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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Origin of Card to Wallet routines? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Hallahan
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I do not have an enormous magic library and the oldest routine for "Card to Wallet" I was able to find is The Card in the Wallet attributed to John Scarne, in "Greater Magic", by John Northern Hilliard, 9th edition, page 572. The first edition of “Greater Magic” was published in 1938, although since I have the 9th edition, which was published in 1947, this routine could have been added in the later editions.

I also found Card in High, in "Annemann's Card Magic" by Ted Annemann, page 135. Annemann writes, “This effect is about as dramatic a presentation of the card in the wallet as it is possible to do” implying that this type of routine predates his routine. This was published in 1943.

Did John Scarne or someone else originate the idea of Card to Wallet?
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Bill Palmer
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My copy is the second impression of the first edition, and the same routine is in there. But that doesn't answer your question. I'll do some snooping.
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Curtis Kam
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Very interesting question. How far back does the wallet go? Does it predate printed cards?
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David Numen
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I am sure that Pat Page has some comments about his on his video but I can't recall exactly what they were. My memory says that he says Robert Harbin did a card to pocket book effect but then my memory may be deluded! Whatever, I can DEFININTELY remember Pat Page being very scating of the origins detailed in the Card to Wallet book.

Regards,

David.
Jonathan Townsend
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How far back does the Paul LePaul routine go?
And can we cite Hofzinser on this one?
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Pete Biro
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My first recollecton was LePaul's but he didn't use a wallet, but an envelope stack.

Koran had one that used a pull to move the wallet from behind your back to your inner jacket pocket.
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Curtis Kam
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I think there are two line of inquiry here, the Card in Envelope, and the Card in wallet. The Envelope is clearly associated with LePaul, and as Pete says, did not involve a wallet. Many say Le Paul never used the wallet, even after it was introduced. Paul Chosse knows more than anyone about this particular effect.

However, I suspect the idea of simply finding a card in one's wallet goes back much farther. Aren't there early references on "how to conveye a farthing into a pocketbook"? Could the same trick, done with a card, be far behind? I suspect it would have become popular right about the time people could afford to buy two packs of cards.
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Craig Matsuoka
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Curtis,

Funny you should mention pocketbooks. M. Robert-Houdin published the trick in 1868. It’s in chapter two of Secrets of Conjuring and Magic.

I didn’t find anything in Hofzinser’s Card Conjuring.

Bart Whaley speculated that Professor Morris Loewy might have created the first modern card-to-wallet effect around 1905. I’m not sure if there’s enough evidence to make that notion anything more than conjecture. It would be appropriate if true, since Loewy’s Top Palm is very handy for some modern handlings of card-to-wallet. That alone makes this a lead worth investigating. Anyone here want to take a shot at hunting down old Loewy material?

John Scarne had a version of the trick as far back as 1918 when he showed it to Houdini and Frank Ducrot in a back room at Hornmann’s. The conditions he described in The Amazing World of John Scarne differ, in important ways, from the trick published twenty years later in Greater Magic. It appears reasonable to me that the handlings would, therefore, need to differ as well.

BTW, does anyone know if Scarne ever tipped the method he used to load the wallet? Greater Magic only says that the wallet is “ready for the insertion of a card as usual”.
Bill Palmer
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If I recall correctly, there was an effect in production about the time of Greater Magic that involved the appearance of a playing card between two metal plates secured with rubber bands. These plates were inside a wallet.
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Curtis Kam
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Thanks, Craig. And the prize apparently goes to Robert-Houdin, unless anybody can beat 1868.
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Pete Biro
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I had "card between metal plates" -- it may have been made by Loyd Enochs or Thayer. And it was in a wallet.
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