The Enchanted TreeDecember 4 | Posted by Gordon Miller | Featured Columns
For those of you who have a little workshop, and would like to make up something for your Christmas shows we offer “The Enchanted Tree.” Let us explain the effect first, then the working. It took us only one evening to make, up, and really looks nice. A wooden cut out of a Christmas tree is nonchalantly standing on your table. It is painted green and brown to simulate a Christmas tree. There are a couple of colored balls hanging from different parts of the tree. Anyone names one of the colored balls and after showing it on all sides you put it on one of the tips of the tree where it lights up. (You can produce the balls from a piece of apparatus or by sleight-of-hand.) The performer then reaches into one of the colored balls that are left, and produces a silk streamer which he wraps around the tree. From another ball a batch of different colored silks are produced. These are hung on the tree also. And there is another cute Christmas effect that is usable after only a couple of hours of play.
And now the know-how: The tree is cut out of three-ply wood and stands about 30 inches high. Cut two small holes near the bottom of the tree, and in back of them talk two small tomato cans, which will hold the silks, and streamer. The colored balls are the same ones that are used for fish aquariums; they come different colors and are made of plastic. They are about 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Attach a hook on each of the balls with a little scotch tape. Stick a number of pins in the tree, and hang the balls on the pins. When they name a color, the ball of that color is taken and put in one of the cups on the tips of the tree, where it lights up, due to the metal contact in the cup (which is made out of a half ping pong ball and painted to match the tree). Now cut two holes in the plastic colored balls, (in the top and side). These two balls are glued over the holes which you have already cut in the bottom of the tree. The silks are pulled from the back of the tree through the balls, and look like they are actually coming just from the ball Now when you pull the clip on top of the treey the star will spring up on a mouse trap spring and make contact and then light up. The sketches will illustrate the tree a little better. The star can be a plastic star, with a couple of small flash light bulbs for the lights. The making of it is not as complicated as it sounds, and with all the material on hand, you should finish it in no time flat.
Originally published in the December 1949 Tops by authors Dick Piser and Ken Allen