Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Card Location by Secret Counting

This technique has been around since the early 18th century. It was described in the anonymous Asti Manuscript, c. 1700, p. 59 of the Pieper translation. This manuscript was translated in Gibecière, Vol.8 No.1, Winter 2013, p. 29-234.

Stewart James, in his “Queer Quest” from Stewart James in Print: The First Fifty Years, 1989, p. 148, attributes the technique's resurgence to Baffles Brush and Walter Gibson. No citation is given for the Brush reference, but Gibson's improvement appears in his Sixteen Master Card Mysteries, 1928, p. 4. However, in The Magic Wand, Vol. 16 No. 134, June-Sep. 1927, p. 80, essentially the same method Gibson gives is given under the title “A Deceptive Card Trick” by Tom Sellers. The details of the Sellers and Gibson write-ups, while not identical, are very close, including the spectator turning up the corner of the chosen card in the spread to note it. It appears as if Gibson added only a few small refinements to the Sellers method, and failed to mention him.