Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Click Pass

Prof. Hoffmann, in More Magic (1890), credits the click pass, in which a coin in classic palm is released to clink against another on the fingertips, to Prof. Charles Edwin Field (1835-1912), who worked the Royal Aquarium at that time, and later at the Crystal Palace.

In Modern Coin Magic, J. B. Bobo credits Chester Woodin (1886-1966) with the sleight; 1952, p. 14. Since Hoffmann's attribution to Prof. Field was published when Woodin was four years old, Field clearly wins the cup.

Three-Coin Click Pass

Twenty years after Hoffmann published the standard click pass, Arthur Otto included a variation in his Beginner's Guide to Conjuring, 1910, p. 19, under the title “A Deceptive Coin Pass”. This reversed the action of the click pass as described by Hoffmann, palming the second coin after the first while deliberately making the two coins click, instead of releasing the first from the palm to drop onto the second. This variation is inferior to the original but has the interesting component of involving a third coin in the procedure. This is the progenitor of David Roth's Three-Coin Click Pass, a superior approach that was published in David Roth's Expert Coin Magic by Richard Kaufman, 1985, p. 20; which in turn was inspired by an idea shown him by Roger Klause. (J. B. Bobo included the double-palming action used by Otto—without involving a third coin—as method b in Modern Coin Magic, op. cit.)