Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Flipper Coin

Bob Swadling is commonly credited with the invention of the Flipper Coin. However, this gimmicked coin was originally developed by Eddy Taytelbaum in collaboration with Phil Postma. In the mid-1950s, Taytelbaum experimented with the idea of using a Folding Coin to represent two coins in the context of a Coins through Table effect (an idea David Roth chanced to reinvent independently some years later). Taytelbaum's starting point was an existing idea of using a Folding Coin to appear as two coins. In 1959, he showed his Coins through Table idea to Phil Postma. Postma suggested putting the Folding Coin into a shell. Taytelbaum did not have a lathe to turn the needed shell, but Postma did. After making a prototype, Taytelbaum and Postma determined the best place for an off-center cut in the Folding Coin to create a good illusion of two coins. Postma proceeded to make a small number of the gimmicked coins and sold them to magicians. One of Postma's coins was purchased by Bob Swadling at a British convention in the mid-1960s. Swadling asked permission to make one for himself, and proceeded to refine the manufacture (Postma's coins were rather roughly made) and then to sell them. Swadling added a magnetic feature to keep the flipper-part of the coin locked in the shell. (This information is drawn from an unpublished interview with Eddy Taytelbaum by Dan LeFay.)