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Floating Ball

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Floating Ball is an illusion in which a ball floats freely about the stage.

The first practical one-man method was created by amateur magician David P. Abbott. In 1913, he demonstrated it to both Okito and Howard Thurston. This was when Okito was traveling with the Thurston Show while playing in Omaha and were invited as guests to the Abbott's home. Abbott presented each with one as a gift.[1]

Abbott's method was described page 30 in The Magazine of Magic, Vol. 1, no. 1, October 1914.

Okito went on to improve it and developed a popular stage routine which he was performing by 1920.

It was also featured by Doc Nixon, Okito's son Fu-Manchu and Dante.

Prior Art

  • The Floating Ball of Paper in Latter Day Tricks (1896) by August Roterberg. Said to be "a genuine Japanese feat", a sheet of soft tissue paper of about a foot square is crumpled then suspended in the air. It can also ascend and descend.


  1. "HISTORY OF THE FLOATING BALL" chapter in Okito on Magic