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Last updated 03/01/2024


How to Melt Tin in a Playing Card
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the effect known as How to Melt Tin in a Playing Card. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.



As far as I know this effect first appeared on pp 9-10 of 'La Nature' 366 of June 5th, 1880 in an article written by Gaston Tissandier under the title 'Les Physiques Sans Appareils' . It was subsequently included in the 1883 3rd Edition of Gaston Tissandier's 'Les Recreations Scientifique' and was probably also included in the 1880 1st and 1881 2nd editions.

Fusion de l’étain dans une carte à jour



The same illustration appears in 'Recreaciones científicas ó la física y la química sin aparatos ni laboratorio y solo por los juegos de la infancia' by Gaston Tissandier, a Spanish translation of 'Les Recreations Scientifique', which was published in Madrid in 1883.


The same illustration also appears in the English language version, 'Popular Scientific Recreations', which was published by Ward, Lock and Co Ltd in London and New York, also in 1883.



The effect also appears in 'Ciencia Recreativa' by Jose Estralella, which was published by Gustavo Gili in Barcelona in 1918.