This trick was invented by Turkish magician Nishan Amdounian and Joe Berg in the 1930's. When described in THE BERG BOOK, it is credited to both magicians, but I suspect that Amdounian actually invented it, and Berg may have made some improvements when he began to manufacturer and sell the prop. (Berg's early ad for the trick credits only Amdounian). But over the last 85 years, we have forgotten the name Amdounian, and remembered only Berg in association with this interesting card exchange gimmick.
The effect has been made in regular and Jumbo sizes over the years, by notable manufacturers such as Loyd, Owens, etc. This is a testament to the very strong visible magical effect that it produces. Most have been made in wood and metal. Vintage examples of the trick are highly sought after by collectors.
This one (for sale here) was made in about 2001 by FUN, Inc in Chicago. It is a nice Poker-size version crafted in LEATHER, which gives it a very updated and classy look. For some reason, they renamed it Reflex, and do not credit either Berg or Amdounian. But they did produce a beautiful close-up prop.
The effect is simple to watch (and a bit hard to explain!) -- A card is chosen from the deck -- not forced, and can be signed (lets say the 3 of Hearts) -- and it is shuffled back in the deck. Another card is turned up and shown to be different from the chosen card (let's say it is the Jack of Clubs). The enchanted (Reflex) card slide is now shown -- it is a two-piece contraption, in which the card is placed on a V-section, and the V is then slipped into a sheath-like case. The King of Clubs is turned facedown and put into slide. The whole thing is turned over so the King can be seen in the case, and then instantly, as the V-section is pushed completely into the sheath, the King instantly changes into the selected 3 of Hearts. The change can be seen through a window (hole) in the sheath. The card is removed and it is the signed selection.
The instructions supplied include a few different ways to use the prop. In The Berg Book, there is a cool routine described where a ribbon is also threaded through the wrong card when it is in the slide, and still it changes to the signed selection, with ribbon still running through it. (That is not explained in the Fun, Inc instructions, but if you don't have the Berg Book, you will probably be able to work it out if you think about it, once familiar with the prop)
The Berg Book mentions routines for this prop in Tarbell and also in Greater Magic (though I don't recall these, so now I have to go re-read both to find them... only 3000 pages to look through!)
No longer available from FUN, Inc, and very hard to find. I came across a few in an box of "new-old" dealer inventory. So you can get one here!
Brand new and unused. (And to be clear, since I mentioned other versions of this trick in my description, this sale is for the FUN, Inc Leather version of this trick.)
Back to previous page