Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Time-machine Plot

Jon Racherbaumer discovered what seems to be the first routine founded on the effect of turning back time: “The Charmed Watch” by Charles Wicks is the Jun-Sep 1935 issue of The Magic Wand, vol. 24, no. 166, p. 93. Wicks's routine involved a ribbon that unknotted, a picture that righted itself in its frame, numbered blocks that became re-sequenced, a cut rope that became whole again and a record made during the proceedings that disappeared.

At the P.C.A.M. 1936 Convention, Caryl Fleming performed a stage act called “The Flight of Time”, which was his presentation and minor variation on Wicks's routine; see Tops, Vol. 1 No. 8, Aug. 1936, p. 18. Four years later, Fleming published his routine in Genii, Vol. 5 No. 4, Dec. 1940, p. 110, where he acknowledged his source as The Magic Wand, without mentioning Wicks.

Darwin Ortiz, in Cardshark, 1995, p. 93, identifies the first instance of this plot applied to close-up magic as Bruce Elliott's “No Time Lost” in Phoenix, No. 109, July 19 1946, p. 437. The earliest application to a card trick is Ed Marlo's “Time Machine” in Ibidem, No. 7, Sep. 1956, p. 120.