Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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cards:spelling_card_discovery [2014/11/13 13:56]
cards:spelling_card_discovery [2017/06/28 16:57]
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-====== Spelling Card Discovery ====== 
-In Professor Henri Garenne's //The Art of Modern Conjuring//, 1886, p. 43, a trick called "Spelling Bee" appeared. It was less of a magic trick, and more of an amusing demonstration with cards. In it, a packet of thirteen cards were held. The conjuror spelled "A-C-E," and the Ace showed up on the final letter. "T-W-O" was spelled next, revealing a deuce. This continued for all thirteen values. This basic plot was later updated in a number of ways. The first was to use a seemingly random packet of cards, done by removing a chosen suit in the same order that it came out of a deck after a genuine shuffle. This was introduced by William McGrew in //[[|The Magical Bulletin]]//, Vol. 4 No. 3, Mar. 1916, n.p. The next update was to the stack itself, allowing the performer to hand the packet to spectators to try the spell, only to fail; the magician is the only one who can make the spelled-to card appear. Thomas Tyler developed this variant, describing it in //[[|The Sphinx]]//, Vol. 19 No. 2, Apr. 1920, p. 45. Frederick Furman later added a magical climax, where instead of finding a King on the final card, it is revealed to have changed into a different card. This appeared in //[[|The Sphinx]]//, Vol. 23 No. 3, May 1924, p. 102. The best-known combination of all these ideas is David Williamson's humorous "He Who Spelt It, Dealt It" in //Williamson's Wonders//, 1989, p. 54. 
-Bill Kalush suggests that it was Dr. Elliott who, in his "Three-Card Speller," c. 1900, was the first to use the spelling procedure to find a previously made selection. Kalush's research was first released for the 31 Faces North convention, Aug. 2007, and later revised for inclusion in //[[|Gibeciere]]//, Vol. 5 No. 1, Winter 2010, p. 11. 
-For a history of early published versions of the spelling plot, see Karl Fulves's //Latter Day Secrets//, No. 10, 2005, p. 433.