Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Paper-clip Switch

This switch of a folded playing card, bill or slip of paper, accomplished while apparently removing the item from a paper clip or similar device, has a history of reinvention. Karl Fulves wrote a description of it in Interlocutor, No. 49, 1988, p. 226. About its history, he said: “Origin of the above switch is unknown. I've used it for about 25 years.”

Alexander de Cova developed the same switch, using a clothes pin instead of a paper clip, c. 1985. He recounts his memory of its development in his book Ein Profi packt aus…, 1992, p. 111. He first published it in his lecture notes Unterhaltung durch Illusion, 1988, no pagination.

Jay Sankey also reinvented the switch, which he included in 100% Sankey by Richard Kaufman, 1990, p. 36, under the title of “#*@!”.