Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

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The Burnaby Kid
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Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby The Burnaby Kid » February 23rd, 2018, 4:54 am

I've got a slight crediting issue on my hands.

I'm trying to track down the history of a specific card principle within card-to-impossible-location effects. The idea is that the back of an indifferent card is used to insinuate that the effect is completed, whereupon the magician, in apparently fetching the card, introduces the actual signed selection.

The earliest I can find is with the Grippo/Carlyle Homing Card, late 1940s. The stuff that I've found earlier usually has shenanigans involving a stranger card or dupe or contraption of some sort.

Is there an earlier reference I need to be hunting down? I mean, I'm happy to just reference Grippo and Carlyle, but if there's something earlier, I'd be mucho obligeado to learn of it.

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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 23rd, 2018, 8:21 am

? Hofzinser's prediction trick using a tabled card? He uses what we'd call a Mexican Turnover done with "no direct contact" and a card a spec hands him at the last moment. ;)
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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Bill Mullins » February 23rd, 2018, 10:59 am

Hofzinser used the Mexican Turnover? I didn't know it was that old.

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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 23rd, 2018, 11:29 am

Bill Mullins wrote:... the Mexican Turnover? I didn't know it was that old.


Yes, in that routine to maintain the "isolation" of a card - to seemingly turn a tabled card face up without touching it directly.
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Ryan Matney
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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Ryan Matney » February 23rd, 2018, 12:15 pm

I'm not sure if C.O. Williams original card to pocket predates the Homing Card but the part of the method you are interested in is the same.

The only difference between them is one of timing within the routine and when the spectators see the X card in the pocket.
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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Bill Mullins » February 23rd, 2018, 12:25 pm

Jon -- can you point me to that trick? is it in either the Card Conjuring book (I've got the Dover reprint), or the big Magic Christian book?

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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Ryan Matney » February 23rd, 2018, 12:58 pm

It seems Ralph Hull is another name in the lineage of this idea.

http://www.conjuringcredits.com/doku.ph ... o_pocket&s[]=card&s[]=pocket
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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Ryan Matney » February 23rd, 2018, 1:08 pm

Forget my C.O. Williams mention, I was confusing it with the trick below.

In the Encyclopedia of Card tricks, published in 1937, someone named S.H. Wimbrough published "Card to Pocket - Another Presentation"

In that trick, an X card is shown at the beginning of the trick and put into the pocket without showing its face. A card is selected and winds up being the card that was previously placed into the pocket.

That predates the Homing Card. I wonder if it inspired it.
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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Philippe Billot » February 23rd, 2018, 1:34 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Jon -- can you point me to that trick? is it in either the Card Conjuring book (I've got the Dover reprint), or the big Magic Christian book?


See Domination of Thought, the last page of the trick (p. 84)

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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby The Burnaby Kid » February 23rd, 2018, 2:31 pm

So, some of these are new to me, so thanks, I appreciate it!

There seem to be a few things here that come pretty close.

Tarbell and Wimbrough both have this idea of a card already in the pocket becoming the selected card from somewhere else. I think it's a bit different than what happens later with Grippo/Carlyle, though, since the effect claim isn't exactly a straight teleportation, but rather sort of a mysterious transformation -- like, it's less about the path the object takes, and more raising the possibility that the object must have been hallucinated at the original juncture. Maybe not overtly, but it's definitely not as obvious as something like coins across. Dunno if the Hofzinser idea fits that mould as well.

For the R.W. Hull trick, AA doesn't give more than the first couple of paragraphs, so I couldn't tell if the bluff call is followed up with an actual production of the card.

I guess my main interest is that the strategy of having an indifferent item and switching it out for the actual item to effect a straight-up unambiguous teleportation shows up in a bunch of more modern stuff, but I can't seem to find it in anything older than Grippo/Carlyle.

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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Denis Behr » February 23rd, 2018, 4:26 pm

Hofzinser has another thing that is rather brilliant. Three double backers are in a handkerchief. The handkerchief is held by the spectator, who at the right time opens it. The double backers drops to the table. The do, naturally, land face down. But it seems accidental, the might as well have landed face-up. They are then switched before they are turned over.
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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 24th, 2018, 1:49 pm

The Burnaby Kid wrote:... the strategy of having an indifferent item and switching it out for the actual item to effect a straight-up unambiguous teleportation shows up in a bunch of more modern stuff, but I can't seem to find it in anything older than Grippo/Carlyle.

Hofzinser - Three Powers - first phase (page 175 of the Dover paperback) - the performer clearly claims to make three cards vanish from the pack held by a volunteer and appear in his pocket. As Denis said, three cards are then shown produced from the pocket (in this case they rise/pop out of the pocket) and they fall to the floor - conveniently face down thanks to ;).

The selections (three in this routine) are not in the pack because ... and this might sound familiar as regards a routine where one card is selected or thought of ;) ... another useful principle or two is applied.
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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Ryan Matney » February 24th, 2018, 3:48 pm

The Burnaby Kid wrote:So, some of these are new to me, so thanks, I appreciate it!

There seem to be a few things here that come pretty close.

Tarbell and Wimbrough both have this idea of a card already in the pocket becoming the selected card from somewhere else. I think it's a bit different than what happens later with Grippo/Carlyle, though, since the effect claim isn't exactly a straight teleportation, but rather sort of a mysterious transformation -- like, it's less about the path the object takes, and more raising the possibility that the object must have been hallucinated at the original juncture. Maybe not overtly, but it's definitely not as obvious as something like coins across. Dunno if the Hofzinser idea fits that mould as well.


I don't think the presentational frame and the timing of the reveal changes the fact that it is the same basic method.

If you perform a coins across, for example, its a teleportation. But if you do the same coins across routine, while holding one hand above a table and one below, now the same method is penetration through the table.

Its a case of rearranged timing here to make a different effect. But you are still showing an X card at some point in your pocket and then switching it for the selection with a palm with both being in the context of a selection appearing in the pocket (albeit in slightly different presentation).
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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby The Burnaby Kid » February 24th, 2018, 8:22 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Hofzinser - Three Powers - first phase (page 175 of the Dover paperback) - the performer clearly claims to make three cards vanish from the pack held by a volunteer and appear in his pocket. As Denis said, three cards are then shown produced from the pocket (in this case they rise/pop out of the pocket) and they fall to the floor - conveniently face down thanks to ;).

The selections (three in this routine) are not in the pack because ... and this might sound familiar as regards a routine where one card is selected or thought of ;) ... another useful principle or two is applied.


That definitely fits!

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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby The Burnaby Kid » February 24th, 2018, 8:25 pm

Ryan Matney wrote:I don't think the presentational frame and the timing of the reveal changes the fact that it is the same basic method.


Oh yeah, absolutely. In my case, though, the principle that I'm trying to establish the lineage of (for the thing I'm writing up) specifically involves teleportations. An analogy might be like trying to figure out who was the first person to realize that an Invisible Deck could be used to demonstrate Triumph.

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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 24th, 2018, 11:24 pm

Best of luck with your project.
The Burnaby Kid wrote:... Invisible Deck could be used to demonstrate Triumph.
:o what a sneaky application of the faro shuffle...
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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Max Maven » February 25th, 2018, 3:54 am

The Burnaby Kid wrote: ...trying to figure out who was the first person to realize that an Invisible Deck could be used to demonstrate Triumph.


A precursor to the Ultra-Mental (“Invisible”) Deck for a reverse Triumph-like effect was employed by Leslie Guest in the Linking Ring for October, 1928.

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Re: Tracking down the history of a specific card-to-impossible location principle

Postby Philippe Billot » February 25th, 2018, 8:26 am

Yes! "The Pack that Shuffles Itself"

Marlo used the same idea to do a version of OOTW entitled Psi Color in Magick, Vol. 10, no 243, october 26, 1979.


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