"The deceptive cup of steaming coffee"
These are deceptive in a magical way – they’re vintage mechanical devices designed for store displays and windows to intrigue and attract customers to a business.
"The bottle that can not be emptied."
The explanation (my favorite phrase: "Nature’s laws,
however, have not been upset…"):
"A recently patented apparatus, which has been quite successful as an
advertising novelty, consists of a bottle suspended in an inclined
position and from its mouth there pours a constant stream of liquid into
a tank. As there is no visible means for replenishing the liquid in the
bottle, one would naturally expect it soon to become empty, but the
level of the liquid in the bottle remains the same. Nature’s laws,
however, have not been upset, for in the center of the stream is a glass
tube of the same color as the liquid and, hence, invisible. A pump is
constantly withdrawing liquid from a tank and forcing it up into the
bottle, whence it pours out around the glass tube, thus rendering it
This novelty has gone big scale. See my earlier post: 10 magical floating faucet illusions>>
"The chimney sweep before and after immersion"
The dirty guy goes in the water, and the clean guy emerges… a tricky ad for a popular soap.
"A clock with no apparent driving train"
See the Deceptology post: Mystery clocks were invented by French Magician Robert-Houdin>>
"The concealed magnet causes the ball
to roll around but never off the box"
Ah, those sneaky magnets.
A ball with a somewhat similar method that allows it to roll uphill: The "Snail Ball" does not obey gravity… at least on our planet>>
Mechanical Advertising Novelties from 1911, Scientific American, September 30, 1911>>