Name and Origin for a Trick

Sep 7, 2022
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Can anyone help me locate the original name, creator and source for the trick called 'The Invisible Cards' on Gerry Griffins Complete Card Magic DVD set? Or tell me if it is actually Gerry's original creation?

Thank you. :)
 

JoshL8

Elite Member
Aug 5, 2017
363
372
WA state USA
Pretty sure it’s not his trick but maybe his presentation.…I’m having trouble sourcing it off the top of my head. Maybe a description of the effect would help since not everyone will have seen Gerry’s take.
The basic handling is; card selected and returned to the deck. A number is named and that many cards dealt…but the card is not found! Magic moment happens and then the cards are dealt down to the chosen number and card is now there.
 
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RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,686
4,014
New Jersey
The basic handling is; card selected and returned to the deck. A number is named and that many cards dealt…but the card is not found! Magic moment happens and then the cards are dealt down to the chosen number and card is now there.

Hmmm. Need more go on than that. Feel free to PM me the details and I can see what I can find.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,686
4,014
New Jersey
So the principle used is old... very old...

I was first able to find it in 1876 in Professor Hoffman's Modern Magic as the second method for an effect called "A Card Having Been Drawn and Returned, and the Pack Shuffled, to Make it Appear at Such Number as the Company Choose" (you have to love Hoffman's descriptive titles) at page 73. Hoffman has a nice touch where the magician does the first deal to show the card really isn't at that number. Since Hoffman's book is a compilation of methods, I suspect the method is much older than that. Hoffman uses a pass for control and then a palm before the deck is handed to a spectator to shuffle.

The method is also used in the second trick in Encyclopedia of Card Tricks which was published in 1937. The effect is titled "The Magic Breath" where the spectator selects a card and it is returned to the deck and found by dealing. The spectator blows on the dealt to card and then the magician uses the excuse of the spectator's breath not being magical enough to justify the second deal. Not the best presentation.

The method also is used in trick #26 in Scarne on Card Tricks which was published 1950. Scarne's handling is that he demonstrates how to deal into a pile and uses a glimpse in that process to identify a card. He writes down the name of the glimpsed card on a piece of paper and the spectator does the deals with Scarne asking him the number he dealt the second time so he can "concentrate on that number."

Although the main method is the same as the above effects and some prior versions have similar elements of Gerry's handling, Gerry's presentation sounds original.

Out of all the methods and presentations (including Gerry's), I like Hoffman's the best (well, I don't like using the pass as a control... but than that). I really like the first deal being done to show that the card isn't there.
 
Sep 1, 2007
422
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38
Calgary
www.hermitmagic.com
Note that for many of the routines already mentioned, one can change the presentation in order to spell to the name of the card, not just count to a random, arbitrary number. The magician takes the deck and names any random card, and spells it out, one card per letter off the top of the deck, and ends on an indifferent card. The deck is then handed to the spectator, who is asked to spell to their own card (which is "unknown" to the magician). They do, and the last card used to spell their card is turned over, and it is their card!
 
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