Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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One-Handed Top Palm

The first published description of a one-handed top palm is believed to be in Prof. Hoffmann's Tricks with Cards, 1889, “To Palm the Bottom Card of the Pack”, p. 17. While this sleight is a Bottom Palm, a variant handling for palming the top card is given in the penultimate paragraph of this article, and is credited to W. J. Collins.

Leonzo (stage name of L. A. Young) published a more refined method for the One-Handed Top Palm, for both single and multiple cards, in The Sphinx, Vol. 5 No. 7, Sep. 1906, p. 81. Leonzo claimed to have created it “some time ago”. This same technique was later described as one of L'Homme Masqué's in Camille Gaultier's Magic without Apparatus, 1914, p. 91. Walter Gibson also published a method—albeit an awkward one using the forefinger—in The Sphinx, Vol. 17 No. 12, Feb. 1919, p. 232.

The common technique still used today, of the right hand arching over the deck to press down with the little finger on the front-right corner, was published by John Elrick in The Magic Wand, Vol. 19 No. 145, Mar. 1930, p. 48.