Copyright 1979 — Bascom Jones



* Henry H. Fields

Around the turn of the century, in theaters across the country, a slim blue-eyed blond was amassing a personal fortune and making theatrical history, using little more than an impression device and a sound knowledge of human psychology.

Her name was Anna Eva Fay (see Barry H. Wiley's "The Indescribable Phenomenon," MAGICK #231). She was a master of the question-answering act.

The impression board was not new then, and it has been used by many hundreds of performers since, including the brothers Nelson.

The most popular device was that used and sold by Robert Nelson. It looked like a simple clipboard, but contained a concealed sheet of carbon paper that recorded whatever was written on the board.

Dunninger used the clipboard to make possible many of his famous "brain busters." These specially-contrived tests seemed beyond explanation.

The problem with the clipboard was in its great success. It wrought miracles.

And over the years, scores of magicians, unable to duplicate the miracles of the clipboard user, sought to achieve a

Copyright 1979 — Bascom Jones

similar measure of recognition by exposing its secret.

Through newspapers, magazines, and books, the lay public in great numbers was told of the hidden piece of carbon paper.

And the innocuous wooden clipboard was no longer innocuous. The risk was real that a knowledgeable spectator would actually attempt to peel away the surface covering during its use.

Here, mentailst Henry H. Fields reveals an impression technique and easily-made-up device that will withstand examination, seems above suspicion.

Fields, a graphics designer and artist, notes that the ultimate employment of the materials will depend upon the performing style of the entertainer.

For example, it may be made up as a modern-appearing clipboard, merely by ob-1197 (Cont'd on page 119f

{"Device" - Cont'd taining easy-to-fInd metal clipboard clips and fastening them to the surface.

Fields, on the other hand, believes a formal clipboard to be out of character with his own performing style. Instead, he usch three-inch by five-inch pieces of material, and holds the paper to it with a small Bulldog clip.

The technique works equally well, whatever approach is employed. And size makes no difference.

Dr. Spencer Thornton, In his question-answering act a few years ago, made great use of clipboards for secretly gathering itif orma tion, rhomton constructed his own boards, and used as many as a dozen at a time. The boards relied upon carbon paper to record information.

But each board used by Thornton was from page 1197)

little larger than a playing card. Each was designed to hold but a single question slip,

With the Fields device, this approach, too, Is possible, and diminutive clipboards made from the material would seem a logical prop for a formal act.

The basic material used is a white plastic, of the type known as high-impact styrene. Most plastic-supply outlets stock large, sheets of it in various thicknesses, and will sell smaller pieces.

DOK'T accept Plexiglas, or other types of plastics an outlet may wish to substitute. Insist on high-Impact styrene.

Trim the plastic to the size you wish to use, rounding the corners if you choose and adding a standard clipboard clip. Or simply use a Bulldog clip.

Finally, use a soft cloth and regular (Cont'd on page 1200)

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