin
by Fred Goode
Thats right. Before you tear it, you
get a spectator to sign his or her name across the napkin
with a permanent magic marker or Sharpie pen. Lets say they
sign a yellow napkin. You start to tear up the napkin, but
suddenly stop and say, I think YOU should be the one to
tear up your own napkin. You hand them the yellow napkin in
a ball. Then you take a blue napkin and continue, And
Ill tear up the napkin that Im about to sign.
You then sign a blue napkin and now you instruct them how to tear
up the napkin into pieces. When they have torn up their signed
napkin and mushed it up into a ball, you take both napkin balls
and ask them which one they would like to restore
napkin, their own
It doesnt matter what they say,
because you end up making them restore both napkins, their own
and yours, and the napkins they restore still bear both
signatures just as if they had never been torn.
And one more:
Torn and Restored Napkin Prediction
You bring out a big sponge rubber die and
announce you are going to do the old torn and restored
napkin trick but you want to make it more challenging. You
are going to ask a spectator to roll the die to determine how
many pieces they want you to tear the napkin into, just to make
it more difficult for you. They can roll the die as often as they
want, but as soon as they decide on a number of pieces for the
tearing, they should stop. Then you will tear up the napkin and
attempt to restore it.
They roll the die and truly can stop on any
number except (obviously) one. You then tear the napkin the
required number of times. You roll the pieces into a ball and
place them on a spectators outstretched palm as you pick up
the die and point the top face towards them to remind them what
you were supposed to do.
The spectator opens up the napkin ball on
his or her palm and the napkin is restored EXCEPT that it has
some holes in it, making it resemble the die face exactly (in
other words, if they chose to stop the die on five, you would see
five holes cut into the restored napkin). The holes are included
in the package and fall to the floor when the napkin is opened
All of the above for just $5.00? Where's my
all 11 articles of this issue (#8) of the Wizards'
That's less than $4.00 per article if