Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Spider Grip Vanish

Often misattributed to Ed Marlo, this vanish was first put into print by Walter B. Gibson, under the title The “Misdirection” Drop in The Sphinx, Vol. 17 No. 12, Feb. 1919, p. 239. John Moehring discovered this citation. The Gibson vanish is done from French Drop position, as the vanish is commonly done. Marlo's similar Spider Vanish (Coining Magic, 1957, p. 8) starts with the coin resting in finger-palm position, but uses the same misdirective psychology and actions of Gibson's vanish.

Also preceding Marlo's Spider Vanish, Eddie Joseph explained an interesting handling, in Coin and Money Magic, 1942, p. 42, under the title of “A Real Fooler for the Magicians”. While apparently doing a French Drop, the coin is taken into right-hand back thumb palm, instead of classic palm, and is eventually ditched in the breast pocket, to effect a complete vanish.

And six years before the Spider Vanish appeared, Ross Bertram published a similar style of vanish, using the same psychology of creating suspicion on the empty hand. Instead of feigning a French Drop, Bertram openly deposited the coin on the right palm and pretended to retain it behind the left fingers. See the first vanish in his “Coin Assembly” in Stars of Magic, 1951, p. 137.