Compiled by Doug A
Last Update: 20 Nov 2006
Although you don't seem to see a lot of thimble magic today, thimble magic makes sense for a variety of reasons:
1. Recognizable Object: most people recognize thimbles, though I do wonder how familiar upcoming generations will be...
2. Availability: thimbles are easily available at your local fabric store. There are specialized magic thimble sets as well, as listed on the Thimble Magic Reference Page; some sets are pictured below.
3. Low cost. You can purchase a variety of plastic or metal thimbles for a few dollars. Even magic sets are available for around $10-20.
4. Natural and Visual. Thimbles are made to fit on your fingers. The vanishing and appearance of thimbles, color changes, and so forth represent a very "comfortable" manipulation effect.
As a low cost start, Lloyd Enoch's Master Manipulation of Thimbles provides good basics. While a bit expensive, Joe Mogar's Digital Effects (authored by Steve Beam) is an excellent, highly recommended resource.
Early thimbles were likely stolen by magician's from their wives sewing baskets. Sewing thimbles come in various sizes and are made from either metal or plastic.
Special thimbles are not necessarily needed for thimble magic. Joe Mogar's thimbles, in fact, are pretty much "standard" sewing thimbles in plastic and a variety of colors. They fit well, can stack on top of each other (not nest, see below), and are relatively inexpensive.
A "magic touch" added to thimbles is the concept of nesting thimbles. Two nested thimbles appear as one thimble, and can enhance the ability to "multiply" thimbles in the finges. Royal's "Werry's Nimble Thimbles" and Vernet Thimbles provide sets of this type. Both of these sets come with a nice set of instructions as well, much more than a simple sheet like "here's a thimble, now it vanishes...see you favorite magic book for more" type instuctions that come with some tricks.
|Joe Mogar Thimbles.|
|Royal Magic Nimble Thimbles (Werry)|
|Werry Thimbles vs. Vernet Thimbles|
|The Sam Berland Thimble Set comes with a variety of wooden thimbles, including a large thimble, a holder, and a shot glass with gimmick so it can be filled with liquid.|
|A Side-By-Side Comparison|
|This is an old Thimble Kit I got used (sight unseen). It includes several thimble sizes that can next in each other, a unique "shell" (left-middle); and two home-made holders using bobby pins to hold the thimbles!|
Scanlan Wooden ThimblesOne note about the "nesting" thimbles is that I have found the outer shells
of these sets to be too large for my small fingers, meaning I have to be real careful to ensure the thimbles don't come flying off my fingers! The Joe Mogar thimbles are smaller, and the plastic is knurled for a better grip. You can stack the Mogar thimbles, but they don't "nest".
Fakini thimbles are made of the same silicon as their multiplying balls and offer a good grip. The Scanlan wooden thimbles are unpainted on the inside to maintain a roughness for good grip.
You may also want to search out some larger thimbles to add size changes in addition to color changes that are a normal part of most Thimble routines.