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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » History of the Paddle Move? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

jprace
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Hey guys,

I'm doing some research, and I'm trying to find out how far back the Paddle Move goes and if it has a definite originator. As far as I know, the move goes as far back to Prevost and I believe some sort of knife was used. Does anyone else have any information?

All help is appreciated. Thanks!

Jeff
wa-na-be
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Contact Bill Palmer, he is on the Café.
Jonathan Townsend
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Been a while but I believe it goes back at least as far as the skittle trick in Discoverie of Witchcraft - where just a tiny bit of reading between the lines shows that Scot was also holding back the mechanics. The "Sleight of Mind" folks did that on the Nemo 1500 just last year in their book Smile

Just found an online edition in modern English: here Look at the first item under Diverse Petie Juggling Knacks at the trick with a piece of wood having three holes in a row and a peg passing through one hole which seems to jump from end to middle then from the middle hole to the hole at the other end of the row. Smile
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Leslie Melville
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As a boy, I actually owned such a paddle (the three holes and peg etc.) I think I got it from 'The Boy's Magic Service', a mail order company based in Prestatyn, North Wales who advertised in children's comic books. Lots of UK magicians - of a certain age! - made purchases from them!

Leslie.
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Bill Palmer
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My contention has always been that the explanation in Scot was so cryptic as to be completely meaningless. Basically all it says is that you make the stick (rish) appear to jump from one hole to the next by turning the piece of wood (peece of trencher). (The slight consisteth in turning the peece of trencher.) It never states that you show the stick to be in the same hole on both sides of the piece of wood by turning the piece of wood over and showing the same side twice.

So the paddle move, itself, does not actually appear in Scot.

There is a better explanation of the paddle move in Prevost, where the knife blade and paper trick is explained, but even then, the explanation, at least in the translation, is not really adequate enough to actually learn the move from it. It states that you turn the knife a half turn as you turn it over.

The first explanation that I have found that really gives you some insight into how the move should be done is in the American edition of The Secret Out on page 242. It is called "The Dagger Sleight." The method is a bit different from the way we do it now. In the normal paddle move, the viewed side of the paddle always remains in sight. In this method, the dagger is turned over, and as it is turned, the thumb causes the handle to revolve an extra half turn. This causes the non-viewed side of the blade to flash briefly. However, it is a much more natural way to show a knife or a dagger. You turn your wrist over, causing the dagger to basically revolve on its own axis.

I published a monograph on this back in 1993, with an update when the Prevost book appeared in English.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2011-01-19 20:02, Bill Palmer wrote:
My contention has always been that the explanation in Scot was so cryptic as to be completely meaningless. Basically all it says is that you make the stick (rish) appear to jump from one hole to the next by turning the piece of wood (peece of trencher). (The slight consisteth in turning the peece of trencher.)...


Agreed - very much like what the authors of "Sleight of Mind" did as regards the Nemo 1500 trick IMHO.
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Lawrence O
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The fact that the paddle move appears in both Scot and Prévost, especially with lousy explanations, clearly demonstrates that neither one was the creator but that the trick was most probably simply reported. It can even be considered that the basic aspect of the descriptions may betray the fact that the trick was fairly common and that both authors thought that it didn't need a detailed description. Now this is pure guess work on my part.
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Bill Palmer
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The interesting thing is that the paddle MOVE does not appear in Scot. All that appears is the jumping peg, itself, without a turn.

The first trick in print with an actual paddle was P.T. Selbit's "The Chinese Bat" which appeared in 1901 and again in 1902. It did NOT use a paddle move.

The interesting thing is that if you show the P.T. Selbit trick to a magician, you can fool him with it, even though it works exactly the same way as any other version of the jumping peg.
Quote:
On 2011-01-19 20:15, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-01-19 20:02, Bill Palmer wrote:
My contention has always been that the explanation in Scot was so cryptic as to be completely meaningless. Basically all it says is that you make the stick (rish) appear to jump from one hole to the next by turning the piece of wood (peece of trencher). (The slight consisteth in turning the peece of trencher.)...

Agreed - very much like what the authors of "Sleight of Mind" did as regards the Nemo 1500 trick IMHO.

The trick described in Sleights of Mind may not actually be Nemo 1500. It may be one of the earlier "stop" tricks. Johnny has been known to do this.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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joe yang
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It is entirely possible the paddle move is one of those classic effects that goes back to pre history, as a form of divination.
aka Mike Booth
Bill Palmer
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Really? Why would you say that?

I looked for a source for the paddle move for a year or two, with the help of people like Byron Walker, and we couldn't find anything earlier than 1860, other than the odd explanation in Prevost.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
joe yang
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Academically, I would say it is "possible". If I was functioning as an oracle, shaman or witchdoctor, it would be a great way to "force" a divinely inpsired "yes" or "no" answer. Lack of documentation doesn't mean it isn't older than the historical record. The study of primative magic is badly neglected.

That's just my two cents, hardly what the original poster wanted to know. Sorry for the thread hijack.
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Bill Palmer
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Actually, what you are saying makes a certain amount of sense.

Basically NOTHING is described in print until it has been used by someone. It's fairly obvious to me, for example, that the three ball display on the top of a cup was around far earlier than 1634, when it first appeared in print. (Hocus Pocus, Junior)

However, when a key part of a move is left out of all of the descriptions of a trick until a certain point, it indicates to me, at least, that it was not a normal part of the trick.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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