When you look at the surface of this mirror it appears perfectly smooth. However, if you point the mirror towards the sun, and obtain a reflection from it on a piece of paper, an amazingly clear image appears, as illustrated. The mechanism of formation of images like this has been a topic of interest for many years. The collection also contains a printed copy of ‘The Japanese Magic Mirror’ which is the report of a talk and demonstration by Major C.H. Montgomery given before The Magic Circle on 16 May 1949. It was published as a Supplement to ‘The Magic Circular’, July 1949.

The instructions explain how this toy is both a noise maker and an example of persistence of vision. This latter effect comes from the merging of the colours on the disc as it spins round. Manufactured by Chuft Toys and Gifts Ltd, Stockton-on-Tees, England.

This well produced book contains a peep show of Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation as well as an interesting and detailed account of what happens during the ceremony. Published by the Hulton Press, London in 1953. This recent addition to the collection was a generous gift from Peter Lane.

This is an excellent optical illusion. Hold the wire loosely between your thumb and first fingers, as illustrated. When you move your hands apart, allow the wire to slide through your fingers. The impression that the wire is growing longer and longer is very strong.

This is an excellent optical illusion. Hold the wire loosely between your thumb and first fingers, as illustrated. When you move your hands apart, allow the wire to slide through your fingers. The impression that the wire is growing longer and longer is very strong.