A relic from the age when the magic of the fundamental properties of the universe was embedded in the everyday.
Harry Houdini liked a good science experiment. He was a magician, yes, and an escape artist, too, but both of those pursuits also made him an amateur scientist. Science found, Houdini applied, audiences raved.
So, it is with special interest that we recommend you check out Houdini's copy of Scientific Amusements, a book by Henry Firth that is filled with things you might call simple magic tricks, if they did not demonstrate principles of science. The book was gifted to the Library of Congress and now available as part of a special collection online.What's most interesting about this book is that it reflects a time, 1890, when science was not so far from the realm of human experience. For all the excitement about citizen science, there is no way to comprehend the Large Hadron Collider's investigations into supersymmetry with a stack of coins placed on your elbow, but you could learn about inertia that way.
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