What’s Hidden inside this 100 Year old Puzzle?
Today, we’re taking a look a three unusual items. Head of Zak, a toy from the early 1900’s, the Magic bank (1880) and Karl Germain’s Puzzle Box.
Head of Zack
Head of Zack, a national magic company Chicago 1940. This is a toy and it comes with a tiny knife. The knife is used to apparently sever the horse’s head from the top of the metal column on which it rests.
Despite running the blade through the neck of the figure, the head remains held fast to the column. Prop is a re imagining of a trick, decapitation cane popular in the 1880s and would later be adapted into a plastic novelty that achieved wide popularity.
No magnets are used here. Instead, a clever swivel which hooks onto the inside of the horse’s head, rotates with the passing of the blade when it’s pushed in it temporarily dislodges its grasp only to be replaced by another hook on the wheel when holding this toy.
The quality is apparent. It’s heavy elegant and made with care toys such as these were feats of engineering and creativity. The 40s saw the birth of some of the most iconic children’s apparatus, including Lego, the slinky, silly putty and the magic 8-ball. No batteries, no electronics, just physics and wonder they. Don’t make them like they used to.
The Magical Bank
The cast iron magic mechanical bank, Cromwell, J.E, Stevens, circa 1880. Before piggy banks, there was this magical bank, a tiny cast iron house capable of withstanding probably most natural disasters. A place for children to deposit their valuable earnings, complete with A chimney, windows, floral designs and, of course, a banker.
Open the door deposit the coin on the bankers tray flip the switch and the banker hastily deposits your coin. With digital currency on the rise, it’s hard for today’s generation to imagine the value of a single physical coin 150 years ago. In fact, the coins would be so rarely retrieved that you would need a tool to open the bank’s vault. A subtle reminder of a different time, a time where you couldn’t spend more than you had and to spend what you did have had to be worthwhile, although this robust jagged iron money cage isn’t an NFT and can’t fit into your cloud.
It holds something more important than currency. It harnesses values which have since been lost.
Karl Germaine’s Puzzle Box
Karl Germain puzzle box, circa 1930. Karl Germaine born Charles Matt Mueller was an American magician and lawyer born in 1878, and he performed under the stage named Germaine The wizard.
Karl began performing magic at the age of eight years old. He would go on to be one of the earlier performers of mind, reading tricks and was known for creating his own illusions, but Karl also created this puzzle. A neat little puzzle box made of wood and brass complete with a small pentagram etched onto a protractor. I spent many hours trying to open it. The only clue was that the tools to open this box were to be found on the box itself.
A tiny hole on the underside and a loose screw were the only things I had to go on after trying. Every single combination of banging spinning poking and prodding I finally gave up believing that I had been duped by this deceased conjurer. I decided to use an external tool to see if I could dislodge something on the inside which made it lock. To my surprise, it worked pushing on the internal mechanism proved to be the only way to open this puzzle and proving that he had indeed created an impossibly difficult puzzle with no apparent solution. Not cool, not cool Germaine.
On the inside was a worn, dried up satchel so old that it slightly flaked apart in my hands, as I tried opening it. Then it occurred to me that maybe this puzzle was never meant to be solved. I mean he knew exactly what he was doing so, who was I to read the contents of this satchel? Maybe whatever lay inside this bag was put there for a reason. I suppose we’ll never know like this video and subscribe for more unusual content thanks.