Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Retaining a Setup with an Honest Riffle Shuffle

While this principle, sometimes called Interlocking Chain Principle, is generally credited to Charles Jordan due to its appearance as “Tracking the Dovetail Shuffle to Its Lair” in Thirty Card Mysteries, 1919, p. 7 of the second edition, Jordan was preceded by C. O. Williams in the use of a single shuffle to retain two sequences mixed together. Williams's idea — using a stack with a one-way back — was published as “Card Reading Extraordinary” in Will Goldston's The Magician Monthly, Vol. 8 No. 5. April 1912, p. 67, in Professor Hoffmann's column “Scraps from my Notebook”. Jordan, in his introduction to the above book (p. 1), acknowledges Williams's prior claim.

(Jordan had published this shuffle principle three years prior to Thirty Card Mysteries in Thayer's Magical Bulletin, Vol. 9 No. 7, Jul. 1916, np., apparently before becoming aware that it had been published previously by Williams.)