1901 New Games and Amusements

For young and old alike. Consisting of original games and ideas invented by the author and Victor J. Smedley.

By: Meredith Nugent Original copyright year: 1901

Although there are other non-bubble related games described, this is a true Bible of Bubble Tricks. If you absorbed all this book has to offer, your skills would be stronger than many people today who call themselves Pros.

Nugent took what was known about bubble play, added his own inventions & imagined a future that included family sized and full stage bubble shows. Enjoy his clear instructions and vivid illustrations.

More about Nugent & his importance is located elsewhere on this site.

I've transcribed the contents below to make it easier for you to translate, if needed. Here's a link to the book at archive.org/



IT HAD been an evening of continual surprises; and when Philip entered the room carrying a bowl, two long clay pipes, a bottle filled with a light-greyish fluid mixture, three cornucopias, and a mysterious-looking pasteboard box, not even the wisest among the children could imagine what this part of the program was to be. Neither were they any nearer a solution after Phil had taken from the box a rose, two dinner plates, a humming top, a table knife, two door keys, several marbles, and a number of nails.

Phil would have been overwhelmed with questions had he not at once eased the minds of his astonished audience by announcing that he was going to show them some new tricks with soap bubbles.

“Now watch me!” he continued, after he had about half filled the bowl with the greyish mixture. "I will just blow you some bubbles with one of these long pipes.”

Soon it seemed that the air was full of the shining globes. Satisfied with the result of this trial‐for the object in blowing these bubbles had been to test the strength of the solution‐‐ Philip took one of the cornucopias and blew a bubble so large that the children clapped their, hands for joy. He tossed a bubble into the air, and as it slowly descended caught it upon the cornucopia. The next he caught upon the palm of his hand. The next he balanced upon the tip of his forefinger. Still another was caught upon a broad wad of cotton. He held one in graceful poise upon the end of a knitting needle, and proceeded to play battledore and shuttlecock with it. Ten times (1899 version= Ten times.) he tossed this bubble into the air, and ten times he caught it, before the beauty burst. With a cornucopia larger than the one he just used he blew a bubble upon a dinner plate, completely covering it; then he blew another on top of the first, but in such a manner that the two united, forming one immense sphere.

Philip thereafter directed his attention to the more striking part of his exhibition, and from this time on his performances were simply amazing. “See that White rose!” he exclaimed, pointing to a beautiful one resting upon a lacquered tray. “Well, I am going to put it inside of a soap bubble”; and in a very few moments the flower was sphered over by a bubble so large and perfect that it seemed as if made of purest glass. Cries of admiration came from all sides on beholding this beautiful sight. The bubble was a gem in color, and of great size. Carefully timed by a watch, it lasted just twelve minutes and a half! (1899 magazine version = two minutes and a half.)

Following this, Phil set the humming top to spinning, and amazed his audience by placing a bubble over that also.

While the top still hummed under its many‐ hued canopy, Philip blew another bubble, and called the attention of those present to the fact that an old adage said that a bubble would burst as soon as pricked. “But here is a case,” he exclaimed triumphantly, “where this old adage, like so many others, is proved to be false.” Casting the bubble into the air, Philip passed a knitting needle completely through it. To add force to his opinion concerning the old adage, the young magician blew a bubble upon a plate, and then dropped a needle through the top of the iridescent sphere without injuring it in the least.

Before the childish exclamations caused by this feat ceased, Philip dropped a pen through the film; there it lay in the plate, sure. enough. Then he dropped another pen through; then a small key; then a larger key; then two nails; and then concluded the remarkable exhibition by pouring some solution through, after which the bubble broke. It had stood up under this rough ordeal for a little more than three minutes. Certainly the solution was never in better condition, but the unusually long duration of the bubbles was due also, as Philip explained, to the temperature of the room.

(KMJ—1899 version: As proof of the fact that temperature affected the duration of the bubbles, Philip asked his audience to accompany him into a room which was almost cold. Arrived there, he blew upon a glass plate a bubble that seemed as if it never would burst.)

“ All put on your hats and coats,” was Philip’s next direction, “and I’ll show you something about bubbles in a room where the temperature is below the freezing point.”

It was late in November. As soon as the little ones were assembled in this room, dressed as if for a sleigh ride, Phil blew a bubble very carefully upon a small looking-glass lying on the table. Twenty pairs of eyes were eagerly fixed upon this glistening sphere, in anxious expectation of‐almost anything!

At the expiration of thirty seconds its brilliancy was seen to be greatly dimmed, and by the time fifty seconds had elapsed all transparency had gone.

“There,” cried Phil, “is a soap bubble which will last a year, provided the room is kept cold enough, for that soap bubble is frozen!”

This performance so delighted the children that Phil covered the glass with a whole array of frozen bubbles; then he broke some with a pencil, and fanned the light pieces of ice, which were like tissue paper, all about the room!

Our young magician now resumed his wonderful entertainment in the warmer apartment. He began by blowing a large bubble upon the lacquered tray; then he blew another bubble inside of this first one. “Two,” he called out; and next, as if to amaze his audience completely, he blew another bubble inside of this second one, filling it, as he did so, with smoke.

“Three!” shouted the children in unison.

It would be hard to imagine anything more lovely than these three beautiful bubbles, perfect in form, and glistening with all the colours of the rainbow.

Philip was certainly outdoing himself. He had given his friends many pretty surprises, but none of them had ever come near equalling this one. For a while, after this feat, he just simply tossed bubbles into the air, as if thinking of what he should show next. Even this "intermission,” as he called it, was not without some strikingly original features; for as one of the bubbles came sailing down the performer pierced it through with a large table knife, without inflicting the least injury upon it. He was evidently thinking of the old adage again, for as the next bubble came near to him he pierced it not only with a knife, but with a fork also. Then, holding another bubble upon the cornucopia, he cut through it in all directions; yet still the bubble remained unbroken.

Phil then, apparently having decided on the next feat, requested that the lights be turned out. When the room was in total darkness, he took a candle from the pasteboard box and lighted it.

“I am about to show you what I think is the prettiest experiment of all,” he said, and 'began to blow a-large bubble upon the plate. ' The interest, however, was immediately awakened when he placed the lighted candle within a lamp chimney; and there was a burst of genuine enthusiasm as he slowly thrust the chimney that held the candle down into the middle of the great bubble.

This made a wonderfully pretty sight, and as the rays of the candle light came glinting through the chimney, Philip’s face was seen by all to be wreathed in smiles.

“I must confess,” he modestly said, “this performance is all very simple‐~‐so simple that any child here may perform all the pretty experiments I have shown you this evening. Some other time I will take pleasure in explaining to you exactly how it is all done.”

Although Philip had told the children that the candle-light effect was probably the best of his experiments, his crowning triumph was yet to come.

Amid a hushed excitement, he took a tumbler and half filled it with the solution; then he drew from the pasteboard box a small American flag., which he fastened on a stick supported by a bit of wire so that it floated over the tumbler. Then, putting a long clay pipe into the glass, he called to his uncle, who had been asked in especially for this purpose, to blow plenty of smoke through the pipe.

The moment Phil’s uncle blew into the pipe there issued from the tumbler an opal stream of wondrous beauty. It consisted of hundreds and hundreds of pure white bubbles, which poured down the sides of the tumbler and upon the looking-‐glass on which it had been placed. Faster and faster the bubbles rushed out, and higher too they mounted now, until, suddenly, it seemed, there burst into view an arch of the most exquisite loveliness.

When the pipe was withdrawn the children went into raptures over the fairy-like scene; but the prettiest feature was to come.​

In a few moments one of the little bubbles broke. A puff of smoke shot forth, forming as it did so a dainty, tiny ring; then another bubble broke, and another ring appeared; then the bubbles began to explode in such rapid succession that it became impossible to count the tiny wreaths. This was the crown, of the evening’s entertainment. “Hurrah for the United States!”"shouted Philip. "This is our salute to the flag. Let us all sing ‘America,’ "And as the little ones raised their voices in joyous chorus, they one and all felt that this was the most surprising evening entertainment they had ever seen.

A few days afterward Philip sent me the following account of how he performed his soap-bubble tricks:

Before attempting to perform any of these tricks though, read carefully “How to Blow a Soap Bubble,” page 38; “How to Make a Cornucopia,” page 3 9 ; and how to make the perfect solution which enabled Phil to perform his marvelous tricks, page 35.


First pour some of the solution into a plate or tin dish until the bottom of it is covered to the depth of one-eighth of an inch. Then with your fingers thoroughly wet the rim of the plate with the same mixture. Place a rich colored rose in‘ the centre of the plate and cover it w i t h a small tin funnel. Then begin to blow very gently through the funnel, and at the same time slowly lift it (see Fig. I1,, page 38). Continue blowing while gradually lifting the funnel higher, until you have made a fine large film (see Fig. 2). Then, still blowing carefully, turn the funnel at right angles, and release it from the film with a quick upward movement (see Fig. 3). This beautiful trick is so easy to perform that I have seen any number of children succeed at the very first attempt.


Pour the solution into a plate, and thoroughly wet the rim of this as in the rose trick, Then in the centre of the plate invert a small butter plate. Spin your humming top on this inverted butter plate, lower a funnel over it, and then proceed to sphere the “hummer” over with a bubble in the same manner as in the rose trick. The larger and noisier the humming top used the more strikingly effective will be the trick.


Invert a dinner plate upon the table, and wet the surface of it well with the solution. Then dip a cornucopia into the mixture and blow a bubble upon the inverted plate. After this, take a straw, dip it.,well into the solution so that it will be thoroughly wet for half its length, and then thrust this through into the bubble until it rests on the centre of the plate. Then blow through the straw very carefully, and you will have made a second bubble. Withdraw the straw, quickly dip it into the, solution again, and this time thrust it through both bubbles. As soon as it rests on the centre of the plate once more, gently blow, and you will have three bubbles inside of one another.

By blowing smoke through the straw as the last bubble is being made, the effect of this trick is greatly heightened. Five, six and seven bubbles may be easily placed inside of one another, and practice will enable you to perform the beautiful trick pictured on page 54, which contains just one dozen bubbles.


Wet a short, straight lamp chimney in the mixture, and after a bubble has been blown on a dinner plate in the same manner as in the rose trick, press the chimney slowly down through the sphere until the bottom of it rests in the solution. Keep the palm of your hand tightly pressed over the top of the chimney while lowering it through the bubble. When the chimney is in position place a piece of lighted candle inside.


This trick is performed in a.room where the temperature is below the freezing point (32° F.). The more intense the cold is the better. The bubble is blown with a cornucopia upon an inverted plate or sheet of glass (glass is preferable) Which has been well wetted with the solution. If the temperature is low enough and the air perfectly still, the bubble will in a very few seconds begin to lose its brilliancy, and within a few seconds more will become perfectly opaque. Then you may enjoy the absurd nonsense of breaking a soap bubble into pieces and fanning the tissue-like pieces of bubble about the room with a fan. Great care must be taken not to jar the bubble in the least until it is frozen. The plate, too, should be allowed to get icy cold before it is wetted with the solution. Use the No. 2 solution for this trick.


This very surprising trick is exceedingly easy to perform, and never fails to arouse the enthusiasm of the onlookers.

First dip the knife blade well into the solution‐a long narrow-bladed knife is preferable and then slowly pierce the bubble right through as shown in the picture on page 1 2. The most effective manner of exhibiting this trick is to first toss a bubble into the air from a cornucopia, and then as the beauty slowly descends to catch it on the blade's tip as though you were perform‐ ing some marvelous feat of magic.


A tumbler was half filled with the solution, and the little flagstaff fastened in‘ place with a piece of wire. Then the stem end of a clay pipe was placed in the tumbler, and Phil‘’s uncle blew smoke through the bowl end. The result of this was that hundreds of pretty smoke bubbles poured out over the sides of the tumbler, and down on to the looking-glass upon which it was standing. In a few minutes the bubbles began to burst, and as each did so it shot forth a perfect wreath of smoke.


Any small object after it has been well wetted with the solution may be dropped through a bubble, as shown in the picture.

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THE story of Phil’s wonderful soap bubbles spread all over the little New England village; and when he consented to give another exhibition for the benefit of the Lawton Athletic Club, only Masonic Hall was found large enough to furnish the necessary seating accommodations.

The bubble show opened with much enthusiasm. Bubbles were tossed up, were caught again, were pierced, were thrown in all directions. Little bubbles, big bubbles‐some twice the size of Phil's head‐medium‐-sized bubbles, all sorts of bubbles, were blown with wonderful rapidity. Bubbles were exchanged, were balanced, were twirled around, were treated so harshly, it appeared at times, that one well might have doubted whether these were made from ordinary soap and water. Why, in the game of “exchange”" one bubble was tossed and caught twenty-eight times! (1899 version = six times!)

Then Phil made the audience roar with laughter by comically striking a bubble with his felt hat, so that it bounded toward Harry, his assistant, who in turn bounded it back again. Back and forth this bubble was bounded, until the counting children shouted out in unison, “Seventy-three!” when it burst. Now our magician arranged twenty-‐four pretty goblets, while Harry blew bubbles from a sea shell, into the small end of which a hole had been bored.

“See,” he exclaimed, “how much finer and larger these bubbles are than those blown from pipes; and they are more easily blown, too.”

Then followed plenty of fun, as the boys endeavoured to place a bubble upon each of the twenty-four goblets. (1899 version = twelve goblets) Again and again they managed to cover nineteen or twenty of the glasses; but a bubble seemed always to burst before the twenty-fourth was covered. Finally, by wonderful quickness, they succeeded in achieving this feat.

Each now took a large funnel, dipped it into the mixture, placed the small end in his mouth, approached the other until the bowls of the funnels were not more than six inches apart, and started to blow. The bubbles slowly swelled out, touched, and on contact united in an instant into one large sphere. Steadily and carefully the blowing was continued, both boys cautiously backing, meanwhile, until a great quivering shape sixteen inches in length had been made.

Resting for a short breathing spell, Phil asked one of his friends in the audience to come and help h i m make a three-cornered bubble. The spectators laughed at this, and they were amused again when the boys, assuming purposely comical attitudes, began to blow. Their laughter, however, was changed to wonderment when a great triangular bubble, like that shown in the picture, page 30, made its appearance. Before the loud applause that greeted this gigantic bubble ceased, Phil blew a bubble upon a large tray, then he blew another on top of the first; both united. Then he added a third, making the bubble still larger, and fairly electrified his audience by adding a fourth bubble, which joined just as the others had done.

Here was a great bubble, indeed, for careful measurement showed it to be four feet around!

After a few moments' intermission, Harry took a large yellow humming top and set it spinning upon a shining tray. Suddenly, without any announcement whatever, Phil placed a bubble right on the whizzing toy. Round and round the top angrily hummed, surmounted by its dome of iridescent brilliancy. How the bubble retained its position was a mystery; but there it clung, not only until the top ceased spinning, but for some moments afterward. Phil followed up this success by making a bubble whirl around ever so rapidly upon an inverted tumbler.

All eyes were n o w fixed upon our young wizard as he approached the steaming kettle which had been a cause of so much wonderment during the entire evening.

“ I want you to see how long this bubble will last,” he said, after having blown one so that it hung from a cornucopia ingeniously fastened over the steaming spout. “You will notice it is thoroughly immersed in- steam," he continued. “We shall have time to show you some other interesting experiments before it bursts, I feel certain.”

This remark caused much merriment, the audience wondering how long a time Phil really expected this bubble to remain. Our magician, however, was quite composed. He walked slowly to the table, chose a clay pipe, dipped its bowl into the solution, thrust the stem into one end of a piece of rubber tubing, the other end of which was attached to a gas burner, and turned on the gas. As soon as a bubble the size of an orange formed, Phil hurriedly turned off the gas and withdrew the pipe from the tubing, Harry touched its stem with a lighted match, and the result was the pretty effect shown on page 26. The gas bubble reservoir exhausted, Phil fastened the pipe in the tubing again, and almost immediately there arose from its bowl a whole string of bubbles, preceded by one large one (see page 28).

Putting the pipe and tubing aside, Phil jokingly informed the open-mouthed young people for the third time that the steamed bubble was still in existence‐just as if that fact was not uppermost in every mind!! The boys then had a merry time throwing up bubbles and catching them. Phil caught upon his hand four in succession. He deftly balanced some upon the end of his forefinger, and in many instances poked his finger into the middle of one.

“ Ten minutes!” the audience almost shouted, when that amount of time had elapsed since' the bubble had been placed in the steam.

Their excitement was only amusing Phil, but he pretended to be perfectly oblivious to it all. He thrust the bowl of a clay pipe well into a large bubble which Harry held on a cornucopia, and then blew a bubble inside of this large one; next he dropped objects through a bubble resting upon a plate, as he had done at the previous show; only this time, instead of picking them out again with his fingers, he simply held the plate upside down, and they all came tumbling out without injuring the sphere in the least. He played all sorts of bubble pranks; but, do his best, he could no longer keep the attention of his audience from the bubble in the steam.

“Thirteen minutes!” they cried. “Thirteen minutes and a half!” “Fourteen minutes!” “Fourteen minutes and a half!” “Fifteen minutes!” “Fifteen minutes and a ”Ah! The bubble had burst after lasting exactly fifteen minutes and a half, while swaying to and fro in the jet of steam.

Before quiet was restored Phil secretly dipped a wire ring into the basin of water. As soon as he withdrew it Harry placed four little ships within the circle, and hastily seizing a putty blower, blew the tiny craft about. To the spectators these ships looked as though sailing in the air; and they were not helped to a solution of the mystery when the craft suddenly dropped to the floor.

For once Phil gratified their curiosity with an encore, the only one he had given so far; and this time, after taking the ring from the fluid, he held it at such an angle that all could see it was covered by a soapy film. Harry then placed the ships in position as before, and away the fairy fleet scudded again.

Following this, the boys with wonderful rapidity hung up a row of twenty-five bubbles. (1899 version = five bubbles.) The effect was marvelously beautiful, suggesting as it did a Japanese-lantern display.

From a spectacular point of view this row of bubbles was the most brilliant performance of the evening, and was loudly applauded.

“ Now,” Phil announced to the audience, “we will play a game of soap-bubble football.”

Ridiculous as this sounded, it did not surprise the onlookers in the least, for they were prepared to expect almost anything. Two upright posts were hurriedly placed in position at each side of the stage, each boy took a fan, Phil launched a large bubble into the air, and the fun began. In the opening, luck favored Harry, and he almost succeeded in fanning the great sphere between the two posts on Phil’s side of the stage at the very outset of the game. By quick work, however, Phil sent the ball toward the middle of the stage again, and then fanned it so near to Harry’s goal that the latter only by the most desperate efforts saved himself from immediate defeat. Back and forth was the globe blown for a little while, until suddenly it mounted nearly to the ceiling. This gave a decided advantage to Phil, who was much taller than Harry, and by a few well directed strokes of the fan he soon put the iridescent sphere straight through the latter’s goal.

“Yale wins!” he cried, pointing to his dark‐blue necktie.

When the wild applause aroused by this novel struggle at football had calmed, Phil’s uncle came from behind the scenes and, blew a great smoke bubble. As soon as this was launched Harry started fanning again, only a little more vigorously than in the football game. Never did a soap bubble twist and turn as this one did. Suddenly there was a queer flash of light, and the great bubble disappeared. Yes, disappeared, but only as a large bubble; for floating high above the heads of the boys were to be seen four small smoke bubbles. The great bubble had broken into four smaller ones, and that, too, without a particle of smoke escaping!

When the uproar which followed this exhibition ceased, Phil drove everybody into convulsions of laughter by rolling up his sleeves and placing a large frying pan upon the gas stove. Harry assisted by half filling the pan with the solution, and the hissing noise made in consequence was the cause of a shower of funny comments. “Now,”" Phil began, doing his best to make himself heard, “I am going to fry you a soap bubble.” This was altogether too much for the young people. They had been willing to believe anything Phil might say, but when it came to frying a soap bubble‐no; that was going too far.

True to his word, however, Phil blew a bubble from the cornucopia, and at once placed it right in the middle of the steaming pan. The laughter, bravos and ringing cheers which greeted this performance cannot be described. The people crowded upon the platform and so overwhelmed Phil with congratulations that it seemed as if our magician would have no opportunity properly to exhibit this feature of the programme. When at last he did get a chance again, it was seen that, while the liquid within the half sphere was boiling quite vigorously, it only simmered outside.

Among the bubbles which Phil afterward placed in the pan was one which lasted for fully three minutes; and he was enthusiastically beginning to explain how, by means of a safety valve, he hoped to make one last an hour, when, with a great shout, the boys of the Lawton Athletic Club rushed upon our victorious magician, lifted him to their shoulders, and carried him from the hall in triumph.


All who take part in this trick should be provided with tin funnel; and after having dipped this into the solution and secured a film (see diagram, “How to Cover a Funnel., Cornucopia, etc., with a Film,” page 38), start to gently blow. When beginning to blow, the bowls of the funnels should not be more than six inches apart. If the bubbles unite into one as soon as they come in contact with one another, continue blowing; taking care, however, to gradually draw the funnels further apart as the bubble grows. Use the second solution given for this trick.


Connect a clay pipe with the gas burner by means of rubber tubing. Then dip the bowl of the pipe into the mixture, and after this is covered with a film turn on the gas. When a bubble the size of an orange has swelled out, turn off the gas, withdraw the pipe from the tubing, and quickly apply a lighted match to its stem. This is a very pretty as well as a very effective trick.


Cover the opening of a goblet with a film (see diagram, “How to Cover a Funnel, Cornucopia, etc., with a Film,” page 38). Then swell out a fair-sized bubble from a cornucopia, and lower this until it rests on the film over the goblet. Continue blowing until your bubble has reached large proportions, and finally withdraw the cornucopia with a quick upward movement. Great care must be taken in removing the cornucopia n o t to throw the bubble off its balance. Giant bubbles may be balanced upon an ordinary goblet, when their glorious colourings mayy be studied to perfection.


Any humming top with a large flat surface will answer for this purpose. After spinning the top pour a little of the solution upon it, then swell out a bubble from the cornucopia; and lower this until the film touches the surface of the whizzing toy. You will probably be unable to place the first, the second, and even the third or fourth bubble upon the “hummer”; however, keep on trying so long as the top remains spinning, and between each trial drop the solution on the top’s surface. A little practice will enable you to do this trick perfectly. After you have become somewhat of an expert at this performance, thrust a wet straw into the whirling bubble and fill the beauty with tobacco smoke. This trick never fails to arouse a storm of applause from the onlookers, and deservedly., for it is one of the most beautiful of all the bubble tricks.


Launch a large bubble into the air from a cornucopia, and fan it up high above your head. Then, as in slowly descending the sphere drops to within about four inches of your fan again, move the latter to right and left with sharp, quick jerks. If this is properly done the large sphere will break into two, three or four smaller ones.

The effect of this trick may be greatly enhanced by filling the large bubble with smoke; then this breaks into three or four smaller ones, without a particle of smoke escaping.


Cover the bottom of a frying pan with the mixture, and when it begins to simmer place a bubble upon the liquid. In a few moments the water within the bubble may be seen to boil vigorously, while the water outside of the bubble film will be still gently simmering


From a piece of cardboard cut a number of disks about t w o inches in diameter. Pierce centre of each disk with a short piece of wire. Bend one end of the wire so that the disk cannot slip off; form the other end into a large hook. Wet disk thoroughly in the mixture, place a bubble, upon it, and hang up.


Fasten a cornucopia above the steaming spout of a. kettle. Then turn the spout aside and hold a basin of the solution to the cornucopia so that the opening of this may then covered with a film. Blow slowly until a bubble measuring about four inches in diameter has swelled out from the cornucopia, and then quickly plug up the smaller opening of the cornucopia to prevent the bubble from decreasing in size. Now turn the kettles spout so that the issuing steam will completely envelop the hanging sphere.

Bubbles immersed in steam will last for a very long time, much longer indeed than Phil’s “fifteen-minute bubble.”


Make a stand of copper wire, as shown in picture, page 30. Cover this with a film (see diagram showing how to cover a funnel cornucopia, etc., with a film, page 38). Make tiny ships of wood shavings with tissue-paper sails; place them carefully on the film and blow about with a putty blower.

What follows is 1899 version of the book = some differences in the INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SECOND-SOAP BUBBLE ENTERTAINMENT


Dip into the mixture and lift out very slowly, care being taken to turn the object used in a semicircle to the right, as shown in the diagram.

Always remove froth and small bubbles from the surface of the liquid before dipping.

HOW TO PLACE A BUBBLE UPON A GOBLET: Cover the goblet with a film, and place bubble upon it with a cornucopia.

BLOWING BUBBLES FROM A SEA-SHELL: Bore a hole in the small end of a spiral shell, and dip large opening into the mixture; then gently blow.

SOAP-BUBBLE LANTERN DISPLAY: From a piece of cardboard cut a number of disks about two inches in diameter. Pierce center of each disk with a short piece of wire. Bend one end of the wire so that it cannot slip off; form the other end into a large hook. Saturate disk thoroughly in mixture, place a bubble upon it, and hang up, as shown in the picture on page 813.

HOW TO SPIN A BUBBLE: Dip the bottom of a tumbler in the mixture, then upon the inverted glass place a medium-sized bubble. Blow upon the side of this with a putty-blower or a straw.

TO MAKE A BUBBLE LAST FIFTEEN MINUTES OR LONGER: Fasten a cornucopia above the steaming spout of a kettle. Then turn spout aside while holding basin of mixture to the end of the cornucopia until the latter is covered by a film. Slowly blow a bubble from this cornucopia about three inches in diameter.

Put a plug in small end of cornucopia to prevent bubble from decreasing in size. Now place the kettle so that steam from its spout may completely envelop the hanging bubble.

TO PLACE A BUBBLE UPON A SPINNING TOP: Any top with a large, flat surface will answer for this purpose. After spinning the top, pour a little mixture upon it j then blow a bubble with the cornucopia, and slowly lower it until the sphere touches the surface of the whizzing toy. With a little practice a bubble may be so placed easily.

HOW THREE PERSONS OR MORE MAY BLOW A GIANT BUBBLE: All who take part should first dip a funnel in the mixture, and after having secured a film withdraw it, as shown in the diagram. Then start to blow gently, being careful that the bowls of the funnels are not more than six inches apart when beginning to blow. If bubbles unite into one upon first contact, the blowing may be continued, care being taken meanwhile to move the funnels farther apart as the bubble grows.

Also, follow directions for blowing a large bubble, in July number of ST. NICHOLAS.

GAS-BUBBLE RESERVOIR: Connect pipe with gas-burner by means of rubber tubing. Dip the bowl of the pipe into the mixture, and after this is covered with a film turn on the gas. When a bubble the size of an orange has been formed, turn off the gas, withdraw the pipe from the tubing, and apply a lighted match to its stem.

HOW TO BREAK A LARGE ROUND BUBBLE INTO A NUMBER OF SMALLER ONES: Launch a large bubble into the air from a cornucopia, and fan vigorously. If mixture is in a certain condition the bubble will break into smaller ones. No rule can be laid down for this experiment as much depends upon chance. The effect may be greatly heightened by filling the large bubble with smoke.

GAS BALLOON-BUBBLES: Connect pipe with gas, as explained in "Gas-bubble reservoir." Fill bowl of pipe half full of mixture; then turn on the gas. To produce a pleasing effect, move the pipe with a rapid, trembling movement of the hand.

THE FAIRY FLEET: Make a stand of copper wire. as shown in picture. Cover this with a film. (See picture, page 8J I.) Make tiny ships of wood shavings j place them carefully on the film, and blow about with a putty blower.

Finally, carefully read the directions that were printed in the July number of ST. NICHOLAS before attempting these experiments.



OR the especial benefit of my readers I will now give the recipe for making this solution, which I invented originally for Mr. David Belasco to be used in his dramatization of “Du Barry.” However, on account of the length of that play, the intended bubble scene had to be abandoned at the last moment.

Fill a quart bottle half full of distilled or soft water, and sift into it four-fifths of an ounce of pure Castile-soap powder. Allow the powder to thoroughly dissolve, then add one-third of a pint of pure glycerin, mix thoroughly and let stand until all bubbles have disappeared. Use the solution in a temperature of 65° or. 70°.

After the solution has been used a few times, or if it fails to produce satisfactory bubbles, it may be freshened' up by adding a little more glycerin. With this solution gorgeous bubbles can be made which will last from five to thirteen minutes. By heating the water in the first place, the solution can be made in a very short time.


Here is another and more quickly made solution. Rub ordinary soap into a bowl of water until a heavy lather has formed on the surface. Then remove this lather, as well as all tiny bubbles, and proceed to test if the solution be satisfactory as follows: Blow a bubble four or five inches in diameter with the cornucopia, but don’t release it. Of course if a bubble this size cannot at once be blown, the solution is much too weak, and more soap must be added immediately. However, if a bubble at once makes its appearance, hastily dip your forefinger into the solution, and then proceed to slowly thrust the wet finger through and into the bubble hanging from the cornucopia. If the bubble breaks as soon as your well-wet finger touches it, add more soap to the solution. If the bubble does not break when you thrust your wetted finger right into the middle of it, the solution is in perfect condition and ready for use.

The first solution is by far the more satisfactory, as this produces bubbles which will last for a surprisingly long time.


Now let me state, once for all, and as emphatically as I can, that the presence of bubbles‐‐no matter how tiny‐either on the surface of the solution or clinging to the opening of the cornucopia or other instrument chosen for the blowing of bubbles, is always preventive of successful results. The reason so many bubbles burst before being launched into the air is because of the presence of tiny bubbles either on the surface of the solution or clinging to the cornucopia itself. Once a suitable solution is made,don’t on any account irritate it. However, most people will insist on stirring it up, no matter how frequently warned not to do so. For some reason or other, probably because of tiny bubbles adhering to the cornucopia, a bubble will burst before being launched into the air, and then the careless one will take a sort of revenge, as it were, on the solution itself, and stir it into froth. Then you may be sure his bubbles will keep on bursting right along, especially as his steadily growing impatience leads him to stir more viciously after each failure. Remember that under no circumstances can the solution be benefited by stirring; on the contrary, such action is always disastrous.


Dip the opening of the cornucopia or funnel lightly into the solution, and on withdrawing it slowly turn it at right angles (see diagram,Fig.I). If you look you will see that the opening is covered over with a shiny film. Then start to blow gently through the smaller end of the cornucopia.

However, be sure that you blow, and not draw in breath. Ninety-nine beginners out of a hundred will draw in breath instead of blowing, which at once destroys the film. It is a good scheme to start blowing very gently before the cornucopia touches the lips. After you have carefully blown the first breath into the bubble, place your tongue firmly over the small opening, of the cornucopia, draw in a long breath, and then blow again into the bubble. Continue blowing into the film until you have produced a fine large bubble, and then release this from the cornucopia by jerking the latter away from it with a short, quick movement. A very few trials will enable you to make enormous bubbles in a surprisingly few moments. It is a good idea before beginning this fun to rub soap on the large opening of the cornucopia, both inside and outside.


Take a piece of stiff wrapping paper of the desired size and paste it thoroughly on both sides. Then roll it up into the shape of a cornucopia. Wind thread around it to prevent unrolling, and remove this when the cornucopia is thoroughly dry and hard. As cornucopias made in this way last for many months, it pays to make them very solid and carefully. Be sure, however, not to use them until thoroughly dry and hard. These cornucopias may be made of various sizes. A very convenient cornucopia for all-round use is one that measures ten inches in length, two inches across the larger opening, and slightly less than a quarter of an inch across its smaller opening.



IF YOU boys and girls want an evening of real fun just give a soap-bubble party. The beauty of such parties is that they can be given at any time of the year, and are as provocative of jollity on a warm evening in September, when you may blow bubbles on the piazza, as on a cold winter night, when you can assemble your guests in the house.

In giving a soap-bubble party every effort should be made to provide appropriate settings for the bubble. The more elegant and beautiful the settings the more jewel-like the bubbles will appear. They look perfectly exquisite on delicate glassware and against rich-coloured backgrounds. Avoid, as far as possible, the use of white tablecloths, white plates, etc, as these reduce the beauty of the bubbles to a minimum.

The table or tables should be decorated tastefully though brilliantly, and a chair provided for each guest. In front of each chair should be placed a shallow dish or plate of the solution, some straws, a funnel, a cornucopia. and other necessaries for the evening. Then, too, it is a good idea for any one intending to give a soap‐ bubble party to practice the soap-bubble tricks previous to the night on which the entertainment is to be given, so as to be in a position to amuse the invited guests.

The chief bubble blower should occupy a seat at the centre of the table with a programme before her, while the other participants should follow her lead and do just as she does. In this way a lively competition is induced by the endeavors of each bubble blower to outdo the others.

A good programme for a soap-bubble entertainment is the following list of tricks:

Rose inside of bubble.

Spinning a top inside of bubble.

Large bubbles balanced on goblets.

Four or five bubbles inside of one another. Piercing a bubble with a knife.

Hanging up a row of bubbles.

Bubble resting upon a flower.

Bubbles and noise.

A little bubble inside of a large one. Blowing a pinwheel in a bubble.

Bubbles hanging from finger tips.

Placing bubble on spinning top.

Competition to see who can blow the largest bubble.

It always adds to the fun and interest if prizes are offered for the most skillful handling of the bubbles.

The pinwheel inside of the bubble, bubble resting upon a flower, bubbles and noise, a little bubble inside of a large one, and bubbles hanging from finger tips, are some new bubble tricks Phil invented after he had given his first exhibitions, so I will print directions for doing these, as follows:


Fasten a paper pinwheel to a short stick of wood, and attach this to the centre of a.dinner plate with sealing-wax; then, after covering the bottom of the plate with the solution, proceed to place a bubble over the pinwheel as in the rose trick. As soon as the funnel is withdrawn, quickly dip a straw into the solution, gently thrust it through the bubble and then blow upon the paper wheel, when it will rapidly revolve.


To make bubbles and noise, dip the end of an ordinary tin horn well into the solution and after withdrawing it blow gently until quite a large bubble has been formed. Then four or five loud blasts may be sounded on the horn without injuring the bubble in the least. This is a very funny trick, which never fails to arouse roars of laughter. A large fish horn may be used for this purpose with splendid effect.


Dip a dahlia or other stiff petalled flower, an aster of a brilliant colour for instance, into the solution and then with a cornucopia blow a bubble upon the top of it. This is one of the simplest and prettiest of all the soap-bubble tricks.


A little bubble may be made to appear within a large bubble by blowing a fair-sized bubble from a cornucopia so that it will hang suspended. Then dip a straw into the soapy water, push the wet end of it through into the hanging bubble and blow very gently. Almost immediately a small bubble will fall from the straw, and as soon as this happens blow with slightly increased force, when the little bubble will whirl around and around inside of the larger bubble, as shown in the illustration (page 60). By blowing smoke through the straw a little smoke bubble may be made which will add a great deal to the effectiveness of this trick.


Dip all five fingers into the solution, so that from each finger there hangs a drop of the mixture. Take a straw, which has been dipped into the solution, place the wet end of it against each finger tip in turn, and gently blow, and so form a bubble on each finger tip.




THE Soap-Bubblers’ reception was a success from the start.

The Soap-Bubblers‐but recently organized, with our old friend Phil as Head Bubbler, Harry Baker as Chief Cornucopia, the minor Bubblers occupying minor odd-titled positions, as well as all Bubblers occupying no positions at all had resolved that the ancient and honorable amusement of blowing soap bubbles was sadly in need of reformation; and, further, that it was their mission to reform it.

Thus it came to pass that on this blustery late November evening the interior of Masonic Hall presented such a scene of brilliancy as had rarely been equalled within its historic walls.

Never shall I forget the fairy-like transformation which followed the signal for all Bubblers

to begin “bubbling.”" The magician’s wand had hardly fallen when there arose forty-seven large bubbles from forty-seven golden cornucopias, held in the hands of forty-seven rosy-cheeked boys and girls standing by twenty-four little oblong tables. A cry of delight swept round the hall, and forty-seven more bubbles arose, and still another shower of the iridescent spheres glittered in the surrounding brilliancy before the Bubblers settled down to the business of the evening.

For this occasion every member had promised to perform at least one bubble trick, and to perform it well; so that when Eddie Stark showed a. top spinning within a bubble, and Minnie Sargent‐seated opposite‐a beautiful rose within another, it was only an indication of the wonderful success which was to characterize the entire performance. Freddie Wilder did fully as well at the table allotted to him, while “Little Victor”" cleverly dropped all sorts of objects through some beautiful bubbles blown by Frank Burt. Charley Tefft had a table all to himself, and by his funny tricks with the solution kept the onlookers in a constant roar of laughter. At another table Arthur Taylor joyfully fried bubbles to order; and near by was a delighted crowd looking at the “bubble‐ topped top.”

I cannot tell you of all the many things I saw during the first hour‐which seemed scarcely ten minutes‐of this marvelous entertainment, except to refer to George Wingate’s attempt to beat his own record of nine bubbles inside of one another. This achievement, from a Bubbler’s standpoint, was the most important event of the early evening, and just before the intermission they crowded themselves into George’s immediate neighborhood just as he had succeeded in raising his record to eleven. He now had one eleven, three tens, and any number of nines and figures below that number to his credit, yet he determined to do better. He started off again by placing six bubbles with wonderful rapidity, but in putting in the ninth some broke. His next trial was still more unfortunate, as he failed on the fifth. The next attempt opened splendidly, and bubble inside of bubble was blown until eight had been scored quickly enough; then, with remarkable precision, he placed in three more, equalling his own best record of eleven; and finally, amid tumultuous applause, succeeded in putting in the twelfth bubble.

There was much rejoicing and hearty congratulation during the twenty minutes’ intermission, and then Bubblers and spectators seated themselves in readiness for the principal part of the performance, which was to be given by Phil.

The idea had spread, somehow, that the Head Bubbler would treat them to another surprise, although what the nature of this would be not any of the Bubblers knew, excepting Harry Baker and a few assistants.

Promptly at nine Phil stepped on the platform, and was greeted most cordially. I failed to hear his opening remarks, as I was seated in the rear of the hall; but, whatever they were, every Bubbler boy jumped to his feet and shouted for joy, and every Bubbler girl jumped to her feet and waved her handkerchief. Amid the uproar, I learned that Phil had announced that he would show the Bubblers how to make large bubbles without blowing them!

The pandemonium increased when six Bubblers, with Harry Baker leading, formed in procession and walked on to the platform, carrying between them two large galvanized-iron pans (each measuring nine feet in circumference), five children’'s wooden hoops, a number of copper and brass rings, two shining pails full of soap and water already mixed, and ‐-‐think of it ‐ not a pipe, tube or cornucopia of any kind! No wonder the audience shouted; no wonder the Bubblers waved aloft their gilded cornucopias. If Phil was not going to do something wonderful, what were all those pans, hoops, and copper and brass rings for? Why did he appear without a single cornucopia?

After a few words explanatory of the evolution of the soap bubble from the clay-pipe stage to its present one, Phil dipped a wire ring into the solution, and, gently sweeping it before him, cast off a bubble fully twice the size of his head. Every Bubbler boy gave a cry of satisfaction at this, and it looked as though all the Bubblers might fling their golden cornucopias on to the stage, when the master of the soap and water tossed off five large bubbles in succession, not only from the same ring, but from the same, film!

Almost immediately Phil’s assistants‐there were five of them‐followed his example, and from that time on the stage was continually aglow with the brilliant spheres.

Harry Baker now came forward with the club’s two kittens, and set them on a dry block of wood resting in the centre of one of the large nine-‐foot pans‐now filled with soapy water. Before the animals could move, Phil quickly lifted a hoop from the pan, and in a twinkling covered both kittens over with a glorious bubble. “First kittens ever inside of a soap bubble!” Harry Baker announced, just as the little kits started to wade about within the iridescent dome. Phil sphered them over a second and even a third time, when the pussies, excited by their uproarious surroundings, offered decided objections to being imprisoned any more.

Then Bubblers and audience were treated to an exhibition of what were perhaps the largest bubbles that have ever been made. Harry Baker was especially fortunate, and, at the end of a very exciting contest with Phil, succeeded in sphering the pan over from brim to brim! Realize, if you please, that this bubble measured over nine feet in circumference!

Phil followed up this feat of Harry’s by launching from the large hoop a round bubble measuring fully six feet in circumference! Compare this giant in size with the bubbles you have been used to blowing from clay pipes. As one Bubbler hilariously remarked, this was “more like a balloon show than a bubble show.”

Not the least noticeable fact was that the bubbles often measured twice the diameter of the rings from which they were thrown. Remarkable, too, was the ease with which both boys picked up the films with their hoops. These hoops, measuring from thirty to thirty-four inches in diameter when thus filmed over, flashed like disks of waving gold. Phil slowly revolved one of these golden disks upon the tips of his fingers, and a moment later the audience were enthusiastically applauding another of our magician’s startling surprises. Here were two large elongated bubbles, springing from the same film, attached to each other in the centre, and yet traveling in opposite directions, as shown in the illustration (page 56).

There seemed to be no limit to Phil’s store‐house of wonders, and the spectators, who up to this time had been so very vociferous, settled down to a state of mute astonishment. “What will he do next?” was on everybody’s lips.

Though somewhat fatigued, the wizard of the soap and water adhered strictly to business, and now requested the audience to give their closest attention to his next performance. With a small ring in his left hand, and one twice the diameter of this in his right, Phil slowly advanced to the edge of the stage, where he covered both of the wire circles with a film. Then, from the smaller ring, he tossed a bubble high up above his head, and as the sphere slowly descended, he made a sweeping movement with the ring in his right hand in such a manner that he completely enveloped the small bubble within a second and much larger one.

For a moment the Bubblers looked at each other in perfect amazement, and then broke forth into heartiest applause. Phil responded with an encore, and again a bubble, imprisoned within another, swept its way across the stage. As I fixed my eyes upon these glittering spheres, I noticed the imprisoned bubble strike upon the bottom of the larger one and bound up again. This it did a number of times. Phil might have spent the remainder of the evening in repetition of this beautiful achievement; but, as Harry enthusiastically announced to the audience, there were more tricks to come. More tricks? What else could be done?

Fairly beaming with satisfaction at the success of his double-bubble trick, Phil took a large hoop and, dipping it in one of the great pans, withdrew it covered by a film. Then he held the lustrous disk well up in front of him and started to blow. Had our magician been in league with the spirits of the mythical North, he could hardly have produced a result more weird and fantastic.

Starting from the hoop, first slowly and then almost shooting forth, was. an ever-moving, ever-lengthening, ever-varying, twisting, writhing shape‐such a form, in fact, as might have found existence in the imagination of Edgar Allan Poe.

When Phil and Harry, together with their assistants, gave themselves up fully to this exhibition of monsters, the stage looked as though peopled by one of the hobgoblin races. Sometimes great bubbles, five feet in circumference, would snap off the end of these soap-bubble dragons, and sometimes a number of very small ones. In length they varied from two to eight feet that is, measurement in a straight line. Could all the windings and twistings have been taken into consideration, they would have been found far longer.

Phil now turned his attention to the hoops and rings again, and drew forth storms of applause by some wonderful “film tricks”. One in particular, the giant letter S, was especially brilliant. It looked like a serpentine tongue of flame, and the manner in which Phil whirled the flashing light above his head fairly thrilled the audience.

Placing the ring aside, he picked up a curiously made wood and wire framework, and, after covering it with film, swished it through the air with a. long, sweeping movement. The result was a whole shower of bubbles‐single, double, and triple bubbles! This display was very effective, and had to be repeated ever so many times before the Bubblers were satisfied.

“Leroy Kimball!” now shouted out Harry Baker. “Leroy Kimball!” And a minute later there walked on to the stage the youngest, shortest, and jolliest Bubbler in the club. Everybody knew Roy, and as the little fellow blushingly stepped on to the square block of wood set fast in the middle of the big pan, he was greeted with loud cheers and cries of “What are you going to do there, Roy?”

Phil promptly began to answer this volley of questions by lowering a hoop over the little Bubbler until it lay immersed in the pan of soapy mixture. “Oh !” cried the Bubblers in unison, “Phil’s going to put Roy in a soap bubble!” And the excited audience rose to their tiptoes.

Amid a profound silence Phil started to lift the hoop; but after raising it a short distance the film broke with a peculiar noise, sounding like “w-h-e-e-‐p.”" “W-h-e-e-p” went the film again, “w-‐h-e-e-p, w-h-e-e-p."

Suddenly there was a swish, a flashing gleam of silvery light, and Leroy Kimball, the jolliest of the Bubblers, looked smilingly upon the audience from within a soap-‐film house!

All of the bubble tricks performed by Phil on this occasion, with the exception of the first one, the throwing of bubbles from a wire ring, require expert manipulation; and beginners should not attempt to do them until after they have become very proficient in performing all of the bubble tricks referred to in the previous articles.

The solution Phil used in making these wonderful bubbles, is the second solution given on page 36‐the solution without glycerin.

However, in producing the giant bubbles pictured, this solution has to be in just a certain condition, a condition which is almost elusive. For instance, the same solution which will produce such marvelous results at one time may fail when used a little earlier or later. The solution from which Phil made his great bubbles lost all of its marvelous qualities for producing such splendid results after it had been used for thirty minutes.

However, after one has become thoroughly familiar with the making of soap-bubble films, the condition necessitated may almost be “felt,” as it were, by placing a small hoop in the solution and repeatedly lifting it for a foot or more.


Make a ring of wire five inches in diameter, allowing the twisted ends of the wire to form a convenient handle, and bind the whole circumference with strips of old muslin. Then, after rubbing it thoroughly with soap, dip the bound ring well into the solution so as to cover it with a film. Now, with a firm grasp on the wire handle, swish the ring through the air from right to left, or vice-versa, starting it slowly and gradually increasing to considerable speed. As the ring progresses the film will belly out; and after this has attained a goodly size, deftly turn the ring over at right angles, without once stopping the sweeping movement of your arm, and a bubble will fall from the ring, just as is shown in the picture on page 62. Anybody can perform this trick after a little practice.

Wire rings very much larger than the one referred to may be used after you have become an expert at this performance. The five-inch ring, though, is a very good size for beginners.


A large shallow pan, nine feet in circumference, was filled with solution to the depth of two‐ inches. After this a child’s wooden hoop, of slightly less circumference than the pan, was lowered into the solution. Then in the centre of the pan a3 block of wood was placed, and on top of this the kittens. As soon as the kittens were in position, Phil grasped the hoop with his wet fingers and lifted it with fair quickness, horizontally, high over the animals’ heads, and then suddenly turned it to a perpendicular position, when the bubble dropped, as it were, from the hoop. Before beginning this trick Phil bound the hoop around its entire circumference with strips of muslin so that not a particle of the wood could be seen. Then he thoroughly soaped this with a large cake of soap.


A hoop bound with muslin was covered across with a film and then slowly revolved between the finger tips of both hands, as shown in picture page 56.


A wire ring bound with strips of muslin was dipped into the solution, and when covered with a film was swished through the air, as illustrated in the picture on page 56.


Phil used two wire rings bound with strips of muslin for this trick, one much larger than the other. He covered both with a film; then, holding a ring in each hand, he first tossed a bubble from the smaller ring, and with the larger ring caught the smaller bubble, as it were, within the larger film. The smaller bubble was caught just as one catches a little fish in a scoop net.


Phil covered the hoop with a film, then, hold‐ ing it up in front of him, blew right into the centre of the shiny disc. The blowing was started very gently, but as the film increased in length Phil blew with all his might.


Phil used a framework of wood and string for this purpose. He dipped the framework into the solution and, after it was covered w i t h a film, swished it through the air, with the result as shown in the picture on page 58.


Roy stood on a block of wood in the centre of the pan of solution, and Phil lowered a hoop over the little Bubbler until it lay immersed in the mixture. Then Phil suddenly lifted the hoop high above Roy’s head, and the little fellow “looked smilingly upon the audience from within a soap-film house!”


To do this trick, see “How to Place Three Bubbles Inside of One Another,” page 12 .