Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Hit Double Lift

The evolution of this style of Double Lift {sometimes called a Strike Double Lift), which is done without the benefit of a preformed break, seems to have started with an itinerant American magician named Bennett (first name unknown). Nate Leipzig, in his autobiography, recalls a session with Bennett: “This man showed me one thing that he didn't teach and that was the double lift. I had never seen it before and this was in 1904. The sleight became invaluable to me. It is different from the method so widely used now. He lifted from the left side without getting set for it and only quite recently I changed to the right side. Dr. Jacob Daley, one of New York's outstanding amateurs, uses it with great effect.” This was published in the September 1954 issue of M-U-M, Vol. 43 No. 4, p. 131, but had been written by Leipzig years before then. When Leipzig wrote “quite recently”, we must guess at the date, as the time of his composition of this text is unknown. It was probably in the mid to late 1930s, as Leipzig died on October 13, 1939.

Paul LePaul was the first to publish a clear description of this Double Lift, calling it the Flip-Over Double-Lift; see The Card Magic of LePaul, 1949, p. 69.

Shortly after LePaul's book appeared, knowledge of this style of Double Lift was furthered in 1950, when Dr. Daley featured it in his “Itinerant Pasteboards” in the Stars of Magic, Series 7, No. 2. Daley calls the sleight the “Instantaneous Double Lift”. Daley makes no mention of Leipzig. Yet, it was Dr. Daley who provided the S.A.M. with Leipzig's typescript autobiography for serialization in M-U-M (see the September 1954 issue cited above, p. 155).

Edward Marlo preceded LePaul in publishing the concept of the Hit Double Lift by some months, but his description was flawed in describing what appears to be an awkward handling of the sleight in A Devilish Miracle, 1948, p. 4. The accompanying illustration shows a very odd grip on the deck, and the two cards being lifted at their right outer ends. However, this appears to have been an error, as, in a 1947 typescript by Marlo, describing the “Devilish Miracle” routine, his drawing of the sleight shows the right forefinger correctly lifting the cards at their inner right corners. Five years later, Marlo published this Double Lift technique in The Cardician, 1953, p. 52. calling it “our 'Hit Method' technique”. Marlo's title for the sleight stuck, as did his name to it. No mention is made of LePaul or Daley. It was only the following year that Leipzig's autobiography was published, showing that he preceded them all.

See also: Double Lift.