If you are going to do thimble work, you must realize the importance of mastering the moves in getting a thimble quickly from the finger-tip to Thumb Palm position, then back to the finger-tip—and also in getting the thimble from Thumb Palm to back of hand and again to Thumb Palm position.

In using Back and Front Hand Palming to conceal a thimble, it is absolutely necessary to study carefully ANGLES OF VISIBILITY and NATURAL COVERING of hand in its motion to screen thimble.

Place thimble on back of hand as in Figure 22. Palm of hand is held toward audience so that thimble is not visible.

Figure 23.

Bring thumb outward and downward, rotating hand with thumb as you do this. Close fingers a little.

Figure 24.

Bring thumb up behind hand and close fingers more, so that you can readily Thumb Palm thimble. Insert second finger in thimble to help you get it into crotch of thumb.

Figure 25.

Open fingers straight out. Figure 26.

Figure 27 is a detailed diagram showing each motion in accomplishing the preceding manipulation. First, the thimble is grasped between first and third fingers and rests on back of second finger. As fingers curve downward toward thumb, the thimble is pivoted and rotates downward until it is finally inserted on tip of second finger. Then it is thrust into Thumb Palm position. This diagram is a side view.

Figures 28, 29, 30, 31 show the movements from the rear away from the audience. Study these illustrations closely until you understand them perfectly and can perform the moves without hesitation.

Now with thimble Thumb Palmed you can show back of hand empty—and you have shown both sides of your hand apparently empty.

To get thimble from Thumb Palm to Back of Hand again, just reverse the movements.

3 - Production of Thimble:

Have thimble on back of hand gripped by first and third fingers. Pull second finger-tip downward and backward, causing the thimble to revolve into position shown in Figure 32. It is now easy to insert tip of second finger into opening of thimble. Thimble is held tightly between first and third fingers so that it can be pressed down well on second finger.

Figure 33.

OPEN FINGERS SLIGHTLY when thimble is adjusted to make a "clean" production.

To facilitate the movement and to cover it slightly, I lower my hand about 12 inches while getting thimble on fingertip. Then I raise hand again and show thimble on finger-tip.

Sometimes I vary the production, however, by holding hand as still as possible and get the thimble suddenly on to the finger-tip.

This SHOWMANSHIP used in varying manipulations is something which you must acquire by experience. It is necessary for successful presentation and gives finish to a performance.

4 - Change-Over Palm:

This manipulation enables you to show both hands empty and yet have thimble concealed. The thimble is changed over from one hand to the other.

To start with, thimble is Thumb Palmed in right hand.

Figure 34.

Look at left hand and bring it toward your right hand until two hands meet in front, backs toward audience. Slip left hand inside palm of right and slip tip of second finger of left hand into thimble.

Figure 35.

Immediately Thumb Palm thimble in left hand by curling second finger down to crotch of thumb and leaving thimble there.

Figure 36.

Continue moving both hands to the right, showing back of left hand and palm of right with fingers apart.

Figure 37.

Figures 38, 39, 40 show position of hands in relation to your body while you perform the Change-Over. First, your right hand with the thimble Thumb Palmed is in front of you. Your left hand is out at your left side with palm shown empty to audience.

Figure 38.

Bring left hand over to right in front of you. Slip thimble onto second finger and Thumb Palm thimble in left hand.

Figure 39.

Continue moving hands to right, keeping back of left hand now to audience and exposing palm of right hand.

Figure 40.

You have now shown both sides of both hands to audience with nothing in them. The Change-Over must be done in one continuous movement with no hesitation so that audience will not suspect anything. Practice Changing-Over the thimble from right to left and from left to right hand.

To Perform:

You are now ready to study the actual performing of your THIMBLE ACT. At the end of this section of the lesson I give you an outline of the whole act. You can then get a mental picture of the whole presentation as your audience sees it and will not be confused by all the moves and manipulations you learn here. Study each move carefully as you go along, and when you have them mastered, the organization and presentation of the whole act will be clear to you.

Turn right side a little toward audience. Reach up into air with left hand as though to catch something. Close hand and then open it again to show nothing in it. This is your MISDIRECTION for getting thimble into right hand.

Follow your left hand with your eyes and audience will do the same thing. Then at the same time curl right fingers under lower right edge of vest. Insert forefinger in middle thimble, remove thimble, and Thumb Palm it. Back of right hand is toward audience and attention is MISDIRECTED by left hand, so you will have no difficulty in doing this without being noticed.

Reach into air now with right hand and bring thimble on to tip of forefinger. You have apparently caught a thimble out of the air. Show it by turning hand back and front.

5 - Slow Thimble Vanish in Hand:

This is so named because of the slow, easy way in which a thimble vanishes when placed in the palm of one hand.

Thimble is on tip of right forefinger. Hold palm of left hand facing audience. Place right forefinger against left palm.

Figure 41.

Close left hand around right forefinger. Figure 42.

Remove right forefinger, leaving thimble in left hand. Figure 43.

Then open left hand and show thimble in it. Figure 44.

This is all done in plain sight of audience.

Place thimble on right forefinger again and place it against left palm as you did before. Close left hand over it again, but do not grasp it tightly. Bring right forefinger into a nearly horizontal position. Remove it with thimble still on it from left hand and Thumb Palm thimble quickly in right hand.

Figure 45.

Immediately bring right forefinger into position shown in Figure 46.

End of right forefinger is away from audience when you withdraw thimble and Thumb Palm it. This move will not be seen by spectators, therefore. To them it will appear that you merely withdrew finger from left hand " without the thimble.

Open left hand slowly and audience sees that thimble has vanished.

Figure 47.

To help conceal the thimble in Thumb Palming it in right hand, rotate right hand a little toward audience when removing finger from left hand and then raise hand upward a little while Thumb Palming.

6 - Second Finger Hide-Away:

Place second finger of right hand into thimble, freeing it from the Thumb Palm. Figure 48 shows right hand as seen by audience. Figure 49 shows actual move. Place right forefinger against left palm again. Other three fingers are curled down into palm of right hand. Knuckle of second finger is near lower edge of left hand.

Figure 50.

Hands are shown as audience sees them. Palm of left hand faces audience. Back of right hand is toward audience.

Stretch all fingers but the first of right hand out in back of left hand. This move, of course, conceals thimble on second finger of right hand.

Figure 51.

Move forefinger over to first joint of little finger of left hand so that palm of right hand is shown to audience.

Figure 52.

Bring forefinger back to palm of hand again as in Figure 51. Close three fingers again as in Figure 50. Now show back of left hand and point at it with right forefinger. You have apparently shown both sides of hands with nothing concealed.

Thumb Palm the thimble in right hand again.

7 - Production of Thimble from Empty Left Palm:

Point at palm of left hand with forefinger of right as in Figure 50. Bring left thumb forward and downward to cover right forefinger down to within half an inch of the joint. The moment forefinger is covered, insert it in thimble at crotch of thumb and straighten finger again. Close left hand loosely around this finger and then lift it away from right forefinger and thimble, exposing them.

8 - Pull-Away Thimble Vanish:

Hold hands in position shown in Figure 53. Left hand downward, back toward audience, right hand horizontal with forefinger and thimble pointing to left.

Cover thimble with left hand, closing fingers around it.

Figure 54.

As you close fingers of left hand around right forefinger, Thumb Palm the thimble in right thumb. Figure 55 shows actual move away from audience.

Bring right forefinger back to position again and draw closed left hand away as though you actually pulled thimble from finger and held it in closed hand.

Figure 56.

Open left hand slowly and gracefully and show that thimble has vanished. Open out fingers of right hand also, but keep back of hand to audience.

Figure 57.

LEARN TO OPEN YOUR HAND GRACEFULLY. This is important for Good Magic and Finish in Presentation. You must use Showmanship to open your hand right—not too fast or too slowly. You can tell a master performer by the way he opens his hand in vanishing an object.

9 - Production from Thumb Palm:

Your next production is from behind your left elbow. Put right hand behind elbow and quickly bring thimble from Thumb Palm position to tip of right forefinger. Elbow need cover forefinger only up to middle joint. Hold hand up to audience to show thimble.

10 - Throw-Away Vanish:

Figures 65 and 66.

The effect of this vanish which you perform now is that you merely toss thimble into the air and it vanishes.

Thimble is on tip of right forefinger. As you make throwing motion and follow imaginary thimble as it goes up with your eyes, Thumb Palm thimble in right hand and bring forefinger quickly back to outstretched position again. Figures 58, 59, 60 show the overhand throw, in which the hand is brought up in pretending to throw thimble and then down as thimble is Thumb Palmed.

The underhand throw is performed by bringing the hand down first before throwing and then upward as you extend forefinger free of thimble and pretend to complete the throwing of thimble.

You must use MISDIRECTION with your eyes as you pretend to throw thimble upward.


Close fingers to conceal thimble and then get thimble into position shown in Figure 61. This is really Finger Palm position. Thimble is at base of first and second fingers. Opening is toward thumb. Keep red thimble in this position in left hand as you produce thimble from right.

Reach out with right hand and apparently catch thimble from the air. Bring thimble to tip of forefinger and show to audience as if you caught thimble from the air.

Figure 62.

11 - Two-In-One Color Change:

Bring left hand up with back to audience. Bring back of right hand up against left.

Figure 63.

When lower part of left hand is covered, bend left thumb upward and insert in red thimble.

Figure 64.

Under cover of right hand, bring left thumb with red thimble down to crotch of right thumb and Thumb Palm thimble there.

Figures 65 and 66.

Be careful of ANGLES OF VISIBILITY here. Keep back of right hand squarely before audience. Turn left hand over to expose palm. Place right forefinger against left palm.

Figure 67.

Now turn back of left hand to audience. Insert second finger of right hand in red thimble which is Thumb Palmed. Bring left thumb forward and down to cover forefinger and second finger of right hand. Under this screen, straighten out second finger, bringing red thimble next to thimble on forefinger. Close left hand around both fingers and thimbles.

Figure 68.

Push red thimble up above other thimble and hold secure by closed left hand. Quickly remove second finger of right hand. This is all done in a few seconds. The effect to the audience must be that you merely covered thimble on right forefinger with left hand.

Figure 69.

Insert plain thimble into red thimble with aid of left hand. Now bring right hand down to show that thimble has changed to a red one. Show front and back of right hand. Open left hand and show front and back. There is no other thimble in evidence. The silver one, therefore, must have changed to red.

Figure 70.

12 - Change Back to Original Color:

This is an adaptation of the Pull-Away Vanish to color changing.

Hold hands in position shown in Figure 71.

Left hand downward. Right hand partially concealed behind left.

Curl right forefinger inward to Thumb Palm red thimble in right hand.

Figure 72.

Stretch finger out again with only silver thimble left on it. Remove left hand and turn palm to audience to show it empty. Show silver thimble on right forefinger.

Figure 73.

The effect to the audience is that you merely covered red thimble with left hand and thimble changed back to silver again. This is all done very quickly--in just a few seconds.

Now bring left hand inside palm of right and slip second finger into red thimble. Then Thumb Palm red thimble in left hand.

Figure 74.

Continue moving both hands to the right so that palm of right hand is exposed to audience and back of left hand is toward audience. This is the regular Change-Over Palm.

See Figures 34 to 40.

You still have silver thimble on right forefinger. Drop left hand to side. Turn right side to audience. As you make move of throwing thimble from right hand into air, drop red thimble in left trouser's pocket.

Now vanish silver thimble from right hand as you were taught.

Next you produce thimble from behind left knee. With right forefinger extended reach behind left knee. Under cover of knee, get finger into thimble and straighten again. Bring it out as if you took it from knee.

13 - Thumb Down Vanish:

This vanish is similar to the method used for color changing. You have thimble on right forefinger. Show palm of left hand, then turn it with back to audience. Place forefinger behind left hand, closing left fingers around it.

Figure 75.

Remove right forefinger from closed left hand, obviously leaving thimble in left hand.

Figure 76.

Open right hand and show palm to audience to convince them that you left thimble in left hand. While looking at right hand, bend left thumb and insert it in thimble.

Figure 77.

Strike right hand on back of left. As you do so, bring thimble down in left thumb to crotch of right thumb and Thumb Palm it there.

Figure 7 8.

Figure 79 shows actual movement away from audience, in Thumb Palming thimble from left thumb into right hand.

Turn left hand over with palm to audience and point right hand at it.

Figure 80.

The effect to the audience is that you struck left hand with right to vanish thimble, and then immediately turned left hand over to show thimble had vanished.

Produce thimble at tip of right forefinger from left elbow.

14 - Transfer Color Change:

This is another method of performing the color change. It can be substituted for the Two-In-One Color Change if you have difficulty in getting a thimble to fit over another. It may also be used to change a small metal thimble into a large wooden one. This method may be used for changing a thimble into a small potato. To do this, cut a hole in the potato into which the thimble will fit.

Now, to use it here in the Color Change — get red thimble on tip of right second finger from under coat as you did in preparation for the Two-In-One Color Change. You also have silver thimble on right forefinger.

Place right forefinger against palm of left hand. Other three fingers are curled into right palm.

Figure 81.

Bring left thumb forward and downward, turning hand with back to audience. Let right forefinger with thimble slip around hand to back as it turns. Extend second finger into left palm and grasp red thimble in closed left hand.

Figure 82.

The effect to the audience is that you showed palm of left hand and tapped it with right forefinger, then turned hand and tapped back to show both sides empty.

Release second finger of right hand from red thimble and remove it quickly, leaving thimble in left hand.

Figure 83.

Place forefinger with silver thimble into left hand, and the moment it is screened, Thumb Palm silver thimble in right hand.

Figure 84.

Figure 85 shows actual move away from audience. Still under cover of left hand, straighten right forefinger and insert it in red thimble. Pull right hand away from left. Show red thimble on forefinger to audience. Turn left hand over to show empty palm to audience.

Figure 86.

Silver thimble, which is Thumb Palmed in right hand, may be shifted around from Thumb Palm position to second fingertip so that at intervals fingers may be spread apart and then thumb. When thimble is on second finger, keep finger curled into palm as you spread thumb apart.

To change thimble back to silver again, repeat same movements as used in changing the silver one to red. Blend your movements smoothly into each other and do the changes in a few seconds.

Now, go back to the routine for your Thimble Act again. You have thimble on right forefinger and you are going to use the Back and Front Hand Palming Manipulation, taught to you in the beginning of this section of the lesson.

Back and Front Hand Palming: (Number 2 in your list of Basic Moves.)

Place thimble on tip of right second finger.

Figure 87.

Move hand down about 12 inches and then up again, and under cover of this large movement, press thumb against thimble and aid second finger to slip out of thimble.

Figure 8 8.

Slide first joint of second finger under opening of thimble, grasping it between first and third fingers.

Figure 89.

Now open hand and thimble automatically goes behind it and is not visible when palm is shown to audience.

Figure 90.

Show both sides of hand empty by doing the Front and Back Hand Palming as described in the beginning of this section of the lesson.

See Figures 19 to 31.

Finally, bring thimble to back of hand position and then produce it on tip of second finger as taught you in Basic Move Number 3, Production of Thimble, Figures 32 and 33. Make thimble appear suddenly.

Another good manipulative move -Reach up with left hand and pretend to take thimble from second finger of right. In reality, Back Palm thimble in right hand under cover of left hand. Bring left hand away from right and open to show thimble has vanished. Show palms of both hands. Then manipulate thimble to Front Palm in right hand and show backs of both hands.

Again manipulate thimble to Back Palm on right hand. Reach into air with left hand, suddenly close it as though grabbing something from the air. Bring left hand to right and pretend to place thimble on second finger of right hand. In reality, you merely produce the thimble on the right second finger from the Back Palm position.

15 - Head Vanish:

Do Pull-Away Thimble Vanish — (Principle No. 8). For variation, hold forefinger in vertical position instead of horizontal. Have finger pointing upward, pretend to remove thimble from it with left hand — in reality, Thumb Palm the thimble in right hand. Then bring closed left hand suddenly down on top of head, opening hand as you do so to give effect of pounding thimble into head.

Figure 91.

You now produce thimble from mouth. Bring right hand toward mouth, and as you do so, insert forefinger into thimble.

Figure 92.

When hand is about two inches from mouth, stretch out forefinger and push thimble into mouth. End of finger is away from audience and hand is in motion so that thimble cannot be seen. To audience it appears that you put your forefinger with nothing on it into your mouth.

Figure 93.

Remove forefinger from mouth showing thimble on it. Apparently thimble went through your head down to your mouth and from there you produced it.

Figure 94.

16 - Mouth Vanish:

The effect is that you show thimble on right forefinger, place it in mouth, show thimble in cheek, and then swallow it.

Bring forefinger with thimble up to mouth.

Figure 95.

Lower hand and show thimble again. Figure 96.

Bring hand quickly to mouth. In an instant, Thumb Palm thimble in right hand without stopping motion, and place forefinger in mouth without thimble.

Figure 97.

To audience it appears that you actually put thimble into mouth. Remove forefinger from mouth without thimble on it, of course. Put tongue in cheek to give effect of thimble there. Remove tongue from cheek and pretend to swallow thimble.

Your next production is from your right ear. Bring right hand up toward ear with forefinger pointing to it. When hand is near ear, curl forefinger into palm and get thimble on finger. Suddenly straighten finger with thimble and insert quickly in ear.

Figures 98 and 99.

Remove finger with thimble and show palm of hand to audience. You apparently took thimble out of your ear.

Figure 100.

Remember that any Production from Thumb Palm which you make or any Thumb Palming of thimble which you do should be covered with a sweep of the hand toward or from object or part of your body. The large motion of arm and hand covers the small one of the actual manipulation. There must be continuous motion — no jerks or hesitation.

Pretend to place thimble in mouth and vanish again. Thimble, of course, goes into Thumb Palm position.

Produce thimble from under right side of vest. Slip thimble on third finger of right hand from Thumb Palm position. You will have no difficulty in doing this with aid of thumb and other fingers.

Curl fingers under right side of vest. Insert little finger in small thimble and slip thimble out of holder. Insert forefinger in front thimble and bring it out and expose it to audience, keeping other fingers still under vest. To help you do this, hold lower right edge of vest with left hand. The effect is that you swallowed a thimble and then produced it from under your vest.

Do the Slow Thimble Vanish in Hand (Principle No. 5). Turn right side toward audience. Place right forefinger with thimble against left palm and vanish thimble by Thumb Palming in right hand. Be sure to keep other fingers with thimbles curled into right palm.

See Figures 41 to 46.

Drop right hand down. Show left palm empty.

Produce thimble from under left side of vest. Curl left forefinger under lower left side of vest and remove a thimble on it from holder there. Bring hand out. Keep other fingers curled into palm and forefinger outstretched so that it is shown to better advantage with thimble on it.

You now have this arrangement of thimbles in your hands. Thimble on left forefinger. Thimbles on third and fourth fingers of right hand. Thimble Thumb Palmed in right hand.

17 - Thimble Jump From Hand to Hand:

Stand directly facing audience. Show thimble on left forefinger pointing upward. Hold right forefinger in similar position. Backs of both hands to audience and other fingers curled into palms.

Figure 101.

Move left hand down about a foot and then suddenly up again. On upward motion, Thumb Palm thimble in left hand. Straighten forefinger immediately again. Effect is that thimble has suddenly vanished from left forefinger.

Now do a similar movement with right hand—down and suddenly up again. On upward motion, get the Thumb Palmed thimble on right forefinger. Do this in a flash so that it will not be noticed by audience. Straighten finger immediately and show it with thimble on. The effect is that thimble vanished from left forefinger and suddenly appeared on right. If movements are properly timed, the effect is that thimble jumps from one hand to the other.

The movement may be varied by holding fingers in horizontal position instead of vertical. Make throwing motions of hands toward each other to cover the small Thumb Palming or Production movements.

Finish with thimble on right forefinger.

18 - Side Swing Jump Over:

This is a variation of the Thimble Jump which you may find it convenient to use sometimes when you have only one thimble in each hand and need not be so careful about not exposing palms of hands.

Show thimble on forefinger of left hand. Point at it with forefinger of right. Keep back of right hand to audience. In right hand you have a thimble Thumb Palmed. Figure 102. Bring left hand to right hand. When both hands are close together, backs to audience, Thumb Palm thimble in left hand and get thimble on right forefinger from Thumb Palm position in right hand.

Figure 103.

Continue movement of hands to right. Now right hand goes out to right side with thimble on right forefinger and left hand points at it.

Effect is that thimble jumps from finger of left hand to finger of right. Reverse movement and thimble apparently travels back to left hand again.

To return to Thimble Act routine:

Turn right side to audience. You have thimble on right forefinger. Pretend to throw it into the air—but, in reality, Thumb Palm it in right hand. Just before doing this get thimble already Thumb Palmed onto second finger of right hand.

Figure 105.

As you make this movement, curl left fingers up under left lower edge of vest and insert them into thimbles in holder there.

Figure 106 shows view away from audience. Your right hand is up. From it you vanish the thimble on your forefinger. This goes into Thumb Palm position. The thimble that was Thumb Palmed goes on second finger. You already have thimbles on third and fourth fingers. Under cover of body your left hand gets four thimbles, one on every finger, from holder under lower left edge of vest.

Keep left hand closed to conceal thimbles and drop to side. Your eyes must MISDIRECT attention of audience to right hand.

Figure 107.

Suddenly pluck thimble out of the air with right forefinger, getting it from Thumb Palm position.

Then suddenly open all fingers and SHOW A THIMBLE ON EACH.

Figure 108.


Now turn left side to audience, keeping left hand down at side, Thumb Palm thimble from forefinger, Hold forefinger outstretched with nothing on it, Then make sweeping motion of arm, produce thimble on finger-tip, and show to audience,

Figure 109.

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