Calculator Cards credit

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.
Jon Allen
Posts: 243
Joined: February 2nd, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Calculator Cards credit

Postby Jon Allen » March 16th, 2011, 4:55 pm

Can someone please help me by knowing who is credited with coming up with the 'Calculator Cards' trick? This is the one with 6 cards and whichever ones have the thought of number on them, the numbers in the top corner add up to it.

Thanks for any help or pointers.

Ian Kendall
Posts: 2441
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Calculator Cards credit

Postby Ian Kendall » March 16th, 2011, 5:29 pm

Jebers, that's so old it's probably in Discoverie...

User avatar
Joe Pecore
Posts: 1915
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Paul Harris
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Calculator Cards credit

Postby Joe Pecore » March 16th, 2011, 5:47 pm

It used to be called "What's your age" trick and seems to have become popular in the 1970s.

Whaley's Encyclopedic dictionary of Magic says the jargon "Age Cards" was in use by 1931 having appeared in Douglas catalog #16.

Also, in 1910 Theodore L. DeLand adapted this principle as the method for his Million Dollar Mystery card trick which was rel (where a spectator thinks of one playing card; is shown several boards with different sets of playing cards pictured on each; answers "yes" or "no" as to whether the chosen card is on each one; and the performer then divines the chosen card.)
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

Philippe Billot
Posts: 1238
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: PARIS - FRANCE

Re: Calculator Cards credit

Postby Philippe Billot » March 17th, 2011, 5:59 am

it seems that Dan Garrett have a trick named Cyborg in his book Garrett Does the U.K. Lecture Notes 1991 which looks like ''Age Card'' but as I haven't this book, you have to check.

Edwin Corrie
Posts: 491
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Re: Calculator Cards credit

Postby Edwin Corrie » March 17th, 2011, 8:34 am

The Age Cards are in "Mathematics, Magic and Mystery" (1956). Martin Gardner says he doesn't know exactly but thinks it must be one of the oldest mathematical tricks. Early books on mathematical recreations (e.g. Bachet's "Problemes plaisans et delectables", 1612)) contain a lot of stunts like this, so it could well go back quite a long way.

Philippe Billot
Posts: 1238
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: PARIS - FRANCE

Re: Calculator Cards credit

Postby Philippe Billot » March 17th, 2011, 9:35 am

Hi Edwin,

Is it Guessing Someone's Age, page 166 ?

Jon Allen
Posts: 243
Joined: February 2nd, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Calculator Cards credit

Postby Jon Allen » March 17th, 2011, 2:32 pm

Thanks guys. I had a feeling it was really old but wasn't sure if it was traceable to someone in particular. I'll still be making enquiries around...

User avatar
Joe Pecore
Posts: 1915
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Paul Harris
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Calculator Cards credit

Postby Joe Pecore » March 17th, 2011, 3:04 pm

I see references that it's supposed to be in Charles Hutton's Recreations With Mathematics (1801)

It's available in Google Books if you want to try and look for it:
http://books.google.com/books?id=s_IJAA ... ry&f=false
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

Brad Henderson
Posts: 4077
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: austin, tx

Re: Calculator Cards credit

Postby Brad Henderson » March 17th, 2011, 6:29 pm

The " impenetrable secret", an effect where the spectator thinks of one of a hundred preprinted sayings from among ten cards, was the earliest magic "imprint" produced in the us, having been printed on franklins press itself. (1749)

The trick was advertised in the London daily adviser in 1747.

Ref: many mysteries unraveled. RJ

Edwin Corrie
Posts: 491
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Re: Calculator Cards credit

Postby Edwin Corrie » March 17th, 2011, 7:21 pm

Philippe Billot wrote:Hi Edwin,

Is it Guessing Someone's Age, page 166 ?


Gardner calls them Number Cards (page 95). He goes on to mention the more elaborate variant known as Window Cards, which are also described in Rouse Balls Mathematical Recreations and Essays. The latter has been through many editions since its first publication in 1892, but the window cards are definitely in the 10th edition of 1922.

Cyborg in the Dan Garrett lecture notes is a card location. You have the four 10s and deal more cards onto each one, counting back from ten to zero until the value of one of the dealt cards matches the number youve reached. Its similar to Twisting the Plot in The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings.

Brad Henderson
Posts: 4077
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: austin, tx

Re: Calculator Cards credit

Postby Brad Henderson » March 17th, 2011, 8:05 pm

In case i wasn't clear, these cards use the same principle. Rather than being a direct number revelation, the cards coded the chosen proverb. Punx issued a set of 'psycho bell cards' which were closer to the impenetrable secret. than most number centric versions.

User avatar
Joe Pecore
Posts: 1915
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Paul Harris
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Calculator Cards credit

Postby Joe Pecore » March 17th, 2011, 9:10 pm

In the Magic Cauldron No. 45 (October 1972), Edgar Heyl says that the method made its first appearance in London in Nicholas Hunt's "Newe Recreations" (1631).

Edgar Heyl also has more of information on the "impenetrable secret" cards (with same information Brad has given above) in Cues for Collectors, No. 12, CARDS FOR CONJURING, originally published in MUM, July 1954 (and later as a collection in the book Cues for Collectors (1964)).
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

Edwin Corrie
Posts: 491
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Re: Calculator Cards credit

Postby Edwin Corrie » March 18th, 2011, 7:13 pm

I just found a couple of developments of the principle in Karl Fulves' "Self Working Number Magic", pages 19-27. There's the basic version, then one where you also determine the day and month of the spectator's birthday, and finally a cunning Robert Neale idea using cards with words on.

MitsuMatsu
Posts: 92
Joined: February 11th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Yokohama, Japan

Re: Calculator Cards credit

Postby MitsuMatsu » April 10th, 2011, 9:42 am

Many tricks based on this principle are seen in various Japanese books that were published in 1600s, and even in 1500s as well.
Those have never been explained in western countries.
I wish to explain them some future.


Return to “Magic History and Anecdotes”