Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Force with a Reverse Fan

Under the title “Climax!” in The Jinx, No. 24, Sep. 1936, p. 152, Henry Christ published the idea of making a reverse fan and asking someone to think of any card he sees. Only the card on the face of the deck can be identified. The request is made with an up-stage wink, making the spectator an impromptu stooge. Theodore Annemann writes that others previously used this force only as a gag. Christ seems to be the first to employ it seriously.

Ten years later, the force was attributed to Joseph Dunninger, although Dunninger never directly made the claim; see Phoenix, No. 103, Apr. 5, 1946, p. 414. The authors, Orson Welles and Bruce Elliott, wrote: “We think it was Dunninger who first used the reverse fan to expose but one card on the bottom of a deck.” Lacking further corroboration, this would appear to be only a well-meaning but mistaken supposition.

See also Reverse Fan Applications.