Awhile ago I had picked up some Milk Caps and rigged one up like a split coin so that I could do a Three Fly style routine. Here’s the routine with some patter:
These milk caps are as unusual of an object as something like a silver dollar to anyone under 30 years old. People get hung up on what’s an ordinary object, and a large size silver dollar isn’t an ordinary object. The USA stopped using the large size dollar coins in the late 1970’s or over 40 years ago! The audience has to make a leap in time for either prop. I’d argue that the milk cap is easier to justify because it’s something they haven’t seen before. Where a large size dollar coin is similar to something that exists, but not the same. You can justify the milk caps through presentation, however most magicians don’t justify why they have old coins.
One thing that drives me nuts is when a magician will post a picture to social media of a craft store and say something like, “I could make so many magic tricks here” but then they don’t say what they made. These are people who are lazy and want to appear creative without doing any of the actual work. It’s not hard, but something that’s visually interesting and figure out a trick with it.
When I was performing last month in Casa Grande, AZ I went to a few junk shops. I’m normally looking for things for my oddity collection, but sometimes I find props to use with magic. One of the shops had about a dozen vintage milk caps.
Milk caps were used in the early 1900’s to seal bottles of milk. These are made of cardboard and slightly larger than a silver dollar, but about one third as thick. These were stuffed into the neck of a glass milk bottle. They didn’t create an airtight seal, but they did keep out debris and bugs.
The size of milk bottle caps lend themselves to coin magic. I’m sure in the 1990’s during the POG game’s popularity, tons of magicians used them. I had the idea of using them for some platform style coin magic, and figured I’d give it a try at a virtual magic meeting the other night:
I think it went well for a first run, now I need to write a routine for it and some jokes and I’ll be up and running! -Louie