Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Corner-Shorted Cards and Deck

A deck with a single corner shorted was described in a Boston newspaper, Flag of Our Union on Dec. 22, 1866; and three years later in the anonymous book The Black Art or Magic Made Easy, 1869, Frederic A Brady, New York: “To Produce a Particular Card without Seeing the Pack,” p. 7. It is later described by Professor Kunard in The Book of Card Tricks, 1888, p. 64. The idea didn't gain traction.

It reared its head again in the twentieth century. In a letter dated March 22, 1924, T. Nelson Downs wrote to Edward McGuire, “Not a bad effect with the shaved card – the shaved card IDEA is that ALL the cards are shaved – all alike in one corner only – no Force – the card is freely chosen & reversed in its return to pack. You turn the pack if party selecting card does not turn his card. The card can be located & passed to any position by aid of this edge work…” (See The Linking Ring, Vol. 51 No. 4, Apr. 1971, p. 73.) This is a description of the same corner-shorted deck that Kunard described, which would later be reinvented yet again by J. G. Thompson, Jr., as “A Super Strip Deck,” published in The Linking Ring, Vol. 23 No. 8, Oct. 1943, p. 46.