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S U P R E M E
‘ K N O W - H O W ’
S E R I E S
KNOWING THE RISING CARDS
Contents Contents .............................................................................................................................4 THE RISING CARDS (HISTORY AND COMMENT) .....................................................6 THE RISING CARDS ........................................................................................................9 HOWARD THURSTON RISING CARDS ...................................................................... 10 THE DUPLICATE STACK METHOD ....................................................................... .............................................................................. ....... 15 DE KOLTA'S RISING CARDS ........................................................................................17 RISING CARDS FROM OPERA HAT .................................................................... ............................................................................ ........ 18 RISING CARD BOX (Jack Le Dair) ...................................................................... ............................................................................. ....... 19 MECHANICAL IN CLOSE-UP ........................................................................................22 IMPROMPTU... OR NEARLY SO! ..................................................................................24 DIGITAL MECHANISM ...................................................................................................29 SYBIL RISING CARDS .................................................................. ................................................................................................... ................................. 31 JUMBO RISING CARDS .................................................................................................33 FOUNTAIN OF CARDS ...................................................................................................36 DE KOLTA'S FOUNTAIN OF CARDS ............................................................ ........................................................................... ............... 37 DE KOLTA'S CARD RAISING TRICK ..........................................................................39 CASCADE OF CARDS..................................................................... ..................................................................................................... ................................ 41 A NOVEL PRESENTATION ............................................................................................42 THE WONDERFUL FLOATING CARD TRICK .............................................................43 JUMPING CARDS (The Siamese Bloodstone) ..........................................................44 PSYCO JUMPER ...............................................................................................................46 SPECIAL EFFECTS CARDS .................................................................. ........................................................................................... ......................... 47 THE TURN-ROUND CARD ............................................................................ ......................................................................................... ............. 47 TORN CORNER CARD ................................................................................................48 MOVING PIP CARD .....................................................................................................49
"Watch closely", says Will.
THE RISING CARDS (HISTORY AND COMMENT) Many magicians of the mid 18th Century appear to have included in their repertoire the chosen card 'jumping' or rising out of a pack of cards, running parallel in popularity with the effect of a coin or ring 'dancing' in a goblet. The continental performer Pinetti, when appearing in Paris at Le Theatre de Menu-Plasirs Du Roi in the Winter of 1783-84, received some detailed notices... quote, "He next shows a new pack of cards and requests the spectators to think of several cards. The pack is placed in a small silver box, open at the top, and supported on the neck of a bottle, which had been examined by the audience. The apparatus is put on an isolated table, and when the conjurer commands, the chosen cards jump from the pack." Sidney Clarke in "The Annals of Conjuring" comments, quote... "The rising card trick was worked from a bottle-houlette, bottle-houlette, as well well as from from a wooden vase or goblet ... and the use of a thread or hair to make cards, coins, eggs, rings, etc., jump out of goblets or other receptacles was largely exploited. Pinetti made great use of this last device, and some of his experiments that depended upon its use were presented in a very artistic manner, though he endeavoured to delude inquirers with the idea that the effects were produced by the use of ingeniously prepared springs, which he said he was willing to sell to the curious. The Golden Head was a favourite trick with him. A gilded model of a head was placed in a glass vase, the bottom of which was covered with gilt coins. A metal or glass lid was put on, and the Head answered questions by rising and falling in the vase; while a borrowed ring placed in another glass jumped or danced, as if in sympathy with the Head." In the early days of one's journey in Magic, the receipt of the new trick, revealed to be operated by a thread, proved somewhat a disappointment but I was to discover that the very simplicity of the method was to acquit itself and to understand that the effect was the more important. Too often magicians seek for the more complicated and attractive method, considering rather more the elegance of the props and the ingenuity of the device than the effect registered with an audience. When I have a spare moment I like to read through old magic magazines; it is not so much the tricks that prove the greater interest, but rather the little chat bits and what at the time were current news items. Some time ago I came across such a piece in the New Phoenix, No. 327, this one guest edited by Roy Benson - it sort of ties in with what I have just mentioned about concerning method and effect. Roy Benson refers to Al Baker, whom I would have liked liked to have met. His books and and articles ... "Al Baker Baker One and Two", Two", "Ways and Means", to name but two, reveal him not only as a character with a great sense of humour but gives evidence of his professional approach to his work... the method had to be devious but simple, the effect direct and easily understood by the audience. The following extract is verbatim and I am sure Jay Marshall will not object to my quoting it in this little tome.
Frontispiece Frontispiece Amusemens Physiques Physiques Troisieme Edition Edition Paris 1791 Jean-Joseph Pinetti from own collection. "Al Baker had a wonderful way of combining good advice with homespun wit. It was toward the end of the day and Al was sort of worn out demonstrating hundreds of tricks for his customers. 'Son,' he said, 'some of these guys that come in here drive me nuts.' I went to the door as he reached for his coat. 'Half the the time', he continued, 'all a guy needs is a dab of wax or a silk thread, and he's got a miracle on his hands. But what does he do? He spends all day in here looking for machinery to do the same trick. Then he has to spend an hour provin' it aint.' I made for the elevator as Al locked the door of his shop. 'Then to make matters worse,' he moaned, 'the guy does the damn trick with dirty fingernails'. I pressed on the elevator button. 'Can you imagine a thing like that? Dirty fingernails!' He wailed, 'You'd think the least he'd do is to paint a little black line on the thumb tip'. The elevator arrived to take me back to the world."
It's difficult to follow that. But the thread for all its simplicity is not to be taken for granted. Its application to a particular trick requires study and often much experiment. Suitable background...type of lighting ...fineness of thread ...the strength necessary for the job... colour or shade ...types that absorb light, some better than others... these are but a few of the questions to be answered, often only after considerable considerable experimentation... it will be understood that as with Medicine, similar dosage does not always give similar results with various patients ... so much depends on other factors.
THE RISING CARDS In Dean's "Hocus Pocus" we read the following: How to make a card jump out of the pack, and run on the table. This is a wonderful fancy if it be well handled: as thus, Take a pack of cards and let any one draw any card that they fancy best, and afterward afterward take and put it into into the pack, but so so as you know where to find it at pleasure: for by this time, I suppose you know how to shuffle the cards, and where to find any card when it is put into the pack; then take a piece of wax, and put it under the thumb nail of your hand, then fasten a hair to your thumb, and the other end of the hair to the card, then spread the pack of cards open on the table, then say, "If you are a pure virgin the card will jump out of the pack," then by your words or charms seem to make it jump on the table. This would appear to be an early example of the use of a fine hair as a direct means of locomotion. In the early part of this Century, the use of the hair gave way to a fine silk thread and in more recent times to an even finer nylon thread.
HOWARD THURSTON RISING CARDS Credited to Howard Thurston, selected cards placed in a glass goblet, together with the remaining cards of a pack, were made to jump into the air to the performer's finger-tips of the hand held above the goblet. REQUIRED is REQUIRED is a glass goblet large enough to hold a pack of cards in an upright position. Two similar packs of cards. A wrist reel pull, the thread of which passes through an eyelet attached to a finger ring. The thread terminates in a small flat button to which in turn is fixed a small piece of conjurer's wax - Photograph 1.
IN PREPARATION, PREPARATION, the reel is strapped to the performer's right forearm, above the wrist, positioned within the sleeve as to be sufficiently hidden, yet readily obtainable when required. One of the packs of cards is located off stage, spread in suits so as to make the removal of any card easy by an offstage assistant. The glass goblet is on a tray nearby. The remaining pack of cards is held by the performer. IN PERFORMANCE, PERFORMANCE, the magician sets the ring of the pull on his right second finger Photograph 2.
With the pack in hand, the performer requests spectators to call out the name of a card. He repeats the name of the card as he locates it and displays it... emphasis placed on the freedom of choice... the card is returned to the pack and the procedure is repeated with two other cards. Off stage, the assistant, on hearing the name of each selected card, quickly removes each in turn and places them in a stack on the tray holding the goblet. The assistant then proceeds to join the magician on stage, handing him the tray. In meantime, the performer has had the pack shuffled and returned to him which he places on the tray, ensuring that the pack rests on the small packet of three duplicate chosen cards. The goblet shown, the pack, together with the three cards, is placed in the glass, the faces of the cards to the audience, the three chosen cards to the rear. With but the slightest slightest hesitation, hesitation, the performer performer submits that that the spectator may well wish wish to handle the goblet to satisfy himself that all is as innocent as it would appear to be. The left hand removes the pack from the glass, fingers to the front, the thumb to the rear. Then as the right hand prepares to take the pack, the second finger to which the ring is attached (with the waxed button) approaches the back of the pack and the left thumb presses the waxed button to the rear card. The right hand then grasps the pack and the now free left hand collects the goblet and passes it to the spectator, who being satisfied as to its genuineness, returns it to the magician. The goblet is returned to the table in front of the performer. The left hand now takes over the pack, holding the cards in the glass, the thumb ensuring that pressure on the button against the back of the pack is continued. The right hand then moves up and away, the action causing the thread to unwind from the reel. On reaching some 18 to 20 inches above the goblet, the right forefinger and thumb grip the thread between them, so checking the tendency for the thread to rewind into the reel - Photograph 3.
The left hand moves away from the pack and the glass and when it is desired, the right forefinger and thumb relaxes its hold allowing the spring within the reel to rewind the thread, taking with it the card attached to the waxed button. The card flies up into the right hand where it is retained and then presented to the spectator who confirms it is one of the chosen cards. As the card is proffered to the spectator, the waxed button is eased
off and re-positioned on the back of the next selected card. The whole procedure is repeated for this second and the third cards - Photograph 4.
The services of the off-stage assistant may be dispensed with in the initial stages by the performer, having removed the chosen cards as requested by the spectators, on the return of the cards to the pack, located and controlled to the top or rear of the pack... then placing the cards into the goblet. Again, an alternative alternative to the use use of the reel is that almost of the original effect as practised practised by the early necromancers necromancers of the Seventeenth Century in which the thread may be anchored to the vest pocket or button. There can be no doubt but that Thurston in his theatre presentation out-classed anything that had been staged before. Chosen cards were made not only to rise from the pack held in one hand but to float in the air, sometimes above him and then again to fall almost to the floor before recovering and returning to the magician's outstretched hand. At times the famed illusionist illusionist injected injected comedy by instructing instructing a small boy in the audience audience to remove a long hair from his father's head. The spot-light picking out the boy, then settled on the man next to him revealing that the parent had a bald head. The routine concluded with a fountain of cards, souvenir printed, and which were flicked out into the audience. The presentation required a number of horizontal threads across the stage and operated by off-stage assistants. assistants. Specially prepared cards cards were hooked on the threads and slightly weighted cards enabled the falling falling of such cards almost almost to the floor and rising again. The following simplified version will enable the reader to make even so quite a spectacular effect. PREPARATION PREPARATION - The cards to rise and float are prepared by gluing a narrow strip of card of matching design, cut with two V points as in the drawing.
The V points are free of adhesive and in action catch over the thread when required. One of the duplicate cards has a fine strip of metal inserted at the lower narrow edge and provides the means of the card falling almost to the floor until checked.
Roterberg's "New Era Card Tricks" details a similar effect with the special cards prepared, each having two small strips cut from cards of similar design. The strips are bent each to form a hook and glued in position, as indicated in the accompanying accompanying illustration.
A fine thread is first secured to a screw-eye fixed to the prompt wing, at about a foot to eighteen inches above the performer's head. On a purely curtained stage, a pole weighted at the base could serve as a substitute for the Wing. The thread stretches across the stage passing through another eyelet fixed at similar height to the O.P. wing. At the free end of the thread is attached a small weight serving as a counterweight to the 'float' card. Again a similar similar post post could be used in place of a wing and and obviously in "round" conditions, stands for the lighting equipment could be requisitioned for the purpose. I have used this
subterfuge to mask the need to attach a thread for a floating ball routine and there is no reason why it should not be used in a similar manner for the floating cards, etc. IN PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE - The gimmicked cards, duplicates duplicates of the chosen ones, are located at the back of the pack held in the left hand. The Magi reaches up in pretence of expansive 'spell' action, contacts the thread above his head and pulling it down to the rear of the pack and below the points at the back card, gently allows the thread to ease upwards, catching the points at the back card. Then released, the counterweight takes over and the 'caught' card rises into the air above the pack. When caught again at a little distance from the card, and the thread pulled down causes the card to descend. Again, the thread being released, the card rises and is caught in the outstretched right hand. It will be seen that the thread and card may be manipulated much as in a Floating Ball routine. Again in "New Era Card Tricks" we read a similar account to that already detailed and the reader may well be interested in the rather charming little illustration taken from the book. Al being the thread across the stage and A2 the thread under the performer's control. B the hidden counterweight.
THE DUPLICATE STACK METHOD One of the most popular methods of rising cards is that in which duplicates of forced cards are threaded in a stack. The Preparation is quite simple and as detailed below. A small slit is made in one narrow end of a playing card, duplicate of a forced card and the thread is anchored in the slit with a knot. The thread is carried up the rear of the card. Another but indifferent card is then placed on top of it. The thread is then carried down the rear of the card and the second duplicate card placed on the packet of two cards. The thread is then taken up and a further indifferent card placed now on the packet of three, the thread being taken down. The third forced card is placed on the packet and the thread carried up the back of it. An indifferent card is finally added to the packet. The diagram should make the set-up clear.
The completed packet is placed on the table secreted behind a handkerchief. handkerchief. The free end of the thread is passed through a small eyelet at the rear of the table and leads off stage. On a spoken cue the thread may be pulled by an assistant off stage. I well remember in 1938 on the stage of the South Parade Pier on the occasion of the first public show of the Portsmouth and District Magic Circle, it took several members off stage to ensure that the chosen cards rose smoothly and on cue. The thread was carried down from the table through a small screw-eye at floor level and back under the curtain through another similar screw-eye set in the stage. The thread continued its journey off to the left wing where an assistant held it, waiting a signal given by another member positioned down stage looking directly out of the wings watching the performer, so that as the magician raised his hands over the jumbo pack closeted in a houlette standing on the table, the thread was pulled the required amount. Other members positioned themselves so as to see that the thread passed freely through the screw-eyes ... so that in the event of a breakage, an immediate immediate repair could could be made. Working on one's own, the end of the thread may be anchored to say the back of a chair standing at the rear of the table or then again to say a book standing on the table and which could be moved to the the rear and placed on the the seat of the the chair. More More imperceptible imperceptible movements of the magician standing at the rear of the table causes the cards to rise.
The forced cards are shuffled back into the pack and placed on top of the prepared packet, faces of the cards uppermost. The handkerchief is used for cleaning the goblet and then the pack together with the packet is placed in the goblet, the faces to the audience. When required the cards are made to rise either by the direct pull on the thread or the movement of the body against the thread. After one card has risen, the slack may be taken up by showing the glass, say turning it around and then back and in replacing it on the table, positioned a little more forward than previously. Attaching the free end of the thread to a fan can serve as a vehicle for pulling the thread when it is thought the the direct pull may prove prove too obvious.
DE KOLTA'S RISING CARDS Good friend and famed Magic Historian, Peter Warlock has kindly drawn my attention to the explanation detailed in Nelson Down's, The Art of Magic, page 176, in which is claimed the correct method of performing the original De Kolta Rising Card trick! The duplicated cards which are required to rise are threaded in the normal way as already described under the heading, "Duplicate Stack Method", but, however, with a difference. Instead of the thread passing over the top of each indifferent card, it passes through a small hole drilled in the indifferent cards exactly central and about an eighth of an inch from the top edge. It will be apparent immediately to the reader that in this way the thread cannot be detected by an observer, even when the prepared pack is at close hand. Such is the stamp of Genius... and furthermore, the free end of the thread positioned at the back of the pack is attached to what is a double card. The edges of the two cards are glued on three sides forming an envelope. The lower end remains open and the 'slack' of the thread is neatly folded back and forth and closeted within the 'pocket'. In action, when the cards are required to rise, the double card is removed from the pack, which is, of course, standing in a glass or goblet as previously detailed, and the card rolled into a tube. The card when removed, the thread unravels itself from within the pocket. The performer then blows through the tube, the action it appears calculated to cause the card to rise, and in fact serves to disguise the small steady withdrawal movement which takes up the slack of the thread and pulls the card upwards as required.
RISING CARDS FROM OPERA HAT Back in the Thirties, Walter Wandman marketed a spring hinged fake which could be inserted into an opera hat. The fake was a shallow metal container, container, large enough to hold the set-up packet of duplicate cards. The lower end of the container was attached, spring hinged to a base plate, rounded and the size to be accommodated inside the hat Photograph 5.
PREPARATION PREPARATION - The fake with the card in position, the thread passing up and through a tiny eyelet at the top rear of the fake container; and then on hanging loose, was inserted into the opera hat. The container was then folded down against the base plate and the hat closed down. The thread hangs down over the edge of the hat and to the rear, away from the audience. The free end is best then anchored either to the rear of the table or as detailed earlier - Photograph 6.
IN PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE - Three cards are forced and returned to the pack, and may be shuffled by a spectator. Whilst this is being done, the performer takes the opera hat and springs it open in the normal way ensuring that the fake is to the front. The hat is placed on the table and the cards then taken and sprung into the interior of the hat. The left hand takes hat and moves forward in front of the table and then the right, making 'pass' movements, the thread tightens as the hat is moved slightly forward and causes the first card to rise. The combination of body and arm movements result in the remaining two cards to rise in turn. 18
RISING CARD BOX (Jack Le Dair) In the days of my youth, I remember seeing and meeting Jack Le Dair, a kindly man of shortish stature who worked mostly 'front cloth' in Variety Theatres. Jack worked down stage against no. One tabs, whilst a principal act was being set. Never a star act but always in work. One of the effects in his act was that of the rising cards. Three cards would be selected, selected, returned to the pack pack which was shuffled. A small wooden box was opened, the bottom removed and shown to be empty. The bottom replaced, replaced, the cards were dropped dropped into the box which was then then closed, and placed placed on the table. Standing well away from the box, the cards were requested to rise and in a moment or so, the lid was seen to be slowly opening. A card was seen to be pushing up the lid... it was quite uncanny. Then quite suddenly the lid sprung fully open and the card continued to rise. When two thirds was in view, the card was removed and a spectator confirmed that it was his card. The lid was closed and a further request made. Nothing appeared to be happening and Jack asked the second spectator to name his card. It was a Queen... when Jack observed that the normal courtesy should be observed... the card addressed as "Your Majesty". The lid started to open and the action repeated itself and the Queen card began to rise and was eventually removed to the spectator's satisfaction. Once more the lid was closed and again the lid started to open. When fully up it was revealed that the card was facing the wrong way... the back to the audience. Jack requested the card to turn round and suddenly, it did just that. The card removed and confirmed as the third chosen card. The effect always received a good reception with laughter at the turning round of the card. The secret was in the box and was self contained. The box measured 5x4x5 inches... Mahogany finish wood, and the bottom slid out along grooves located at the lowermost edges of the long sides of the box. When the lid was also opened, the interior could be shown and seen to be free from deception. It was not however as innocent as it appeared to be. A shallow container constructed so as to hold a threaded stack of three cards as detailed earlier, was hinged at the lower edge to a recess in the interior front side of the box. Thus the container slotted into the wall of the box, held in position by the fingers of one hand holding it as the interior was shown. The free end of the thread lead from the top of the card container to the back of the box, where it passed through a slit in the rear wall. This wall covered a concealed compartment compartment which housed a small musical box motor, having a toothless drum, which when in action took up the thread when the motor was in action. The rear wall of the box is really a metal panel with a slit in it as already explained, which permits the thread to pass through to the drum of the motor. With the removal of the bottom of the box, the panel may be slid out sufficiently to allow the thread to be unwound from the drum when it is required to re-set... threading the cards and returning them to the container in the front wall of the box.
The motor compartment projected slightly at the rear of the box, and had a hole to accommodate the winding key and a small lever projected upward which started and stopped the motor. The lid of the box had a weak spring hinge and at one side of the lid projected downwards a metal tab slightly angled so that in opening, the tab pressed against the inner side of the box, gently restraining it as the rising card pushed up the lid. Once the lid had opened past the metal tab, the spring hinge exerted itself and the lid flipped open. The card continued to rise until removed and the lid again closed. There was a short period as the motor took up the slack in the thread before the next card started to rise. It is hoped the photographs will make the construction and working quite clear. Note how the performer's right hand holding the open box, together with the lid, adequately covers the motor compartment. The left hand going into the box from the open bottom and passes above the slack thread and at the same time ensures that the stacked cards container does not fall forward.
The sectional drawing should make the working of the card container fully understood. Photograph 7 is looking down into the box, showing key in motor, thread, card container. Photograph 8 again shows the interior of the box, metal side out to show motor. The fake turn-round is fully explained in a later section. One final comment on the forcing of the cards. Jack told me, he used a three way forcing deck. He said he had to be one hundred per cent right each time. The cards were selected by three individual spectators spectators usually seated in the front row of the stalls... each held his card until the selection had been completed. Jack then returned to the first spectator, switching the pack before asking for the cards to be returned to the pack. On reaching the
third spectator, he was requested to shuffle the pack. With the spot-light on him it was coolly done, although he said that on many occasions when conditions were adverse he allowed the spectator to shuffle the force deck, the ruse was never exposed.
MECHANICAL IN CLOSE-UP Whilst it is not the purpose of this this treatise to explore explore the numerous numerous mechanical mechanical means of causing a card to rise, nevertheless, I have been guilty in describing above the box as used by Jack Le Dair... because I suppose it is not only a prized possession but very practical and could easily be constructed by a competent D.I.Y. chap. I ask the reader to bear with me me as I further further describe a little item that that has been been in my close-up close-up repertoire repertoire for some years. The mechanism is merely a small musical box motor to which has been fitted a rubber ringed wheel, which in turning against the rear card of the pack causes it to rise. A principle not uncommon. uncommon. A U shape slot fitted at the back (wheel side) permits the motor to be inserted into a rectangular opening at the back of an ordinary card case. The hole is located about midway in the flap side and which normally has stuck to it a playing card, design back outermost. A half card of matching design to the pack to be used is fixed at the lower edge of the hole, which when raised covers and effectively hides the opening Photographs 9 and 10.
In action, the hand holding the pack hides the motor and at conclusion, the cards when removed from the case, the motor is easily detached and concealed in the hand. In the same action, the rear flap is raised and the back of the case be permitted to be seen by the spectators... please note, not shown as such but allowed to be seen as the case is deposited on the table or discarded somewhere else. Of the motor... a small stud, which may be pushed in or eased out, operates the motor and is positioned on the side nearest the palm of the hand, stopping the motor requires but a slight pressure of the palm of the hand - Photograph 11. When the situation permits I have isolated the pack by standing it in a glass. In presentation, the third card rises with its back to the spectator, is apparently pushed down and on rising again it is seen to have turned round and is now facing the spectator. This is accomplished by the use of a double back card and on rising is actually pulled clear so that when pushed back into the pack the actual third chosen card is exposed to the rubber wheel and rises in due course. It makes for a little humor and incidentally
making the card push up the flap of the card-case initially on the first rise always causes interest.
The double back card is at the start positioned on the top of the pack so that in showing the faces of the cards, hiding it presents no problem and of course shuffling the cards, the backs to the spectators spectators is normal normal procedure procedure and the double back back cannot be be detected. The three cards are selected and after the first card has been returned, the double backed card is positioned on top of it during the shuffle. The remaining two cards need only then to be placed on top it and the stack of four cards brought to the top of the pack ready for placing back into the case. Of course, some care needs to be exercised in handling the case with the motor in position, particularly when returning the cards to the case. Having removed the cards from the case at the start, the motor being in position, presents a problem in placing the case on to the table. I get over this by depositing the case on top of the glass so that the protruding mechanism is then in the mouth of the tumbler, the case appears to lie flat on top of the glass. Photograph 12.
IMPROMPTU... OR NEARLY SO! A card is selected and returned to the pack, which is then held in one hand. The chosen card rises apparently on command. No requirements are necessary other than a pack of cards. IN PERFORMANCE, PERFORMANCE, the chosen card is returned to the pack, located and controlled to the top. A false shuffle and cut is then to advantage, whilst a double lift allows the top card to be shown as an indifferent card. Similarly the bottom card is tilted toward the spectators when again it is acknowledged that it is not the chosen card. The pack is then held in the right hand, thumb to the left side, the second and third fingers to the right, the little finger at the bottom. The index or forefinger, bent, presses against the top card and in straightening, pushes up that card, making it appear to rise out of the pack. The reader will note that in this instance, I have suggested only one card be made to rise since it is felt repetition may well result in detection, whilst the double lift may be employed indicating the selected card could not have been pushed up from the back. An alternative method is that in which the pack is held, upright in the left hand and the right finger extended touching the top narrow end of the pack. The second and third fingers of the same hand are closed into the palm, whilst the little finger remains extended. The forefinger is raised when it is seen that the chosen card rises under it, occasioned by the extended little finger pressing against the top card at the back of the pack... as the hand is raised, so up moves the card - Photograph 13.
In presentation, the pretence to generate 'electricity' may be done by rubbing the extended forefinger on the jacket sleeve and as this is being done the little finger must be curled back into the palm with the other two fingers. In this instance the rising of a second card can strengthen the effect by a little subterfuge not too difficult to handle.
As the pack is placed upright upright in the left left hand, slightly slightly less than than half the pack pack is stepped at the rear, about 3/4 of an inch - Photograph 14.
The card is pushed up as previously by pressure of the right little finger until the card reaches the top of the step, when the card is pushed against the portion of the cards extending at the step. Holding the position with the right forefinger and the little finger of the same hand, the left little finger pushes up the lower section of the pack, bringing it level with the front portion of the pack, and so gripping the risen card, making it appear that the chosen card has moved up out of the centre of the pack - Photograph 15.
In Roterberg's "New Era Card Tricks", 1897, is explained a method in which apparently the thumb and all fingers of the hand holding the pack are visible as the card rises. The illustrations which are original from the book will enlighten the reader to the use of an extra finger held in place by a clip or ring and as very evident in the second diagram. The other illustration shows the pack held as the audience see it. I am sure no further explanation is necessary.
In earlier days, culled I think from a magazine ... at least I think so... was an item in which the pack pack was held in the right hand, upright and and facing the spectator, spectator, the thumb at the left long side, forefinger on the top edge, with the remaining second and third fingers at the right side and the little finger supporting the lower edge. The attention of the audience is drawn to this fact, as the performer reads from an instruction sheet indicating just how the pack should be held. Then, in spite of the obvious contrary, the chosen card rises through the forefinger resting on top of the pack... and when the pack is taken into the left hand, the card is seen impaled on the forefinger of the right. Required for this little miracle, apart from a pack of cards, are two fakes. A card, duplicate of a forced card and which has a hole cut out of the centre and large enough to accommodate the right forefinger. A gimmick consisting consisting of a finger-tip to the open end of which which is attached, at right angles, angles, a small metal tab ... as in Diagram A.
In preparation of the trick, the gimmick is placed in the left jacket pocket, together with an alleged instruction sheet. The "hole" card is positioned at the top of the pack immediately below the duplicate force card. IN PERFORMANCE, PERFORMANCE, the top card is forced and it is suggested by the simple expedient of the 'slip' force, noted and returned to the pack, anywhere since it will no longer be 26
required. The pack is then false shuffled in any manner that retains the "hole" card at the top. A double lift is then made to show the top card indifferent and a glimpse given to the bottom card showing showing that it too is not not the chosen card. card. The instruction sheet together with the gimmick finger-tip is removed from the jacket pocket and the sheet placed on the table leaving the hands free. Reading aloud the 'instructions', 'instructions', the performer arranges with the left hand the pack in the right hand and at the same time slips the tab of the tip into the top narrow end of the pack, near the rear, with the tip facing facing the spectators. spectators. Whilst it now appears the thumb and all fingers of the right hand are grasping the pack, the forefinger is free and pressing against the top card at the rear. On command the forefinger pushes up the card, which now appears to be passing up through the forefinger ... as, of course, the performer reads the instructions. As the hole in the card coincides with the open end of the finger-tip, the forefinger pushes through the hole and enters the tip. The left hand then removes the pack from the right hand, taking with it, of course, the gimmick. The right finger is displayed, showing the chosen card impaled upon it - Diagram B. The little effect requires a whimsical presentation and it did enjoy popularity in my programme for some considerable time, particularly following the disposal of the gimmick with the 'instruction' sheet, one was left with a clean pack ... and it had been a bit of fun. To Tommy Dowd goes the credit of using digital pressure in a novel presentation of some ingenuity. In effect, one or more cards are selected and returned to the pack which is then placed in a glass tumbler, which in turn is covered by a further tumbler inverted onto its open end. In spite of the isolation, the selected cards are made to rise up within the tumblers, and each becoming wedged in the upper glass. THE REQUIREMENTS REQUIREMENTS - A bottomless tumbler capable of holding at least somewhat more than half a pack of cards. A further tumbler of similar size but innocent of trickery. A pack of cards, usually poker size which are normally the broader ones. THE KNOW HOW - The card or cards having been selected and noted, are returned to the pack which is shuffled and the cards controlled to the top. The pack is then placed in the bottomless tumbler, faces to the audience and which is held in the right hand. The first, and second fingers and the thumb are curled around the lower edge of the tumbler disguising the fact that the third finger is within the tumbler tumbler at the rear of the the pack. The remaining tumbler is inverted on the open top of the glass holding the pack of cards and the whole is held between both hands, the left hand on the top. The third finger pushes up against the rear card making it rise up and it will be found necessary for the
digit to make a number of little jabs to send the card well up into the top tumbler to become wedged against against the sides. The uppermost tumbler is removed by the left hand and a spectator given the opportunity of removing the card and confirming that it is the one chosen. The procedure may be repeated for the remaining selected cards - see diagram.
DIGITAL MECHANISM Selected cards are caused to rise from the pack ... involves no motor mechanism, threads or magnets ... the cards and case being totally innocent. Hey, how's that for an ideal Magic Dealer's advertisement. The method utilises a small gimmick consisting of a strip of metal which is bent back on itself, and measures 8cm. The shorter portion has projected outwards, a tiny needle point angled very slightly downwards. The longer part of the strip has a small bulge rather toward the lower end and which terminates in a small step outwards at right angles - Diagram 1. The performer has the fake concealed in the right hand, palmed like a cigarette, one end in the bent third finger, the other end at the ball of the thumb - Diagram 2.
IN WORKING ... WORKING ... whilst it is not advocated that the case, together with the cards, be handed out for examination, it is necessary that the spectator have an opportunity of seeing that both cards and case are quite ordinary and unfaked. This is best accomplished accomplished by having members of the audience handle the items in an earlier trick. Diagram 3 (fake in card case). The fake is secretly inserted into the card case on the side opposite the flap, with the shorter portion (the point end) inside. The chosen cards, returned to the pack are brought to the top and the set-up inserted into the case, the flap side held toward the spectators. To facilitate an easy return of the 29
cards to the case, the pack might well be incomplete by some half a dozen cards, allowing the pack to slide past the point of the fake. The hinge of the flap should be cut a little at the crease, so that the flap can move freely backwards and forwards. The cards in the case, the flap is folded in and the pack tossed in the air... a sort of flourish that establishes that the hands are free of gimmickry, etc. The case is then held upright between the thumb on one side, the second, third and little fingers on the other. The first finger presses upwards on the strip between the bulge and the step, and so moving upwards, the needle point having engaged in the back card, causes the card to rise, pushing up the flap at the same time. The card having reached its extent, is removed by the left hand and at the same time the right first finger moves downwards, pressing pressing on the step and carries the fake back into the case. The procedure is repeated for the other chosen cards. On the removal of the final card, the fake is left palmed as initially - Diagram 4a. Diagram 4 shows the card case held with the forefinger about to extend upwards ... performer's viewpoint. viewpoint. The modus operandi is reminiscent of the "Sybil" Rising Cards, one of which I purchased from Will Goldston prior to War II.
SYBIL RISING CARDS In effect a number of cards are chosen and returned to the pack which is placed in an open framed houlette. Two small sheets of glass are placed to the front and the back of the pack in the frame, thus isolating the cards. The houlette is held in the open right hand, the third and second fingers supporting the holder through two metal grips at the base of the houlette. The selected cards in turn rise up out of the pack and it is established from the centre of the cards. At the end, cards, houlette and glass panels can be handed out for examination, etc. The catalogue line block gives a faithful detail of the houlette, which in itself is free from trickery. A small gimmick is responsible for the rising of the cards and is in the form of a three sided metal clip, one side having two tiny needle points projecting outwards, angled slightly upwards. The other side has a small cut-out section which permits permits the tip of the thumb to activate the gimmick - Diagram 5.
IN PREPARATION, PREPARATION, the clip is held concealed in a finger grip position in the right hand, best at the base of the third finger. IN ACTION, ACTION, the cards are spread between the hands, the cards covering the gimmick in the right hand. The spectator selects a number of cards which are withdrawn. The performer cuts the cards at about mid position and the gimmick is eased on to the right edge of the cards in the right hand, the thumb covering the top or back of the gimmick. Care and practise is here necessary since it is important that only sufficient cards are loaded into the clip leaving space to accommodate the rear glass panel. The chosen cards are returned to the top of the portion of the pack in the left hand, and the cards and gimmick placed on top of the left hand packet. The whole is now placed into the houlette and the rear glass panel slid into the houlette first, and then followed by the remaining glass panel to the front. Diagram 5a gives a plan view of cards and gimmick, etc.
The houlette is stood on the open hand, the second and third fingers going through the curved grips at the base, the first and little fingers maintaining the balance on either side near the base. The cards in the holder appear to be quite isolated from the hand. The right thumb moves forward contacting the cut-out portion of the small clip and by pushing upwards, moves the gimmick up, taking by virtue of the tiny needle points, a chosen card. On reaching almost the extent of the top of the holder, the left hand removes the card and at the same time the right thumb moves back downwards taking with it the gimmick. The needle points re-engage the next card and the manoeuvre to raise the next card is repeated. When the gimmick is at the bottom of the holder, the thumb covers the rear of the gimmick so that the rear of the houlette may be safely shown and the left index finger taps the glass panels drawing attention to the isolation of the cards. There is one other refinement; the level of the floor of the houlette is sloped slightly to the front so that the top edges of the cards are also sloped toward the audience, allowing the spectators to see that the card, in rising, actually comes from the centre Photograph 16.
When dismantling the apparatus at the end of the routine, the gimmick is easily culled back into the finger finger grip position to be be disposed of as convenient. convenient.
JUMBO RISING CARDS Just prior to War II, I purchased from Davenports a little item in which a card rose up out of an envelope. The principle was to be used later in an effect devised by Jim Hooper and marketed by Ken Brooke and was an ingenious twist in both method and presentation... in Ken's hands it attained miracle class. For some years, from time to time, I've featured a Jumbo Card rise using an envelope rather in its original simple concept, being too timid to risk the handling in which a fine dyed nylon thread passed down in front of the clear plastic houlette whilst it was held by the spectator and so on. The reader will understand that it would not be ethical to explain in detail the "Nemo Jumbo Rising Cards" as marketed by Ken Brooke. As already mentioned the author's method and routine is rather more simple and less daring in performance... it is however not without good effect. A normal Jumbo pack of cards, together with a clear plastic houlette capable of holding the pack, is required. The only other essential item is a specially prepared envelope of a size to hold snugly a jumbo playing card. A thread is attached to the inside inside of the envelope on the opposite opposite to that of the flap, flap, about one inch from the top. It then passed through an eyelet attached to the inside of the envelope, directly opposite to the anchorage (flap side). The thread leads down to pass through a tiny hole, centre lower end of the envelope, again about one inch from the bottom edge. The thread thread emerges out of the the envelope on the flap flap side. It will be seen seen that a card inserted into the envelope will carry the thread down with it. The flap then closed, it follows that when the thread is pulled the card will rise... the flap opening to permit it. The Diagram will make the principle clear... showing a blown-up sectional view of the envelope. I used the small washer surround cut from a card luggage label both for the anchorage and the threading through. The tension is quite strong a pull and without a protective washer the envelope would tear. I found it out the hard way. PREPARATION PREPARATION - The cards are in the houlette position on the table. At the rear of the houlette, the envelope rests, the thread folded concertina wise neatly below it and the free end attached to a book, which in turn is on top of the envelope. The book is not as innocent as it would appear, being a container housing a lead weight. A chair is positioned at the rear of the table... on its seat a triangular prism shaped container, in which is an egg whisk. This was an idea I had culled from an early Hugard Monthly... but used in a different context.
ROUTINE ROUTINE - The pack is removed from the houlette and three cards are selected. The cards are then returned to the houlette, placed back on the table. The book is taken and placed on the chair at the rear of the table and the envelope is introduced. One of the cards is inserted into the envelope, the back of the card uppermost. The envelope is then pushed down into the pack toward the front. The two remaining cards are collected by the spectator and taking them the performer pushes each down into the pack, making the point that each card is returned to the pack at separate positions. The cards require to be returned to the rear of the envelope, each card pushing down the thread which extends over the top of the cards and to the rear. The spectator is standing to the performer's left and down stage a little of him. The performer now picks up the cardboard container from the chair and introducing his "Thought energy projector" produces the egg whisk. He then demonstrates how that turning the handle round in a forward direction projects energy, whilst turning it in the opposite direction produces the reverse effect. The spectator is handed the "projector" and under instruction the first card is made to rise... the thread tension is taken up by the performer moving between the chair and the table. A second card is made to rise in a similar manner. The houlette is then picked up and held in the left hand, the thread passing under the hand holding the houlette at its base. Approaching the spectator, the performer catches the thread with his right hand, which moving in a gesture causes the envelope to rise, then the flap to open and continuing the card to move up out of the envelope. The houlette is handed to the spectator as the right hand removes the envelope and the now freed left hand clears the card from its cover... which deposited partially into the top of the cards in the houlette... is confirmed by the volunteer as the last selected selected card. The envelope is tossed aside aside onto the chair ... leaving, of course, the houlette and cards in spectator's hands ... clean! Ken Brooke in his presentation had the spectator hold the houlette for himself... an alternative threading of the envelope and the subsequent handling being rather different as well as the finest of nylon thread also necessary. I tended to use a thread of slightly heavier capacity pulling power, which in the 'Nemo' may well have resulted in exposure. Some further comedy situation may be injected when the egg whisk is used in the original as described by Clayton Rawson way back in '47. The triangular prism container is built as a three fold screen, held closed by a rubber band which when removed and the container permitted to fall open, reveals on its inner surface a jumbo replica of the chosen card. This could be done for the last card rising from the envelope... admittedly there would have been the necessity to force the card... but one in three should not be too bad an odds. The spectator holding the whisk is instructed to hold it pointed in the direction of another spectator in the audience ... the purpose being to direct the "thought power". The performer standing to the rear, permits the container to fall open... the spectator entering into the spirit of the thing calls out the name of the card he sees so displayed ...
to the amazement of the fellow holding the whisk... and laughing approval of the rest of the audience. The card rising out of the envelope ... with one man more mystified than the rest...
FOUNTAIN OF CARDS Many years ago, an incident during a Magic Society show afforded me the opportunity of seeing for the first time the beautiful effect of the fountain of cards. The performer concerned and whom I would rather not name, was a most kindly person whose facial and indeed general physical physical appearance belied belied his pleasant disposition. His longish face, high cheek bones and deep set eyes, together with a slightly drooping mouth and lean body structure, with rounded stooping shoulders, gave the impression of the popular conception of an Undertaker figure. Whilst the compere magi delayed the introduction of the next act with his favourite though protracted routine, our magician friend quietly set his table centre stage. A tall cut glass goblet, in which stood a pack of cards, had pride of place on the table. Then checking that all was set, the performer returned to the wings to wait his call. The moment came, the compere had made the build-up and the name tripping off his tongue, when a colleague member of the society who had been serving as a stage hand, suddenly made a dash across up-stage between the back cloth and the isolated table. Even before he had made his objective on the other side and as the curtains swept apart, from the goblet erupted a continual cascade of cards, the pasteboards jumping and falling rapidly one after the other in a colourful flow onto the table. I watched entranced ... but in a few moments it was all over ... the cards strewn around around the foot of the goblet in which stood what what appeared to be just just one card ... dejectedly dejectedly it seemed. Our "Undertaker" friend had watched in silent dismay and as the last card had leapt off and fallen at the foot of the glass, shrugged his shoulders, turned and blindly fled back into the make-shift dressing room, there I had no doubt to vent his anger with well voiced blasphemy. blasphemy. The experienced reader will, of course, understand the cause of the catastrophe and even to the newly initiated wizard it will be evident of a direct connection between the momentous dash across the stage behind the table and the eruption of the fountain. The unthinking fellow had carried with him the operative thread that had stretched from the rear of the table to backstage where it had been anchored. The incident served as a warning that the stage having been set, the acting area should be avoided by all, with the exception of the performer and his company ... and even the performer needs to have a healthy respect for that 'thread'. Whilst the "Fountain of Cards" is not claimed as the brain-child of the famed Buatier de Kolta, to whom goes the credit of so many fine illusions and magic effects still performed today, he featured the item with great success in his own inimitable eccentric manner. Certainly the method of setting up the pack with the thread has the simple stamp of the genius.
DE KOLTA'S FOUNTAIN OF CARDS Under the heading of "De Kolta's New Rising Cards" in Nelson Down's 'The Art of Magic" ... is described a routine in which three cards are selected and returned to the pack which is shuffled. The pack is placed within a glass goblet and stood on a table or chair. On command, the three chosen cards rise, one at a time, followed by the remaining cards which cascade cascade out of the glass. Down's book was published in 1909... the effect and method is equally acceptable today as it was then... the operation is by a thread, pulled perpendicularly which it must be confessed offers some problem, making it necessary for the thread to be passed through an eyelet fixed to an overhead batten, etc. A rather more simple solution could be in placing the goblet, holding the pack, on a chair seat... the thread could then pass over the top of the back of the chair, thence directly to the rear back stage. Again, a vertical pull might be accomplished by the performer engaging the thread with the left hand which is raised so that the thread passes over the performer's shoulder as he stands to the rear of the goblet. Whilst in the normal way, the performer may make somewhat imperceptible imperceptible body movements to cover the rising of just three cards... the rapid cascade of the remaining cards of a pack must require a strong steady pull, if not by a concealed assistant... perhaps something such as the Thornton reel or other motorised mechanics. mechanics. The method of threading the pack it is claimed differs from most other known methods... methods... the explanation follows. Take a card in the left hand and the thread in the right, length five to six feet plus, dependant on the distance from the goblet to the means of the 'pull'. In beginning the threading, leaving a loose end of the thread, about twice the length of a card, hanging below what will be the bottom of the pack when all is ready for the trick. Pass the thread up the back of this card, which we will call number one, then over the top and down the face of the card. Now place the second card on the face of the first, (the thread passing between) and then bring the thread up in front of the second card, passing it over the top of the two cards and then down behind the rear card. Place a third card at the rear (on top of thread) and pass the thread up this card, over the top of the three cards, and down the front again. Place a fourth card in front, and pass the thread up and over the top of the four cards and then down the rear card. Place a fifth card on the rear and continue passing the thread alternately back and front, over the top each time, until the whole pack, save one card, is threaded. The last card, which should be a black court card, has a slit in its lower edge. This slit should be large enough so that the thread may easily be drawn away and not pull the card with it. Pass Pass the loose loose end of the thread, hanging hanging card number number one, which which is now with the centre of the pack, towards the front of the pack, under this extra card which is placed on the front of the pack, then up over its face and down behind the extra card, and through the slit, where it is knotted.
Incidentally, the last three cards to be threaded with the exception of the extra card just mentioned, should be the duplicate force cards, since these will be the first cards to rise. The extra card masks the cards as they rise from the pack, alternately from the back and front and at the same time, without the extra card, one of the chosen force cards would be on view at the front of the pack. The extra card and number one card leave the goblet together... the extra card making one revolution as the thread is drawn away altogether. IN PRESENTATION PRESENTATION - Three cards are forced and when returned, shuffled back into the pack, which is then exchanged for the prepared pack when the goblet is exhibited, the substitution achieved under cover of using a handkerchief to wipe the glass, etc. This is an old and tested subterfuge. The prepared pack having been deposited in the glass, the three cards are made to rise, one after the other and it is confirmed that they are the selected cards. To prove then that this is no isolated miracle, the remaining cards are caused to rise and fall out of the goblet, rapidly following each other. Down further suggests that four cards might be forced and that after only three has risen up, the performer is reminded that the fourth has yet to come. Feigning some difficulty, the remaining cards are required to leave the goblet and do so, quickly spilling out, one after the other until only one card remains in the glass and which proves to be the delinquent pasteboard. For this a slight variation in the threading is necessary. Assuming that the Ace of Hearts is the fourth forced card and is then the one card to remain in the glass ... the threading must start with this card. With the Ace of Hearts in the left hand, the loose end of the thread is permitted to hang down as previously detailed but with only a little more than the length of the card. The thread is passed up the face of the Ace of Hearts, over the top of the card, down the back of the card, again as previously detailed until all the cards except the last or extra card is threaded. Place the extra card on the face of the pack as before, but this time the slit edge is positioned at the top, not the bottom as previously mentioned. The loose end of the thread, hanging below the pack is passed towards the front of the cards and drawn up over the extra card and the end engaged in the slit at the top edge. Threaded in this way, every card will leave the goblet with the exception of the Ace of Hearts ... the thread being drawn clear. The reader may well find considerable interest in the instruction sheet printed in the early part of this Century... it differs marginally only, but the student is advised to experiment first with the method detailed in the Down's book. Interesting too, is the suggestion that a three way forcing pack be used at a cost of just 25 cents!
DE KOLTA'S CARD RAISING TRICK INSTRUCTIONS:INSTRUCTIONS:- For this trick two packs of cards are required. One is an ordinary pack while the other is specially threaded, and it is essential that the performer should thoroughly master the method of correctly threading the cards - for thereon largely depends the success of the trick. To do this properly, carefully study how the threaded pack, which we send you, is arranged. By drawing the free end of the thread upward a card will rise, say, from the rear of the deck while the next one will come up from near the front of the pack, and so they continue to rise while the thread is drawn. It will be noticed that the front card is the last one to leave the glass. Provide yourself with a suitable goblet that will just admit the deck - it must be neither too large nor too small. The threaded cards and the glass should be placed on the seat of a high backed chair and the free end of the thread, "A", led up to the chair-back, passing passing through a screw-eye, and then led off to the hands of a concealed assistant, stationed in an adjoining room. When performing on a stage, place the glass and cards on your magic table and lead the free end of the thread to your assistant stationed in the wings. Over the threaded pack throw an ordinary handkerchief. To arrange and thread the cards, commence by holding card No. 1 in the left hand, wind the thread around it five times. This card should be the King of Clubs, as it later occupies a position in front of the pack, and the thread passing over the face of it will be less noticeable at a short distance. With the thread hanging down the back of this card, you then place card No. 2 behind it and then pass the thread upward upward over the back of the latter card and let it hang down in front of card No. 1. Now place card No. 3 on top of No. 1 and bring up the thread and let it fall down the back of card No. 2. Next, place card No. 4 on back of No. 2 and so continue until the pack is threaded - the three duplicate cards, which you intend to "force" on your audience are arranged last. Finally, but carefully, pull down the King of Clubs from the centre of the threaded cards, loosen up the thread wound around it, and place the card in front of the deck, as illustrated, and tighten up the thread again. This done, place an elastic band around the lower half of the cards to prevent possible disarrangement through careless handling of the threaded deck. After carefully following the above instructions instructions and with your assistant in his proper position, you advance to the audience and force the selection of three cards, duplicates of those cards you threaded last, have them returned to the pack and offer the pack to be shuffled. Upon receiving back the deck with your left hand, you advance to the chair and exchange the deck for the threaded pack. This is done by simply lowering the left hand behind the handkerchief handkerchief and the moment it comes in contact with the chair-seat the right hand throws the handkerchief handkerchief over the left, thus concealing the pack, and exposing 39
the threaded pack to view as the left is raised. Place the handkerchief and the concealed deck in your pocket. Next, place threaded pack in the glass and have the chosen cards rise. You can also name certain cards, provided you have memorized their threaded order. A quick jerk of the thread will cause a card to jump high into the air, while a steady pull will make an effective fountain of cards. At the finish of the trick offer glass and cards for inspection. If you are unable to successfully force cards, we can supply magician's "Forcing Deck" for 25 cents.
CASCADE OF CARDS Marketed by Supreme Magic Company, the effect is a development of the card fountain by Bert Gardiner. A chosen card is shuffled back into a pack which is placed into a neat metal houlette, attached itself to a decorative metal stand. The magician commands the cards to rise, with however no result, until quite suddenly, the cards start to cascade out of the houlette, flying up into the air. The climax is reached when the selected card is seen to be attached to the top of the stand. The item is self contained and operated by a small electric motor situated at the rear of the stand and is battery driven. A strip switch when operated, tension is taken up on the thread that is attached to the spool. The thread passes from the spool through the star which forms the upper part of the decorative stand and terminates at that point with a small clip to which the performer, in preparation, attaches a duplicate of the card to be chosen. Cards are threaded in the now traditional manner as in the diagram... a loose indifferent card is then placed on top of the packet which is then deposited behind the stand ... a handkerchief or foulard then draped over the stand. IN PERFORMANCE, PERFORMANCE, the magician takes an innocent pack of cards, matching that of course of the prepared pack and proceeds to have a card chosen, which as already indicated requires to be forced. 'Supreme' suggests that the well known riffle force be used in that it does not require the performer to leave the stage to have the card selected ... but this of course must be left to the individual... whatever the card, having been noted, is shuffled back into the pack which is placed on the table behind the stand with the right hand as the left removes the handkerchief, dropping it over the deposited pack. The right hand collects the prepared pack as the left now picks up the stand to draw attention to it. Obviously pressure needs to be kept when holding the prepared stack to prevent the thread becoming displaced. The stack is placed in the houlette, care being made the clip is uppermost. When the switch is pushed forward, the thread is taken up and cards cascade out of the houlette, the last one attached to the clip, ending up at the star top of the stand. The card is then removed from the clip and shown to the spectator and it is also suggested that if desired the cards remaining in the houlette may also be removed and shown to be free of deception... this, I feel however, is not justified and proves an anti-climax in the presentation ... it serves no useful purpose. It will be appreciated that although only about half of the pack actually rises and rumbles out of the houlette, the effect of so many cards cascading out is startling in itself, the actual number is of no consequence. consequence.
A NOVEL PRESENTATION Under the heading of "The Hand of Cagliostro" is described an unusual presentation. Following the selection of three cards, these are collected in a glass goblet and carried back to the table. On the table is a second and similar similar goblet and into this is dropped the remaining cards of the pack. The two goblets are at only a little distance from each other and the three chosen cards are transferred from one goblet into the other, holding the pack. The cards are pushed down at different positions in the pack and without, it seems, any particular intent. An imitation hand, made it is suggested of papier mache, is rested on both the goblets, the fingers resting resting on the top edges of the cards, as in the delightful old illustration. As a card rises out of the pack it pushes up the fingers of the hand and it would appear as if the fingers are in fact pulling up the the card. The rising of the cards is effected by the pulling of a thread as previously described. But the hand? The first three fingers are really free of the remainder of the hand and are attached to it by cloth hinges. The hand placed in position, fingers on the cards in one glass, whilst the wrist is supported by the other goblet. As the card rises it pushes up the fingers and so creates the impression of the hand selecting and withdrawing the card.
THE WONDERFUL FLOATING CARD TRICK Under this delightful title is a little effect described by Ellis Stanyon in an explanatory series under his own name and which was copied into my note book many moons ago. The item was worked in combination with a 'spirit' writing effect with two cards, and which it is not proposed to describe in this article. The effect of the floating card is quite simple... a card is chosen and returned to the pack which is shuffled and handed to the performer. The pack is held in the left hand, the faces of the cards to the audience. The right hand, open toward the spectators, is poised, held on a level with the left hand about 18 inches apart. The chosen card is then seen to pass through the intervening space into the right hand. The card is then tossed onto the table. THE KNOW HOW - Firstly, the chosen card requires to be forced. The mechanism is that of a card (duplicate of the forced card) threaded through, one end attached to a finger ring, the other end of the loop attached to the card. The diagram will make this quite clear... the drawing is incidentally original with the series and whilst not of today's standard, the author sought to include from interest point of view. IN PREPARATION, PREPARATION, the ring with thread loop and card is palmed in the right hand. The original instructions suggested that the set-up be in the right trouser pocket. It continues, "While cards are shuffled you stand at ease with hands in pockets and on receiving back the pack, you "palm" card with ring and thread on top of pack, which you arrange in left hand, slipping ring on third finger. (Audience will not have noticed absence of ring on finger up to this point, and very naturally conclude that you are simply easing ring on finger, a natural action, so there is really no necessity for any attempt to conceal the movement.)"
The forefinger of the right hand is now passed under the loop of the thread lying across card under 'x', as in the diagram. The hands are extended to the full extent of the loop, which as previously previously mentioned mentioned needs to be about 18 inches. inches. Now by extending extending the hands apart very slightly (imperceptibly), (imperceptibly), the card is drawn along thread 'B' into the right hand. Here quoting from the instructions (Stanyon): "Here you throw down all the cards, breaking the thread thread away from the the ring" ... etc.
JUMPING CARDS (The Siamese Bloodstone) There is a clever little item, conceived by Stanley Collins described in Original Magic Creations, (Goldston). Three cards are selected, returned to the pack and dropped into a borrowed bowler bowler hat. The bowler although still still favoured to a minor minor degree in some select select quarters is, however, unlikely to be found in the average audience, but may still prove acceptable, particularly if a member of the audience be given charge of it, collecting the cards and putting them into the hat, etc. The hat is balanced, held by its slightly curved brim, on a plate. Stanley suggests that an octagonal shape plate is necessary and although obviously ideal, I found that a circular plate was possible and in fact the balancing bit received a good hand from the audience, for that alone. A coloured stone is shown and held over the hat, when its supposed magnetic qualities caused the selected cards to jump up in the air. In fact, no cards actually fly up out of the hat, it is but an illusion ... the cards really sail up from a container attached to the back of the plate. The fake is made of cardboard about five inches across and a full 1/4 inch thick.
Within it are two spiral springs attached to a metal bar T. Projecting from below the bar is a hooked metal arm H, which when the springs are extended, passes through a hole in the bottom of the fake and prevents their return by engaging the edge of the opening. The setting of the bar is made by pushing it down with a piece of wood the width of the card but, of course, longer. longer. That is at least least the way I overcame overcame the problem. problem. When the three cards, duplicates of three forced on a spectator is loaded into the container and the arm H pushed aside, the springs will propel the cards up into the air. I had an aluminium trough made in place of the bar, since I know that cards have a nasty habit of creeping into the slightest crack and feared a jamming might result. Instead of springs too, I used elastic rubber bands and they worked quite well and were less complicated to fit. In constructing things for myself, I'm rather like the late J.F.
Orrin... whose motto was, use cardboard, glue and elastic...it works wonders. Certainly simplicity is always the best answer. I further dispensed with the coloured "Siamese Bloodstone" ... preferring to hold the apparatus rather high for better effect and leaving one hand free, just in case with the circular plate, the hat should slip. It never did but, you never know. One other point, which was not covered by Stanley; that of forcing the cards. I know several professionals of the past who were not ashamed to admit to using a one, two or three way forcing deck to ensure the right cards were selected. They claimed the necessity to be one hundred per cent right the first time. Many Moons ago, I compiled a little booklet of tricks suitable for the beginner and to which I gave to those those youngsters youngsters who had become keen on Magic. The following item item was included ... it's almost in the impromptu class ... I called it Psyco Jumper. If nothing else it will serve to remind some readers of that which they had forgotten.
PSYCO JUMPER The performer asks a card to be named and on command the named card jumps out of the pack. Direct and very effective. A little secret preparation is required for this. Surround two cards with an elastic band and push down the Ace of Spades between the two captive cards. With care insert the packet into the centre of the pack and hold firmly. A large elastic band band can surround surround the whole of the pack pack until ready to to do the trick. Now for a little psychology. When people are asked to name a card, at least one person will usually usually call out the Ace of Spades. Spades. In the unfortunate unfortunate case, case, when this card should not be named, just pretend pretend to have heard it, point vaguely vaguely in a direction, "the lady over over there ... etc." On making the command, relax the grip and the card will jump up.
SPECIAL EFFECTS CARDS THE TURN-ROUND CARD The effect of the turning card has been fully covered under the heading of Jack Le Dair's Rising Cards. The special card required is really two cards pasted together, cut into two portions almost. The upper portion revolves due to a strip of thin rubber serving as a hinge. The illustrations illustrations from Roterberg's book shows quite clearly the working principle.
Prepared, the upper part is folded forward so that the back of the card, when it is rising, is first visible. As soon as the flap rises past the top of the pack, it becomes released and snaps round. The card in my own collection and which I have often used is a little more complicated in construction, in that the cards are cut out to overlap and serves both as a stop and ensures that there is no tell tale gap visible between the upper and lower parts.
The photograph, it is hoped, will make the construction clear.
TORN CORNER CARD This card is not just restricted to a Rising Card routine and may be used in any effect where a chosen card, mutilated in just such a manner suddenly becomes restored. A corner it seems has been torn away from a chosen card in order that by replacing the torn portion, a positive identification can be made. The card, then lost in the pack, rises and the torn corner matched, showing that it fits... then the corner is made to vanish and as the card continues to rise, suddenly the torn portion is restored. Again the Roterberg illustrations show in detail the construction of the card, the corner being just a hinged flap which initially folded back, operates as soon as the card has risen sufficiently to release the flap. B is a hinged flap to the upper corner of which is glued the torn corner portion, A. Two strips of elastic E and E are glued between the cards proper and flap B. Held back, the corner appears to be missing and then when released the elastic hinge takes over and flap B folds over onto part C. The photograph is that of such a card and is from my own collection ... dates early 1900's and goes one step further in presentation. The corner becomes restored, followed by the complete change of the card, from the restored Jack of Hearts to the Queen of Clubs. Given an understanding of the Roterberg illustrations, illustrations, the method for the further change will be obvious - Photograph 18.
MOVING PIP CARD Detailed in Robert Houdin's "The Secrets of Conjuring and Magic" and under the heading of "The Electrified Cards" is a charming routine in which four chosen cards are made to rise from the pack. The cards are placed in a houlette container and fixed upon a stopper which in turn fits the neck of a glass decanter. The first card rises at command in the usual way, is removed and handed to the spectator. The second card is it seems the Eight of Diamonds. The spectator claims however that the card he selected was the Seven of Diamonds. In the meantime, the card has been removed and is held back to the audience. On turning it around, the card is the Seven of Diamonds ... the spectator it seems must have been mistaken. The third card seems reluctant to rise and an enquiry results in the card being a Queen of Spades and so commanded to rise. The Queen card rises but being a single headed card, becomes visible, feet uppermost. The card is removed and returned to the pack. Asked again, the card rises correctly, head uppermost. Finally the fourth card which appears to be the Knave of Clubs, rises and falls in the manner of a salutation... and we read ... "Finally, it is made to dance, keeping in time to the music of the orchestra, and is ordered by way of conclusion conclusion to jump completely completely out of of the pack". The change of the Seven spot to the Eight spot card can, of course, be accomplished with the aid of a special "mechanical" card, the pip visibly moving from the eight position to make it a seven, the pip travelling along a track consisting of two hairs and motivated by a third hair, and operated by a tiny metal lever at the lower edge of the card. The one I have is in need of repair, the result of bad handling when placed on exhibition. Mrs. Violet Fairs, the daughter of the famous illusionist, Buatier de Kolta and who now lives not far from my home and is, of course, very elderly, on inspecting the card, told me that she felt quite confident that it was one of many she had made whilst in the employ of Will Goldston, Goldston, as a young woman. woman.
It seems the long hairs were very painstakingly removed from wigs purchased locally in London and that the tiny metal levers were cut usually from discarded cocoa tins. The method detailed however in the Robert Houdin routine is very much easier. A diamond shape is cut from another card and this is attached in the Eight spot position of the Seven of Diamonds card with a tiny dab of wax. The card having risen and its value noted... the card is removed and held back to the spectator and then during the slight argument, the spare pip is eased off the card and concealed as the card is turned round, its face now to the spectator. Concerning the third card in the routine... this is not today practical since the cards in common use are double ended. The final card which seems to have 'danced' has at the lower narrow edge, a fine strip of metal set between the two layers of the card. The operation being, of course, very much as that explained in the Thurston routine.