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HOME > PAST ISSUE > May-June 2014 > Article Detail

FEATURE ARTICLE

The Hidden Past of Invisible Ink

Often synonymous with international espionage, secret writing also had a long-forgotten heyday in stage magic and science demonstrations.

Kristie Macrakis

2014-05MacrakisFp199.jpgClick to Enlarge ImageThe first thought that arises from the term invisible ink might be Cold War spies, but the technology has more magical beginnings. A rise of popular science in the 18th century led to invisible ink’s use in stage magic. Chemical cabinets of the 18th century led to modern chemistry sets at the turn of the 20th century, connecting secret writing to the modern era. This article details the history and the connections, as well as the chemistry, behind invisible ink.


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