Jennings/Le Paul Credit?

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Postby Bill Wheeler » 01/01/02 09:39 AM

I am writing up some notes of my material, and I've been trying to check up on crediting sources. The question I have, is what is the story behind the crediting with the Le Paul/Jennings Wallet?

As I understand it, Le Paul never used the wallet, (rather he used a bundle of envelopes). It was Larry Jennings who created the wallet with envelope finale. Anyway, if the facts are different, or if you can provide clarification I would like to hear.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/01/02 10:56 AM

I fear that this is an issue which will never be completely settled.
LePaul used the envelopes as outlined in his book.
There is some question as to who first had the idea to put the gimmick into a piece of leather (not a wallet) that zipped on three sides. It might have been LePaul or Dick Washington.
This item required you to leave the upper side unzipped until after the card was inserted, then you had to zip the thing (which was the size of a paperback book) closed before bringing it out.
Somewhere along the line, someone thought of incorporating the thing into an actual pocket secretary, that zipped closed only along the long side. Jennings' claim was that he saw Bob Gwodz using the orignal large leather thing in the Castle, and Larry had the idea to put it into a regular wallet with spaces for credit cards and such. The wallets that Jennings had made were quite large, giving some credence to his claim that they were a direct descendent from the original.
There are others who dispute this.
Other readers of this forum can probably fill in some of the other information.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/01/02 06:15 PM

The person that can answer this is probably Ron Wilson. He made a wallet that was less large. I have a wallet that dates weeeeeeeeeey back that Howard Bamman made, as he made the same for Don Alan. It is thin leather with a zipper on the top and down the side. The left, long side is the fold in the leather, the bottom is open and has inner guide flaps. Wallet is in pocket upside down, card loaded, etc.

Seabrooke's first wallets were similar, with the zipper on top, side and bottom, you left it open at the top and "pretended" to unzip across top.

Fred Kaps found a wallet and Ken Brooke modified it to make what is known as the Kaps Wallet, which was somewhat like the Balducci, in that it had a guide and you found the card in a zippered compartment instead of in an envelope.

Thus you could zip up, put in pocket and repeat right away.

Buma Magic, thru Stevens Magic is coming out with a new idea in a small close up case that has the added feature of finding selected card in a zipper compartment.

This will be a killer new item.

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Postby Geno Munari » 01/01/02 08:00 PM

As you all know, the Jimmy Grippo Book is in the works. Also in the final stages of production is the Jimmy Grippo video which will include his best effects: The Envelope and the Index Work.

After reading the postings about the wallet and resetting the wallet, I know you will appreciate the Envelope. It is ready all the time. There is no reset! It is ready always.

I threw my wallet away years ago!

God Bless Jimmy and Jan Grippo!

There is more material that is needed for this project. I don't want to be presumptious and reveal all the details, but it is worth waiting for.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/05/02 12:33 AM

Today Ron Wilson said the first wallet he heard of was made by some guy in Detroit. It was huge... and maybe cardboardy fake leather.

Larry Jennings had a guy in Hollywood make a few and then Francis Carlyle had some made. Still big, too big for Ron, so he had a smaller zipped wallet made with a smaller envelope that was just a tad bigger than a playing card (they are hard to find). :cool:
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/05/02 12:36 AM

I think it was Edward Victor who had a "card between Aces" -- he had the four aces in a pocket with rubber bands around them, then brought them out, unbanded 'em and found a signed card between them.

40 years ago I had a marked coin appear INSIDE a playing card.

You split the card almost all the way, then glue the long edges back together, put rubber cement on the remaining open short edge, with a slip sheet/guide.

Load coin in, remove slip sheet and glue seals coin inside.


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Postby Guest » 01/05/02 02:21 PM

Does that mean that Doug Bennet took your idea without credit because some years back he marketed a similar effect with a business card.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/05/02 03:06 PM

Paul: I guess I'll have to get the Marines go go seek out Bennett!!!

:D :D :D :D :D :D
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Postby Robert Kane » 01/06/02 08:48 AM

Perhaps the following might help. In the recently published Lost Notebooks of J.N. Hilliard, the Al Baker section contains two methods.

On page 104 there is a cool "Card in Pocketbook" that seems pretty traditional in style except there is no card guide per se or envelope finale. However, there is an interesting hand written note above the type written text: "Le Paul's analogous trick - card in envelope - 1/2 23 . Envelope in brown wallet. Hilliard also notes that Baker's contribution to the effect was the card appearing under the celluoid cover inside the wallet(where pictures or drivers licenses are normally displayed). Hilliard goes on to state that Adrian Plate and Louis Zingone performed fabulous versions of this effect too.

In addition, Hilliard notes that, Card in pocket-book is a very old trick. It was a favorite Robert Houdin.

It would be difficult to give credit on the envelope finale or wallet/guide concept/effect since it was probably around in one form or another well before even Robert Houdin. Who knows, maybe the old jongleurs were using some inventive versions too?

It is a fairly straightforward novelty to have a card appear in a wallet, envelope, shoe, hat, etc. It is not unthinkable that long ago some old time magician had a lost card appear in an envelope sealed with candlewax and perhaps that envelope was in a wallet or in a box a la Nest of Boxes.

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Postby Jamy Ian Swiss » 02/10/02 11:17 PM

I have been told by many in a position to know that it's clear that LePaul never used a wallet, but rather his envelope gimmick as described in his book.

There was an intense battle over the issue of the card-to-envelope-wallet credits after Busby released the so-called "Jennings" wallet. Without going into all the ugly details, there were strong claims made in the aftermath that the wallet that Jennings laid claim to was in fact the invention of Dick Washington. He only made a few - perhaps as few as 3 - and one of those was given to Jennings, who brought it West, and as no one was the wiser, this became known as the Jennings wallet. Even Busby eventually pulled the item and the credit claim, and even apologized - although of course not publicly, nor to his customers.
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