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Samuel Cox Hooker and his Rising Cards

$39.00
| £24.10 | €29.36 | Ca$44.68 | Au$43.25
by Chris Wasshuber
What is this?PDF & softcover  |  $64.00
What is this?PDF by download [4.64 MByte]  |  $39.00
What is this?softcover  |  $54.00






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Dr. Samuel Cox Hooker's Rising Cards have been an unexplainable fascination for nearly a century. Hooker first showed his effect in 1914, and in 1993 and 2007 John Gaughan gave abbreviated performances. Nobody who has seen the Hooker Rising Cards performed has ever been able to explain how such effects can be accomplished. This includes the most notable and most knowledgeable magicians from past and present. How can, from a borrowed and shuffled deck, any card called for rise in the fairest possible manner on a well lit stage only a few feet from the spectators?

This work is not just about how I think Hooker achieved these incredible effects, but about a fascinating man and the fascinating history of rising card apparatus. Samuel Cox Hooker and his Rising Cards will first examine three famous card rising apparatus: the Hofzinser card automaton, the Neyhart houlette, and Joseffy's rising cards. It then examines Hooker the person covering his private, scientific, and magic achievements.

This is followed by two theories of how the Hooker Rising Cards could be done. The first theory was purely based on my conclusions studying the historical record and is most likely not how it is done. The second theory arose from observations brought to me by individuals who have seen one of the 2007 reenactments and it can exactly replicate a core set of effects. I built a Lego prototype to prove that this mechanism works, is practical and indeed replicates the effects precisely. You will be able to see photos of the prototype and read a detailed description of it.

I have studied the historical records, I have extensively communicated with people who have seen Gaughan's reenactments in 1993 and 2007 and I have thought for countless of hours, pieced together clues, and applied my own understanding of magic methods and technology. However, it is not possible for me to say that one of my methods is 'the' method used by Hooker, but I have proven it is at least 'a' method. Potentially it is even a more practical method than the original method.

Samuel Hooker created his rising cards to stimulate magicians to think and come up with their own solutions and explanations and through that process of inquiry, to develop new methods and techniques. As a scientist this is a very natural way of learning. Nature exposes us to all kinds of mysteries, questions, and puzzles and scientists try to explain them. They conduct experiments and think logically about them to advance their understanding of nature. Fundamentally scientists are driven by nature’s secrets and want to understand and explain them. In the same way Hooker is presenting magicians with a mystery and he is asking us to think about ways how it could be done. Hooker himself solicited explanations from his spectators. This work is my answer to Hooker's solicitation.

This publication was written with this very spirit in mind. Perhaps it stimulates others to also think hard about new ways to achieve such effects. I have communicated with other magicians, some of them notable and recognized, who have developed their own theories about how Hooker did it. This lead to exciting and stimulating exchanges of ideas and critiques – exactly the kind of effect Hooker wanted to achieve with his “Impossibilities”.

(For a short biographical sketch published in a Google map click here.)

At the end of the book you will find a chronological record and reproductions of many articles and letters, including unpublished records, related to Samuel Hooker. This makes for fascinating reading regardless of if you agree with my theories or not.

[Please keep in mind that the book and ebook differ in the following way: All photos and illustrations which are color in the ebook are in b/w in the book. The book has been reformatted to a smaller form factor 6'' x 9''. Should I have the time to release a video of my prototype, then such a video will only be part of the ebook, not the book.]

Table of Contents

pagepage
  1. Contents
  2. Acknowledgment
  3. Introduction
  4. Other Famous Any Card Rises
  5. - Hofzinser
  6. - Neyhart
  7. - Joseffy
  8. Hooker the Person
  9. How Could it be Done? (theory #1 - probably not)
  10. - Hooker’s idea
  11. - Boundary conditions
  12. - Fundamental method
  13. - Multiple methods for the same effect
  14. - Afterthoughts
  15. Card March
  16. How Could it be Done? (theory #2 - much better)
  17. People in the Know
  18. Chronological Source Documents
  19. 1913, July
  20. 1914, April
  21. 1915, June
  22. 1915, August
  23. 1916, January
  24. 1916, March
  25. 1917, July 6th
  26. 1917, September 25th
  27. 1918, January
  28. 1918, February
  29. 1918, February 16th
  30. 1918, March 16
  31. 1918, March 23
  32. 1918, April 20th
  33. 1918, May 11th
  34. 1918, September
  35. 1927
  36. 1929, April 10th
  37. 1929, April 20th
  38. 1929, April
  39. 1929, April
  40. 1929, June
  41. 1929, June 10th
  1. 1929, November
  2. Undated
  3. 1934
  4. 1935, January
  5. 1935, October 14th
  6. 1935, November
  7. 1936
  8. 1936, June 19th
  9. 1936, September
  10. 1936, November
  11. 1937, June
  12. 1937, July
  13. 1937, August
  14. 1939, January
  15. 1944
  16. Undated
  17. 1945, July
  18. 1947, June
  19. 1949, April
  20. 1949, April
  21. 1949, June
  22. 1951, August
  23. 1955, February
  24. 1966, July 5th
  25. 1966, June
  26. 1966, October
  27. 1967, April (John Mulholland in Pallbearers Review and Magic Circular)
  28. 1970, July
  29. 1976
  30. 1993
  31. 1993, November, 6th (Gene Matsuura's personal notes)
  32. 1994, January
  33. 1994, January (Bill Miesel in Precursor)
  34. 1994, April
  35. 1994, May 9th
  36. 1995 (John Booth in Fine Art of Hocus Pocus)
  37. 2007
  38. 2007, November 9th
  39. 2007, December
  40. 2008, January
  41. About the Author
  42. About the Publisher
1st edition 2007, 109 pages.
word count: 55341 which is equivalent to 221 standard pages of text

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Reviewed by Grandpa Chet
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]   Date Added: Monday 26 May, 2008

It's more than just "Let's find out how this works." If you're looking for an exposure book, this isn't it. What we have is a study into how a person creates, and perhaps we'll improve our own creative abilities along the way. And S. C. Hooker turns out to be a fascinating man! I hope Chris continues to receive and ferret out more data about this fellow, and that future updates of this book reflect that. And there WILL be future updates of this book. It reads, feels, and tastes like an ongoing project -- something that I'll tune in every few months.


Reviewed by Peter Emerald
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]   Date Added: Tuesday 30 October, 2007

What a wonderful ebook about a most fascinating personality and a most inexplicable effect. Mr. Wasshuber has done an outstanding job bringing Samuel Cox Hooker to life, explaining his scientific background and achievements as well as his interest in magic and how and why he created his rising cards. Wasshuber's explanation of how the trick could be done makes a lot of sense and I would be surprised if not at least a number of aspects of his method are indeed the way Hooker achieves his miracles.

I love the fact that a host of unpublished as well as published source material is included in the ebook. This way I can read not just Mr. Wasshuber's well researched and thought out deductively argued theory but I can also check myself the source material and come to my own conclusions.

Highly recommended. I wish Mr. Wasshuber would write a few more ebooks like this one.

This product is listed in the following categories:

Magic > Biographies & History
Magic > Cards > Rising Cards & Levitating Cards
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Non-Fiction > Software
Magic > -Compilations-
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