It was a simple concept from the earliest days of magic. The
magician or wizard makes a seemingly endless production of items
from an empty hat, a cauldron, a jug, or a horn of plenty. The
method was simple. Hide a secret assistant inside the table, and
he pushes the items up through a hole in the table into the empty
container. You would never get away with that in the modern magic
show. Everything has to be made clean and open and potentially
examinable by today's standards.
You use a two tiered table, completely open on all sides and
bare. There are plans included for making such a table out of PVC
pipe, but it could be made of wood or metal as well. On the lower
shelf of the table is a Thanksgiving motif tablecloth and a
serving cover. Someone from the audience is called up to help you
set the Thanksgiving table.
You hand the volunteer helper the serving cover, which
establishes its innocence. You remove the tablecloth and have
your helper take one corner while you take the other corner and
spread it on top of the table.
While you recite a little background history on the
Cornucopia legend to the audience (included in the article), you
take the empty serving cover and place it on the center of the
Lifting the server, you reveal a large platter containing the
horn of plenty. At first the cornucopia is empty, but as you play
on a magical harvest flute (optional!), fruit begins to tumble
out of the cornucopia. Oranges, tangerines, apples and pears are
good choices because they have their own skins to protect them.
The fruits are collected in small bushel baskets for distribution
to the audience. Any time you feel the audience is suspicious of
the table, you lift up the front table cloth and let them see
that there is nothing beneath it but air. Yet, the fruit keeps
tumbling out and filling up the bushel baskets.
Finally, some decorative colorful Indian corn begins to
appear, and the wizard lifts up the platter with the horn of
plenty and brings it to the front of the stage. Assistants remove
the tablecloth first, showing the table to be empty and innocent,
then they wheel it off the stage. From the cornucopia, popcorn
begins to pop out and the magician holds the horn over a basket
to catch as much of the hot popping corn as he can.