Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Herrmann Pass

The Herrmann Pass, in which the bottom half comes to the top, has roots in much older versions of the Pass. The bottom-to-top style of pass appeared in Gabriel Mailhol's Le Philosophe Nègre et Les Secrets Des Grecs, 1764, p. 150, William Hooper's Rational Recreations Vol. 4, 1782, p. 235 of the second edition, and Herman Boaz's The Juggler's Oracle, 1820, p. 3, among others. The technical details are terse in these books, so it's difficult to assert just how close the technique was to the modern-day Herrmann Pass. In light of this evidence, however, if Herrmann's technique was novel at the time, bringing the bottom half to the top was not one of its novelties.

The pass in question was attributed to Alexander Herrmann by August Roterberg in New Era Card Tricks, 1897, p. 11. It has been suggested in recent times that Herrmann was taught the technique by Johann Hofzinser. Magic Christian provides this theory in Non Plus Ultra Vol. 2, 2004, p. 33 of the Pieper translation.