Mike Rogers – All Magicians Do It

Columnist:
Mike Rogers
by Mike Rogers

Will magic stand for another signed card to impossible location? If so, read on. About forty years ago the late Ace Gorham introduced me to the Lippincott Coin Box. Ace was among the pioneers of magic on TV and he used the box frequently in different ways. For those unfamiliar, it is a small wooden chest about half the size of a pack of cigarettes, and locked with a small padlock. It is a nifty looking little prop, and when in the locked condition there is no way an item can be placed in , or removed from, the box. The construction is such that when locked it will withstand intense examination and handling. Yet through it all it is gaffed in such a way that a marked coin, bill, or ring can be found inside the locked box.

So much for the commercial message. The fact is, it is simply another device allowing for a marked object to be discovered in an impossible location. Yet being made in wood, if it has been well constructed, it lends itself to exotic old world patter lines. It is small enough to fit comfortably in a jacket pocket and it can be loaded instantly without fumbling. Once loaded the thing is foolproof.

It is a dealer item and can be obtained from Stevens Magic Emporium. It’s one of those things that comes and goes in cycles, so if you are interested I’d suggest you act without much delay.

Back in the 60s I published a handling for the Lippincott Coin Box in my MUM column. Later I published an improved version in The Complete Mike Rogers, page 148. The original Bobo coin book makes no mention of the prop, yet the revised Magic Inc. version of the same book has three routines on pages 349, 429, and 430. What follows is an unpublished routine from my notebook dated 1974. There is nothing really new or different here as it is just my handling of a signed card to the Lippincott Coin Box. I have been told that the late Rick Johnsson had a similar thing using a bill tube.

Effect: A miniature card is signed and torn in half. One half is made to vanish and reappear in the locked box. (The cards used are either the Miniature Bicycle Cards or the brand called Playtime Cards. These cards are about half the size of a normal deck and commonly used in magic for a shrinking card routine.)

The business: If seated have a Lippincott Coin Box in your lap, locked and set to receive the item. If standing have the box in your right jacket pocket. Also tear any miniature “x” card in half. Throw away one half and retain the other. Fold this torn piece in half and crimp the corner allowing you to immediately identify it later. Place this “x” half any place where you can secretly retrieve it in your left hand.

Introduce the small deck of cards. Have a card selected and allow spectator to sign it clear across the card. In other words you want the name to run across the center of the card so the signature will appear on each half when the card is later torn.

Take card and fold it in half long ways, then tear it in half from side to side. In other words, each folded half card will contain part of the signature.

Secretly obtain the “x” half card in left hand. Openly display the two torn halves in right hand and toss them to left hand, actually retaining one section hidden in right hand. Toss the two torn halves to the table. Everything looks copasetic; however, because of the crimp in the “x” piece you know which is which.

Remove box from lap/pocket loading torn card as you do. Hand box to a spectator allowing him to do with as he wishes. Don’t instruct him to examine it too much because so far no trick has been done. Just make sure he knows he’s holding a locked wooden box. (Incidentally, if he chooses he can go over the thing with a magnifying glass and he’ll find nothing wrong.)

Using Magician’s Choice force the actual signed half on the spectator. You retain the dummy half. Using magician’s skills vanish your section.

It’s a done deal. Hand the padlock key to the guy with the box and allow him to open it, removing card, and matching it with the other half.

Obviously this doesn’t need to be done using a miniature (half size) deck of cards. However, because of the size and construction of the box it lends itself to the small deck. The late Walt Rollins had many ideas for the miniature cards and he would have enjoyed this routine.