Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Automatic Placement

The name of this mathematical card-placement principle was given it by Edward Marlo, who may have believed he invented the principle itself and is frequently credited with it. However, numerous applications of the principle were documented prior Marlo's first publishing applications in The New Phoenix, No. 329, Aug. 1955, p. 126.

The roots of the idea go back to the 1700s, and the development of the principle to its present form has a number of components. For a version of the old trick, see “A Card and a Number” in Encyclopedia of Card Tricks, Hugard (ed.), 1937, p. 177.

A good source for the history behind this concept and how it developed can be found in The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley, Volume II, 1994, p. 349.


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