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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » T. Nelson Downs Palm (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Hegbli
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T. Nelson Downs is credited with that which, is referred to as the Down's Palm. For a number of years I never knew there was an upper and lower Down's Palm. I believe I found it in the Arthur Buckley book when they were reprinted many years ago.

I found the Lower Down's Palm much more magical looking then the upper palm, almost like materializing from nothing.
Anatole
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In _The Amateur Magician's Handbook_, Henry Hay refers to a palm (pages 133-134) as "The edge, oblique or Downs palm." It is a way of p*lm_ng four coins one after the other silently and then reproducing them just as silently. When I visited Hay/Mussey in Germany back in the 70's, he did an impromptu five-coin Miser's Dream routine using the edge palm.

I don't know if the "Lower Down's Palm" that you are referring to is the same as the edge palm described in the Hay book, Bill. But I can't imagine a coin production looking any more magical.

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
JNeal
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My experience (and memory) is that the Down's palm as described by Henry Hay allows for the thumb to act as partial concealment for the coins.
This would correspond to what we today would call an Upper Down's Palm.
The Lower Down's Palm would then accordingly, position the coins somewhat lower and the side of the thumb would be less material in their concealment.
Presumably, this would mean that the inside of one's hand is not displayed at all...or as I and others have discovered is only displayed empty by inference; whilst holding a scarf, a deck of card or a wand, etc;. This would be in keeping with Levent's modern rules of manipulation.

As always, Anatole, Bill Hegbli, and Levent remain among my favorite Magic Café' respondents....their every post is filed with fresh thought.

Regards-

J.Neal
visit me @ JNealShow.com
Anatole
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Another very impressive coin palm/production was the one I saw Charlie Miller use in a lecture. It was like a muscle pass that propelled the classic p*lm*d coin to the fingertips. So there was no movement of the fingers to "retrieve" the coin. It just appeared at the fingertips like... magic...

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
Bill Hegbli
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Of course, I learned the Lower Down's Palm from text, thus I interpreted the words as simply putting the coin between the 2nd and 3rd fingertips, and executing the placement in the crotch of the thumb. This places the coin or coins, I use 8 palming coins, in what I read as the Lower Down's Palm.

Yes, the same moves can be executed to show the palm of the hand in the Lower Down's Palm as in the normal Down's Palm. That is what makes the production so magical. They can see the palm with the lowered thumb revealing the base of the index finger. Therefore, very visual, and with the slight movement of the fingers a coin materializes at the fingertips.
Dick Oslund
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Egad! You guys stay up all night!!!

I learned the DOWNS when I was about 16. I was working in a side show, and met Buzz Worth (he ran a short range cigarette gallery)He showed me the basics, and I spent weeks and weeks of work, getting it good enough to show.

Sonny! I envy you, visiting with Henry Hay! I never saw Charlie do the move you describe--sure wish I had!

Bill>>> I used the DOWNS almost exclusively for about ten years! Five silver dollars. Worth every minute of practice,

Jonathan: I've been a fan of yours ever since I saw you on the Johnny Carson show in the mid '80s. That silk vanish in the plastic tube was an absolute killer. It caused me to rethink the Willmann. I would not think of doing your bit, BUT, seeing your use of the principle, motivated me to add an off beat, extra kicker finish to my golf ball routine. Your brilliant idea, plus Karrell's "Ballomaatic" gave me two FINISHES~-THANK YOU!

In '71, I was touring Iowa and played Montour. I remembered that that was T. Nelson's home town. I visited the "city hall" and found that there was a DOWNS living in town. I knocked on his door and could have sworn that I was meeting T, Nelson, himself!!! It was Tommy's nephew. We apent several hours while he told me stories of his uncle.
Between him and Faucett Ross's anecdotes, I acquired a new respect for T. Nelson.

This doesn't add much to the technical discussion, but I thought that perhaps it might add a bit of "color".
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Oh~ Jonathan! It has been fifty plus years since I've really USED Latin! My professor in Psych. class, LECTURED in LATIN! I'm still "looking" for Al Baker's "Don't run..."
But, don't hold your breath! AVE ATQUE VALE!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
JNeal
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Wow!
Some additional thoughts: Bill- You are correct (as you are most of the time) that is the correct thumb placement that you describe much more accurately than I did..thanks for that insight!

Anatole- I believe what you are describing is Charlie Miller's handling of the Alan Shaw coin production. I think it really isn't a muscle pass that accomplishes the miraculous production, as much as it is inertia...and a lot of practice. This was taught to me personally by Charlie Miller and until recently, was unused and almost unknown. However, Levent very carefully described it well in his book on Benson ad brought it back into the light. It requires the inertia, and practice (lots of practice!) to make it sure fire enough to use in performance. Charlie was a master of it!

Mr. Oslund! Thank you so much for remembering me, and the kind words! That vanish was inspired by the great book of my childhood n magic: Henry Hay's Amateur Magician's Handbook. Anatole and I tend to agree it with every work in it. He (Hay) describes how with correct practice, a person can vanish a silk (using the lamp chimney vanish) with the sleeves rolled to the elbows! This gave me a goal to strive for...even if I cheated a little!

And your stories by the way...add more than 'color' ! I suggest you double the size of your proposed book and fill the rest with anecdotes of those travels and people you have known...I'll be first to buy both volumes!

Regards-
J.Neal
visit me @ JNealShow.com
Dick Oslund
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JNeal!
Thanks for the update on Henry Hay's idea with the lamp chimney! --It had slipped my ancient mind! I remember referring to the "AMHB" as the "poor man's Tarbell" because Henry said SO MUCH in ONE book!

When you did the silk vanish on Carson, I BLINKED!!! When I finally realized what you did, I began to understand your thinking. It was a "moment of magic" for me!

Sonny and I have a "common background"! We both learned a lot from Earl Edwards, the owner of EDMAR magic shop in Norfolk, VA. We keep in touch vis this infernal electrisch peckenclacker!

Thanks, too, for your thoughts on the anecdotes. Yes! a big section of the book will contain a "gezillion" stories of things that happened on the road. Also, in the auto-biographical section, I try to mention darn near every magician that I met "along the way", and how those meetings and friendships that developed affected me.
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hugmagic
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My god.. you are not going to tell about the posh accommodations at the Hotel Hughes that time are? Fun times.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Bill Hegbli
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Another topic dead, no one has an opinion of the classic Down's Palm. Interesting, are their any people on the Café that actually learn magic sleights and use them. Hello! Anybody out their!
DallasFrank
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Bill
I use the Downs Oblique Palm when I want to vanish and produce several coins.I too learned it from Hay's book.I also use the Downs crotch palm at times.I think a lot of confusion arises from the similar names and their different namings by different authors.
I find the oblique palm easier to produce the coins one at a time and also easier to control.My opinion is that it is very worthwhile to learn but where you learn it can make all the difference as to how it is used.

Frank
Dick Oslund
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Dallas~Love the BULLWINKLE quote!!!

Sorry Bill, I didn't mean to "derail" the train of thought! I asked JaY Marshall: "What time is it?" one day, and he carefully told me how to "build" a clock! I think that whatever Jay "had", I've "caught"! Chalk it up to the babblings of an ancient mind!

IMO, your notes on the "variations" of the DOWNS, along with Jonathan's AND Dalllas's plus, Sonny's additional notes on Charlie Miller's concept have been well worth reading.

My preference is still for the "upper" Downs, but "De gustibus non est disputandum!" (concerning "tastes" we can't argue!) Perhaps,my preference is just because I first learned the "upper" as a 16 year old, when I was "hyper eager".

In answering your query, whether "anyone actually learns skills and uses them", I sure did, and do! With a few exceptions (Mutilated Parasol, Breakaway Fan & Wand, and the Comedy Balloon Pump) my show definitely requires manual skills which I learned (mostly from Tarbell) as a teenager. >>>I only use DOWNS, these days, to "impress" other magicians!<<< In the act, for the MD, I use an occasional thumb P**m, but mostly a fi***r p**m! Downs said that the ENTERTAINMENT was "in" the production of coins from kids' ears and noses,etc. Bert Easley's MD routine, which he titled: "Get Money From Me" is IMO, just a reiteration and application of Downs' point.

Note: T. Nelson actually tried a coin W**D, ONCE! I think I got that from Faucett Ross. (The theater manager "begged: Downs to get rid of "that stick")--and "stick" to his hand skills!)

I do hope that this note helps bring us back to the OP! (I suspect that Jean Eugene Robert Houdin probably used the classic and, possibly the th**b p**m!
I do remember seeing Geoffrey Buckingham in 1950. I believe he used the b**k p**m. He worked UP STAGE. It was impressive (skill wise) but not exceptionally entertaining.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Hey Richard (Hughes) I tried (TWICE) to PM you to thank you for the monograph on Rudolph Schlosser, but the PM wouldn't go through. I am too cheap to spend 49 cents to say "thanks". (Jack Benny syndrome)

I do remember a most pleasant evening at chez Hughes! (****!) Did you ever install indoor plumbing??? (HEE HEE!) Hey...I was a frequent inhabitant of the Charlie Miller Suite at Inc. -- That was POSH! (another hee hee)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
DallasFrank
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Hey Rocky watch me pull a Rabbit outta my hat...oops wrong hat!
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Now here's something we hope You'll really like! (Rocky's reply)

Mr Oslund
New Modern Coin Magic p.422...rising coin through handkerchief.

Frank
Dick Oslund
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Hey! You found it!

It's actually an adaptation of an old thimble move that I saw in an OLD magazine (SPHINX ???) in the '40s.

I met Bobo in 1951 at a lecture he gave in Norfolk,VA. Acquaintance grew into friendship, and we were friends until he died.

In 1964, I attended the IBM Convention in New York City. J.B. was in a conversation with John Mulholland, when I spotted him. I walked over and waited for a lull in their conversation. I said, "J. B.! Have you seen this?" I did the bit. John Mulholland BLINKED!, and he said, "Do that again!" So, I knew that I had fooled him! J.B. said, "Can I have it for the book?" I said, "Of course." I showed him the move. I didn't really invent the bit. I just adapted a thimble move, so it could be done with a coin.

I last visited J.B. about 1993. I was touring Atkansas for the Jack West office, and got near enough to Texarkana to drive over and have lunch. We had a delightful afternoon getting caught up on news. Lillian had died. He had had to reorganize his show, so he could work alone.

I always loved the humor on Bullwinkle and Rocky's show!

Dick
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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