Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Back and Front Palm with Coin

While this sleight is associated with T. Nelson Downs, who brought it to prominence on the stage, it seems to have been invented in Germany c. 1870; date and inventor are uncertain, due to the anecdotal evidence on which they are founded. Two magicians have had the sleight placed at their feet. George Joyce of Dublin reported having been shown the sleight by “Herr Schraidieck” (sic; Ludolf Schradiek) in 1888. Schradiek told him the sleight was of German origin; see Mahatma, Vol. 4 No. 2, Jul. 1900, p. 389. Carl Willmann claimed the sleight was Frizzo's (Enrico Longone) from Milan (Die Zauberwelt, Vol. 6 No. 1, Jan. 1900, p. 2), but this was quickly contested in the same journal (Vol. 6 No. 3, Mar. 1900, p. 47) by Moritz Hermann, who claimed he had been shown the sleight by a Berlin amateur named Schwarz thirty years earlier, which would have been 1870.