Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Force Decks with Glued Long & Short Cards

Dr. Ford B. Rogers marketed a forcing deck with pairs of long and short cards glued together as “The 'Ever-Ready' Forcing Pack”, see the advertisement in The Sphinx, Vol. 11 No. 7, Sep. 1912, p. 137. (Shortly afterwards it was published in Donald Holmes's Tricks with Prepared Cards, 1913, p. 15, and later in John Northern Hilliard's Greater Magic, 1938, p. 451.)

The very similar “Siamese Svengali Pack” was published in Lu Brent's Exclusive Card Mysteries, 1934, p. 13, and later in Jean Hugard's Encyclopedia of Card Tricks, 1937, p. 254. But Brent later told J.G. Thompson Jr., that the deck was not his invention and had been credited to him by the publisher - Chas Eastman - in error (see J. G. Thompson's The Miracle Makers, 1975, p. 64). Brent was not sure of the name of the inventor, but thought it was Rogers or Brown. (Rogers is correct; see above. Brown came later; see below.)

There is a small construction difference between Rogers's deck and the “Siamese Svengali Pack”: Rogers glued short force duplicates behind long indifferent cards. In the Siamese Pack, the duplicate force cards are long, and are glued to the backs of short indifferent cards. Both these decks and the marketed Telematic Deck had the card pairs glued at one end.

Six years after Rogers's publication, Evans Brown marketed his “The Wonder Triple Force Deck”, see the advertisement in The Sphinx, Vol. 19 No. 6, Aug. 1919, p. 149. Brown's deck had 26 pairs, glued together on one end, of which 13 consisted of an indifferent card on the front and a force card on the back. The remaining 13 cards had two other force cards on the front and back. Thus three cards could be forced and the deck still be shown as normal, although the handling was always restricted to a bank of 13 cards. Brown did not give credit to Rogers, but instead wrote in the instruction sheet that his deck “is made possible by the application of a number of new principles in card work, which are original with me.”

The forcing deck was later renamed the “Telematic Deck”. The “Psychomatic Deck,” 1946, moved the glued seams to the centers of the pairs, so that the peek could be made from either end. This really wouldn't have been an issue with the previous versions, as they were held by the performer or tossed out with a rubber band binding the glued end.

Al Baker published an interesting variant of the Rogers deck, which would force two cards. The deck is made of triplets, hinged together in Z formation and with two of the cards trimmed short. He published it as “Double Thought” in Pet Secrets, 1951, p. 62.