Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Pocket Search Switch

In this utility switch, an object is switched while removing another item from the pocket. This is accomplished by holding the object to be switched out in the right hand. The left hand goes into the left pocket in search for the required item but doesn't find it and comes out secretly palming the object to be switched in. A Shuttle Pass is performed when apparently transferring the visible object to the left hand. Now the right hand goes into the right pocket, ditching the switched out object and finding the required item.

Given the convenient structure of this pocket switch, it may well have been used for a long time without being recorded or explicitly mentioned. Here, however, are some steps in its development.

The switch choreography is described and claimed by Bert Douglas as “Subtle Switch of Cigarette” in his effect “'Simplex' Card in Cigarette” in The Linking Ring, Vol. 11 No. 7, Sept. 1931, p. 764. It's also included without attribution in Greater Magic (1938, p. 741) as the first of two cigarette switches. Paul Curry applied it to a wrapped coin in his effect “I. O. U.” from Something Borrowed, Something New (1941; reprinted in J. G. Thompson, Jr.'s My Best, 1945, p. 161). A later application with billets can be found in T. A. Waters's booklet Scrypt, 1981, p. 7, as “Hand to Hand II”.

In the same year Juan Tamariz published his “Double Crossing the Gaze Switch” in the first Spanish edition of Los Cinco Puntos Mágicos, which was first translated to English a year later in 1982 as The Five Points in Magic. Tamariz uses the switch to illustrate a misdirection technique he calls “Crossing the Gaze”, which is based on a principle of Slydini. This is the handling now widely used.