Tangerine Box

by Professor Spellbinder

In the 1930s, Thayer produced his first "Baffo Box." It was cleverly gimmicked, but a bit complicated to build. By the 1940's he had improved the "Baffo Box." Now it was just a plain wooden box and easy to build. I have met him half-way. I have produced a cleverly gimmicked box that is fairly easy to build from fine wood or cheap cardboard. It does everything the "Baffo Box" could do, plus a lot more. You can use it to make continuous productions, or to vanish items. You can even perform my "Tangerine Box Routine "with it. What more could you want from such a tiny box?


It is NOT required to use a tangerine. My reasons for doing so are in the article, but the effect works with most any fruit and other containers as well.
All the fruit used is real; no plastic imitations.

Tangerine Box Routine Effect:

I borrow a ring and place it under a handkerchief for a spectator to hold. I claim to be able to make the ring vanish and appear in the empty box. The box is closed up and the ring holder is asked if he felt the ring disappear. He did not, so I look in the box and discover the problem is that the box contains a lemon. No wonder! I remove the lemon and try again.

This time I find the box contains a lime, but still no ring. I try one last time and come up with the tangerine with a shoelace running through it. I hand the ends of the shoelace to another spectator to hold, with the tangerine dangling in the center (an amusing sight for some reason).

Thinking perhaps the problem is with the ring or the handkerchief held by the spectator, I whip away one end of the handkerchief and discover that the ring has vanished. Tearing open the tangerine, the ring is found knotted on the shoelace and in the center of the tangerine. The spectator verifies that it is her ring.

I use the handkerchief to clean off the ring and warn the spectator to take better care of it. I drop the ring and shoelace into the box and thread the ends of the shoelace through the holes in the side. Then I tie the ends of the shoelace together in a nice bow on top of the box and hand the box to the spectator, demonstrating how she can keep the ring safe from harm. She unties the shoelace, opens the box and discovers the ring has once again vanished, this time from the ties of the shoelace.

“You must take better care of your things,” I tell her. I take the box and produce another tangerine from it and hand it to her.

“I was going to give you this nice magic jewelry box to keep your ring in, but I can see you prefer keeping it inside tangerines.” She tears open the tangerine and finds her ring inside.

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