Remember, Aron, that Samuel Hooker's performances in that small theater located on the second floor of the converted carriage house behind his home at 82 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights, New York, were not of one effect but many. During the course of the evening, cards would rise and act out a story, dance, jump, float and curtsy. They would do it singly and in blocks and small packets. They would rise while encased in a glass jar or while suspended from ribbons. New packs would be opened and shuffled by spectators and still they would rise...any card called for or any number selected. Cards were signed, marked, reversed. Even borrowed decks were made to perform. It was one of the most astounding mysteries of the day...and it baffled the likes of Kellar, Houdini, Okito, LeRoy, Carter, and Jarrett. A full description of “Impossibilities and Miltiades III” as it was performed subsequent to 1918 was provided by John Mulholland in the April 1967 issue of The Pallbearer's Review. John Gaughan's recreation contained but thirty wonderful minutes of highlights from “Impossibilities.” Even so, the Hooker Rising Cards remain one of the most ingenious and intriguing effects in the history of conjuring. My understanding, however, is that the time and complexity of preparing this mystery makes it highly unlikely we will see it performed again in the near future.
This one, my dear Holmes, is far from elementary.