While the origin of this trick is generally credited to the eighteenth century escapade of Mary Toft (see The British Medical Journal for July 25, 1896 for details of this story), Dr. Edwin Dawes debunks this theory in The Magic Circular, March/April 1987 (Vol. 81 No. 874, p. 60) and May 1987 (Vol. 81 No. 875, p. 85). (Also see The Magical Spectator, No. 4.) Comte seems to have been the first to produce items from hats, c. 1814 and nearly ninety years after the Toft incident, but there is no record of his using a rabbit. The first to produce a rabbit from a hat is still unidentified.