The Downward Thrust

This is the attempt to force a cane or billiard cue to the floor across the open palm of the performer. The experimenter grasps the cue A B (in illustration No. 2) at the spots marked E and F. The performer places her* open palm flat against the under side and between his hands as shown in the picture at C. His hands at S and F, with the weight of his body and all of his muscular force exerted at these points, attempt to push the object A B in the direction shown, to the floor. The performer's hand at C never grasps the object, but rests only against, or under it.

It is well to have the hands examined for adhesive material prior to this test for there are many absurd theories as to its accomplishment. The pressure exerted at C in keeping the hand in firm contact with the object is but a minimum as compared with that exerted by the experimenters perpendicularly, What is it that counteracts all this downward pressure and weight?

The direction of the force of the magician's opponents is exerted directly downward, almost horizontally in a line of the object A B. When, this force is brought to bear on the object it necessarily presses it in firm contact with the hand at C. The performer's effort is to keen up the contact at C and thus keep the palm tigfftly pressed against the object. This brings into clay the principle of "Deflection of Force1.' Instead of the force being exerted at E and F operating down the line A B towards the floor, it is deflected at a tangent by the hand at C, and dissipated into the air, in the general direction of X-Y.

This deflection of the force exerted by the experimenter renders it necessary for him to constantly keep changing the position of his body and feet, in order to get a purchase to keep up his pressure, and this necessity to change, which he cannot understand, keeps him excited and bewildered all of the time, which mental condition doesn't aid him a bit. Just remember that the force applied along A B when itcomes in contact with a slight pressure of the hand at C, glances off and carries the object in a different direction than towards the floor, and hence the resultis that no amount of pressure applied can push the object to the floor.


This is always considered very remarkable because of the enormous amount of '«eight lifted clear of the floor by a slender and small

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of stature woman. It is accomplished merely by placing the palms of the hands against the back of the rear upright postB of the chair in which the weight rests. It's a true example of the "force"acting in conjunction with other animate beings - men and women.

Get clear in your mind the exact position of the parties sitting in the chair (Figure 3), and your position (the lady) in making the lift. The first person takes his seat in the chair and places his feat firmly on the floor at A B, grasps the chair seat on either side as shown at D, and tilts the chair back so as to throw all his weight on the rear legs of the chair at G and H. Everybody seems to think this a proper position to throw all the weight onto the performer making the lift.

Now a second person is requested to sit on the first man's lap, or astraddle of his legs, and not allow his feet to touch the floor. Then a third person is requested to mount the shoulders of the second man, as illustrated. Thus, about 550 pounds aggregate are in the chair.

The performer places her open palms asrainst or behind the upper part of the rear post of the chair on each side, as shown at C, and the lift is made without grasping the chair in the least. It appears that tfte performer has lifted the 550 or more pounds, muscularly or otherwise, by the contact of the palms - has annihilated this large weight by some miraculous process, or has done it by some intangible, unseen, unknown force, which is "occult", "spiritualistic", "psychic", "odic", or supernatural.

However, it is solved in the line of the lever and the fulcrum. The principle of leverage is the secret. Instead of lifting, when the performer's palms are against the chair post, she uresses these posts FORWARD, and the chair, with its entire weight, comes un six inches or more, leaving nothing touching the floor except the first man's feet.

'.That happens? The forward push at C shifts all the weight from the fulcrum at G H and it is thro'ATi forv/ard upon the fulcrum at A B, which really constitutes the point of the lever. The amount of wish at C necessary to do this is small, compared to the amount of weight which apparently is lifted.

This may be tried out only with the first man in the beginning. With the other two persons in place as shown, most of their v/eight will be thrown at A B. This additional weight at this point tends to lessen the v/eight thrown at G IT. The man in the chair does most of the lifting, and the performer simply manipulates the compound lever composed of the chair back and rear posts and the man's legs. Also what is known as the principle of Resultant Force comes into play in this test, for when the performer pushes forward one lever at C, the spectator is pushing backward at A B, and these two forces coming together make a Resultant Force, operating in a perpendicular direction and carrying the chair and its weight upward. A pressure of'about 20 pounds, applied to the chair post on each side at C, should raise a weight in the chair amounting to 600 pounds.

In tests 4,5,6 and 7, there are several more elements and forces that enter into them than concerned the preceding ones, which have been demonstrated. These elements and forces are so complicated and far-reaching, so remarkable and psychological, that they will be more

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