Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Throw Change / Toss Change

Stanley Witcher published this technique as “A Novel Card Sleight” in The Magazine of Magic, Vol. 1 No. 3, Jan. 1915, p. 117.

In a trick named “Card Changes under Foot”, contributed by DeLawrence to Thayer's Magical Bulletin, Vol. 8 No. 6, Jun. 1920, p. 89, another bare-bones description of the Throw Change is given.

The now common handling was described by Arthur Buckley in Improved and Original Card Problems Vol. 2, 1924, p. 23 of the combined booklet. In Card Control, 1946, p. 76, Buckley claimed he had been using the toss change since 1910, and did “not know of its publication elsewhere,” which suggests he believed he may have been the first to conceive this sleight. It can be interpreted as an extension of T. Nelson Downs's Downs Change, published one year before Buckley's claim of the invention of the Throw Change; see The Art of Magic by Downs (ghostwritten by J. N. Hilliard), 1909, p. 61; second edition, p. 73.

In Merlin's Master Miracles (1928, p. 78 of the combined booklet), Jack Merlin described the same trick published twenty years earlier by DeLawrence. However, Merlin's explanation provides advanced handling and psychological touches for the sleight, most of which later appeared in the handling attributed to Derek Dingle under the title, “The Alpha Toss,” in Richard's Almanac, Vol. 1 No. 1, Sep. 1982, p. 1.


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