Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

User Tools

Site Tools

Secret Subtraction

This method for switching cards in a face-up packet as it is displayed, one card at a time, was published in 1970 by J. K. Hartman in a monograph titled Secret Subtraction, p. 7. Hartman's Secret Subtraction handling adds a flourish count attributed to Dai Vernon to concepts previously published by Alex Elmsley (see “Still Taking Three” in Pentagram, Vol. 10 No. 12, Sep. 1956, p. 92) and Edward Marlo (the Face-Up Switch, New Tops, Vol. 4 No. 2, Feb. 1964, p. 17; ATFUS, New Tops, Vol. 4 No. 4, Apr. 1964, p. 33; FUFU Switch, New Tops, Vol. 4 No. 7, July 1964, p. 4; and Simulated Pickup, New Tops, Vol. 7 No. 8, Aug. 1967, p. 16).

The wrap-around action, later applied to the Secret Subtraction technique, was first published, without the Secret Subtraction dynamic, by Gene Neilsen in an article titled “P. S.!”, in Talisman, Vol. 1 No. 10, May 8, 1970, p. 37. This was around the time J. K. Hartman was working out Secret Subtraction (see his manuscript of that name, 1970). The application of the wrap-around action to Hartman's Secret Subtraction was rumored to have been made by Derek Dingle. This attribution has never been substantiated or credited to another. Drawing the card off the packet and onto the deck, then flipping it over there and picking it up under the packet is a handling developed by Harvey Rosenthal, which appears in Karl Fulves's Packet Switches, Part Three, 1977, p. 140.

See also Braue Addition and ATFUS.