PO Box 603   Shokan, NY 12481
845-657-9903  justalanmagic@verizon.net


The Magic of Just Alan
Featured in a Genii Magazine Cover Story
History of the Sands

1.n. Effect where a bowl of wet sand yields up successively different colored handfuls of dry sand. [rare]
Invented by Indian conjurors and introduced by them to England in 1818 when billed as "Changing Sand to Different Colours" (The Indian Jugglers, handbill).
Thence adopted by the British conjuror, Ingleby, in England in 1822. Performed in the West notably in 1875 by De Kolta, in 1892 by "Alberto" (Albert Tiltman, who had toured India in 1875), David T. Bamberg, Richard Davis (by 1910), Linga Singh (from 1919 to 1937), Doc Nixon, Harlan Tarbell (by 1936), William Arenholtz, Eugene Laurant, David "Fu Manchu" Bamberg (in 1937), Dante, Jack Gwynne (in 1955), and Doug Henning (since 1981).
Exposed in 1896 (Roterberg, 109-110; thence Hercat; 1917 Elbiquet; 1922 Branson; and by Doc Nixon in the Nov 1929 issue of The Sphinx).

This is an effect still in search of a single jargon term, although "The Colored Sands," as occasionally proposed, would do the trick. However, the most usual term (although we shall see it is also applied to the non-colored version) is "Sands of the Desert" by 1974 Tannen cat #10; 1977 Kaye; 1978 Feinman citing Healey's Magic Co; 1984 Klamm ad in LR; 1988 Waters; 1988 R. Russell in Magigram.

Also called variously "The Colored Sands" (1896 Roterberg), the "Indian Sand Trick" (1897 Hercat; 1912 Day & Levani), "The Sand Trick" (1917 Elbiquet), the "coloured sands" (1922 Branson), the "Arabian Sands" (1929 Holden in Sphinx, the "East Indian Sand Trick" (1929 Nixon), "Sands of the Desert" (1930, Lippy), the "Coloured Indian Sand Trick" (1933 Davenport cat), the "colored sand trick" (1937 Annemann; 1937 [Rhinehart] in Variety; 1986 Olson), the "dry-sands trick" (1949 Hay), the "East Indian Sands Trick" (1968 Furst), "The Shifting Sands" (1976 Owen cat #9), "Sands of Egypt" (1981 Henning billing), "Sands of Egypt" (1985 Ho in LR), "the sand trick" (1985 Price), and the "Indian Sands Trick" (1986 Olson; 1986 Dawes & Setterington)

2.n. Effect where sand thrown into a basin of water is removed dry. [very rare]
This effect, simply a minor and less impressive variant of the first (whose method it shares is also of Indian origin. It was first eyewitnessed and reported there in 1877 by Harry Kellar and later by Samri S. Baldwin and Dr. Holden. First exposed in 1880 by Arprey Vere and again in 1886 by both Kellar and Holden.
REF: Kellar (1886), 120; Holden (1886), 157-158; Baldwin (1895), 59, 61; Bertram (1911).

Jargon of sorts with variants noted by 1880 Vere as the "Indian Sand Trick"; 1882 Hamley cat as "The Indian Sand Trick"; 1886 Holden as "The Great Indian Sand Trick"; 1909 Carrington as the "dry sands trick"; 1909 Carto in The Boy Magician as "The Hindoo Sand Trick"; 1958 Dexter as "The Sands of the Desert"; 1988 Waters as "Sands of the Desert."

*3. Effect where a handful of dry sand of normal hue is taken into the magician's mouth then blown out in successive streams of any one of the six colors called for.

First observed in India in 1877 by Harry Kellar and exposed by him in 1886. Also observed there in 1899 by Charles Bertram.
REF: Kellar (1886), 120; Bertram (1911).

Jargon not formalized. Called "blowing colors" in 1886 (Kellar) and the "coloured-sands trick" in 1909 (Carrington).

Pinetti is said to have introduced The Indian Sands to London when he was performing there in 1784. Sir Joshua Reynolds witnessed him doing it on October 21st of that year.

For updated price and shipping information, or to order the Sands,
Call 845-657-9903
Write to us at: PO Box 603 Shokan, NY 12481
Or email: justalanmagic@verizon.net

Just Alan will customize his Magic for:
Sales Meetings, Motivational Speaking, Work Shops, Weddings, or any Special Event.

Reviews Magic Routine An Encounter with Sam Schwartz

is located on Rt 28, exactly five miles west of Rt 375.
Open by appointment, or by chance.
845-657-9903  justalanmagic@verizon.net

Read the Just Alan story, as told by the Woodstock Times
Home Page Kyudo Magic Antiques, Showcases and Merchandise
E-mail: justalanmagic@verizon.net