Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Fifty-one Cards to Pocket

The surprise climax of a Card(s) to Pocket routine in which the entire deck, less one card, travels magically to the pocket, was popularized by David Williamson, who incorporated it into his “51 Cards to Pocket” in Williamson's Wonders, 1989, p. 77, written by Richard Kaufman. Because of this, the effect is often credited to him. However, there are several predecessors.

The core of the plot was pioneered by Al Baker with “Gee!!” in his Book Two, 1935, p. 7. In “Gee!!” the performer announces he will make two chosen cards vanish from the deck. But instead the selections remain while the rest of the deck vanishes and is reproduced from a pocket.

In 1953, Tommy Vanderschmidt contributed “The Repeat Card in Hat” to Come a Little Closer, 1953, p. 9. In it, the magician places a top hat mouth up on the table and magically causes a selection to travel to the hat twice. On attempting to repeat the effect a third time, the deck travels to the hat, leaving only the selection in the magician's hand.

Don England brought the now-common deck-ditch finale for Card to Pocket to his “Phase 51”, in John Mendoza's Don England's T.K.O.'s: Technical Knock Outs, 1981, p. 15.

Gordon Bruce of Scotland later published an application of the surprise deck-flight in his sensibly titled Gordon Bruce's Lecture Notes, 1985, np. Bruce used it as the climax to a Homing Card routine called “The Travel Sick Card”.

Jerry Sadowitz came up with a variation in which the deck appears scattered among four pockets, rather than one: “The Card That Doesn't Go to Pocket” in Cards on the Table, 1989, p. 64.

See: Cards Up the Sleeve or to the Pocket.