Archive for October 16th, 2013

October 16, 2013

The School of Artificial Fireworks

Also from A Rich Cabinet With A Variety of Inventions in Several Arts and Science by John White ,1658. This is a chapter explaining (not surprisingly) how to make fireworks. Luckily there are several figures showing the processes required.

First, How to Order, and make the Coffins of Paper. This chap is making the tubes (or coffins) for the rockets. He’s wearing a hat, short tabbed doublet, breeches (note the leg ties), hose and some sensible shoes.

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Second The Order and Manner how you should choak a Rocket. This seems to show how you secure the rockets to prevent them flying off before you are ready, but there seems to be a bit of overkill going on here. The fellow is sporting a nice lace edged day cap and a darted band to go with his doublet and breeches.

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The Manner of driving a Rocket, with the Instruments belonging thereto. How to pack the rockets with gunpowder. This bareheaded man is hammering the black powder to make a firm base for the rockets. Darted band and a doublet with shoulder wings. nice shoes under the table.

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A Wheel fixed upon a post, which will cast forth many Rockets into the Air. Fantastic idea. I want one. Nice ribbon decoration on the bottom of his breeches.

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Of Night Combatants with Falchions and Targets, Clubs, Maces etc. This is an idea for two guys to fight a mock battle in the dark. Their swords and shields (targets) are wooden and packed with explosive fireworks. The fun they had before health and safety got involved. These guys are wearing long coats, presumably for protection and hopefully doused in water.

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October 16, 2013

A Pretty Trick

to tell, or name all spots or court Cards in the Pack, and yet never see them. From A Rich Cabinet With A Variety of Inventions in Several Arts and Science by John White. First published in 1658.

On of those books that are kept by the toilet these days for easy reading when you have a moment. This particular ‘receipt’ in the book is a cunning card trick to amaze your friends or win money down the pub. In the illustration, our protagonist is performing the trick (I won’t give it away here, but the instructions are below) in a wide-brimmed hat, short tabbed doublet with shoulder wings and breeches.

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You must privately drop a drop of water or drink (about the bigness of two-pence) on a table before you where you sit and let any body shuffle the Pack of Cards, and then taking them into your hand place a candle on the table before you (for this trick is best to be done by candle-light) and holding down your head (as you may see in the Figure) lift the cards above the brim of your Hat, close to your head, that the light of the Candle may shine on the Cards, then in the drop of water (like a Looking-glass) you shall see every speck of each Card before you draw them, which you may name; or putting your finger upon the spots, you may say that you feel them out; then lay down your first Card, and name the next, as your first Card was the Deuce of Clubs, the next in the five of Spades, and so the rest.

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