Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Card Force Using Inserted Gaffed Card

In his “The Prophecied Leaper [sic],” Jack McMillan used a half card glued to the back of the Guarantee Card to force a card, then made it disappear from the portion of the deck in which it was seen. This trick was included by William Larsen and T. Page Wright in The L.W. Card Mysteries, n.d. (c. 1928), p. 11 of the second edition. This predates Tom Sellers's better-known use of the gimmick in “Forced Prognostico” from The Jinx, No. 79, Feb. 10 1940, p. 517. The form of the gimmick was refined by Lubor Fiedler in 1957; see his Neue Magische Ideen, 1962, p. 37. Edward Marlo reinvented Fielder's idea, which he published in “The Opportune Miracle” in The New Tops, Vol. 7 No. 3, Mar. 1967, p. 4.

In the early 1980s, Davide Costi came up with the idea of using a gaffed credit card instead of a playing card; see Card College, Vol. 4 (first published in 1994 as Grosse Kartenschule, Band 4), p. 797; also Close-up Elegance by Costi, 2004, p. 71. A record of Costi performing with the gaffed credit card in Nov. 1987 is given in The Magic Circular, Vol. 82, No. 882, Jan. 1988, p. 16. Vanni Bossi came up with a refinement on Costi's gaffed credit card (see Costi's Close-up Elegance, p. 72).


The Al Baker Dictionary Trick (invented c. 1908; see The Sphinx, Vol. 26 No. 12, Feb. 1928, p. 463) may be seen as a possible inspiration for this gaffed insertion card. Baker had a postcard randomly inserted into a dictionary for the selection of a word. The postcard was gaffed with a flap covered by the force page, which could be opened with the dictionary. See The Secret Ways of Al Baker, edited by Todd Karr, 2003, p. 549.