Losander Floating Table
Designer: Dirk Losander (with credit to Tommy Wonder)
Builder: Dirk Losander and father
The Floating Table illusion has been around for several hundred years. The original versions were called “Spirit Tables” and used by psychics and other spirit mediums to “prove” their powers. In the mid 1940s, Joe Karson invented an important platform illusion that enabled the performer to levitate small objects like a steel ball. Tommy Wonder improved on Karson’s invention and applied it to other objects as well. Around 1997, Dirk Losander modified Tommy Wonder’s design and applied it to a small table, allowing the table to float.
The magician shows a small table on stage covered by a small colored cloth. He places a small box or candlestick on top of the table and takes hold of two ends of the cloth. The table then floats up under the cloth. The performer can release the cloth, relighting the burnt-out candle, or opening the box to show its contents. Taking hold of the the cloth once more, the table comes to a rest on the stage floor and the cloth is removed showing there is nothing to be found. This illusion can be done with a spectator holding the other ends of the cloth as well.
One rumor holds that an unnamed Albanian magician in Yugoslavia invented this version of the floating table in the 1970s. In the greater magic community, however, this rumor is completely rejected because no one has ever produced any evidence to support the claims. And sadly, the only magicians who are now supporting this unfounded rumor are the same magicians who are found fully-supporting the knockoff producers, casting further doubt on the rumor’s claims.
The authenticity of the modern floating table is thus decided completely in favor of Dirk Losander based on his proof of invention, his blessings from the Tommy Wonder Estate, support from the magic community at large, and complete lack of any other evidence to suggest otherwise.