This is an excellent scientific novelty which causes amazement when people see it for the first time, irrespective of whether they are scientifically minded. (The version in the Davenport Collection was made for an American company, hence disk rather than disc.) The base is a slightly concave mirror on which you spin a heavy disk, much like you would spin a coin on its edge. However, unlike a coin, the heavy disk spins for a very long time and, as it slows, the sound it makes changes. There is a real surprise when it stops. There are a number of magnetic pieces with holographic surfaces which can be placed on the flat surface of the disk and which create intriguing light and colour patterns as the disk rotates. According to the box it was invented by Joseph Bendik in the 1980s. Made in Taiwan.

This was a gift given to all attendees of the FISM magic convention in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1991. The novelty is that when a coin is dropped through the slit in the top of the box, it immediately vanishes, although it can still be heard rattling around in the interior which apparently contains no more than a top hat floating in mid-air. This is a well made puzzling illusion. US Patent No. 4967953. Created by Tenyo. Made in Japan.

Viewing stereo photographs was hugely popular just before and just after the turn of the 20th century. These cards were made for an international market, judging from the use of six languages on the reverse of the cards. In total there are 66 photograph pairs relating to Italy. These stereo pairs can be viewed in the Underwood & Underwood stereo viewer, Ref. no. N1101. These were a gift to John and Anne Davenport from Harry Carson (real name Pat Swain) who lived in Norwich.

This is an autostereogram, often called a ‘Magic Eye’ picture. It has an unusual optical property: when viewed correctly a 3D image of the Statue of Liberty appears.

This is an autostereogram, often called a ‘Magic Eye’ picture. It has an unusual optical property: when viewed correctly a 3D image of dinosaurs appears.

This is an autostereogram, often called a ‘Magic Eye’ picture. It has an unusual optical property: when viewed correctly a 3D image of a bird in flight appears.

This is an autostereogram, often called a ‘Magic Eye’ picture. It has an unusual optical property: when viewed correctly a 3D image of a spaceship appears.