The first effect is achieved by having in the waistcoat pocket, a piece of soft white cord about four or five inches long, to the centre of which is fastened a length of nylon invisible thread, approximately two feet six inches in length, the other end of which is fastened to the top waistcoat button.

The manipulation is the usual levitation method, and if done slowly is extremely effective since by turning the body, a considerable apparent freedom is given to the balloon. A good move is to let the thread pass over the bent left or right arm, and since the hands are now well away from the balloon, a very deceptive effect is obtained. (See Photo No. 1.).

The second effect is obtained by using any favourite levitation method as used for the floating ball or skull, but as the weight of the balloon and the necessary gimmick are very light, a much thinner thread can be used (No. 40 cotton) and thus makes it possible to be presented in a drawing room in full lighting, if care is used in the background available. (See photo No. 2.).

The special gimmick required is made as follows:— Cut a piece of tin plate the size of a halfpenny, and to the centre solder a wire so that a disc of lead sheet l/16in. thick the same size can be secured at a distance of 1 in. Finally solder another length of wire to the tinplate disc so that it ends in two loops, which much be at least |in.

diameter, as smaller loops cause shudder when manipulated on the thread.

The complete gimmick should be painted black.

A stand is now made from a slim wooden candle stick. The top portion which holds the candle is cut off so that only the base portion remains. This is built up so that the hole in the top is l^in. diameter and lin. deep. I used cardboard for this and when finished it should hold the gimmick comfortably so that the wire loops will project at the back. The inside of the top should be painted black. On the outside I painted two banfis of black on the top portion, the rest silver and a black base.

To Operate.—To the front face of the gimmick, i.e. the one carrying the wire loops, wrap a strip of sellotape sticky side out. It will adhere to itself if overlapped behind the disc.

The gimmick is now placed in the stand and positioned so that when the manipulation thread is pulled, it will glide out of the stand but will not swing to and fro. When correctly positioned the gimmick is invisible at 6 feet.

After the first effect has been demonstrated, break the nylon thread, and place the balloon squarely and firmly on top of the gimmick in the stand. The sellotape will adhere so well to the balloon that it cannot be removed without bursting the balloon. All is now ready for the floating effect. By stretching the left hand under the balloon, any little help needed to ease the gimmick out of the stand can be given. 1 find a Vampire pencil wand very useful for securing the free end of the thread. At the finish of this effect, the balloon can be floated into the hands and the balloon bursted and the gimmick palmed, or with practice it can be made to sink back into the stand.


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