Insurance Policy: History and Inventor

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Guest » 08/07/07 10:11 PM

Does anyone know who invented the Insurance Policy trick?

A previous post on the subject acknowledged that it is a great visual effect. I also agree that the models on the market are low quality due to the bleed through and easy tearing.

This leads to a second question:
Is their any legal or ethical concerns involved in producing a thicker or more durable version for sale?

One last thought. This effect may not be around in twenty years. The old paper policies are already a thing of the past. Everything is done online now and policies are as thick as the white pages when the .pdf file is printed out. I really like the trick but anyone under 30 wouldn't really get the full comedic effect.

Any help with the questions is appreciated.

Postby Guest » 08/07/07 11:47 PM

Back in 1997, I invented and marketed (and still do) a different version wherein ANY card can be utilised. This factor makes it more practical for repeating (table hopping etc) and you don't have to force a card. The kicker (and clue to modus operandi) is "Card Under Shoe" ending... It has MANY uses and endings. It's also on glossy (quite long lasting) paper... If you are a member of The Magic Circle, I donated a copy per issue (about 4 years ago) to The Magic Circular for each member.


I heard that an early kernel of an idea came from Max Andrews about 60 years ago. I recall seeing an advert for it in his MAGIC magazine (not Stan Allen's mag) circa 1952...

Paul Gordon

Postby Guest » 08/08/07 12:42 AM

George "Mandroop" McAthy invented it and it was marketed by Tommy Windsor in 1947.

Postby Philippe Billot » 08/08/07 11:12 PM

And the name of the trick was : Paste Board Policy.

See (for instance) The Linking Ring, Vol. 27, N 8, october 1947, page 120.
Philippe Billot
Posts: 968
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: PARIS - FRANCE

Postby Guest » 08/09/07 06:59 PM

Thank you for the responses.

Do you have a link for purchasing it online Paul? When I wrote the post I was thinking about the non-repeatable nature of the effect but it seems you have solved that.

As far as the original concept of the trick...

I have a grasp of trademark, patent, and copyright law but the whole matter gets a bit hazy when it comes to some (especially older) tricks/effects. There is also a wider gap between ethics and legality in magic. However, I do like that most work hard to credit predecessors as necessary. You don't see that in any other trade.

There are several old tricks I'd like to revamp but that is another discussion for another time. It would be great if there was a written resource directly relating to these issues in magic. If I do begin creating commercial products the last thing I want to do is harm any friends in the community through my own ignorance.

Postby Guest » 08/10/07 02:27 PM

Dear Rwgain02,

Please visit web page for detail on my policy.

Best, Paul Gordon

Postby Guest » 08/11/07 11:34 PM


There is an excellent selection of books on your site. Also I can see where your version of the Insurance Policy, combined with Mark Mason's Shoe't, would bring down the house.


Postby Guest » 08/11/07 11:42 PM

Thank you, Robert...

Yes, good idea re: Mark's effect.

By the way, all the stuff in my books is material I USE professionally...weddings, parties, trade shows etc.


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