The Davenport Collection
- a growing resource on magic and entertainment history

Cards

The “Argus Wonder Cards”

The “Argus Wonder Cards”

This trick was sold by Davenports and other dealers. The advertisement, shown here, is from Davenports Demon Telegraph, Vol.1 No. 12 August/September 1934. The advertisement is headed ‘Ralph W. Hull’s new “Century of Progress” card act’ and gives details of the many tricks which are possible. The advertisement tells us that: ‘Old principles and new principles [are] combined in a routine that simply staggers the imagination’. Thanks are due to David Britland who provided information on this trick.

Metal dies for cutting Spade pips

Metal dies for cutting Spade pips

It is not clear for what trick these dies might have been used in manufacturing. One suggestion by writer David Britland is that they could have been used to cut pips needed for De Land’s Twister Trick. The effect of the trick is that the Ace of Spades and the Ace of Diamonds change places under apparently impossible conditions. Both cards can then be examined. The trick is written up in The Sphinx of October 1913, page 151. It seems that De Land did not claim invention of the trick, merely its perfection!

Pack of Unique Super Fanning Cards

Pack of Unique Super Fanning Cards

Magic dealer Harry Stanley put these cards on the market with a back design that produced many colourful effects when the pack was fanned. The cards were manufactured by Alf Cooke Ltd., Leeds, England.

Card back designs popular with magicians who fan packs of cards

Card back designs popular with magicians who fan packs of cards

Magicians usually fan a pack of cards so that the indices on the cards are all visible, so proving to the audience that the cards are all different. Some magicians go beyond this and feature the different patterns possible by fanning the pack in different directions. These card back designs were popular because the coloured pattern created was different for each of the four ways in which the backs of the pack could be fanned. The Universal Playing Card Co. Ltd. produced both of these back designs in red and green.

DeLand’s Automatic Dollar Deck

DeLand’s Automatic Dollar Deck

Amazing card tricks are possible when the performer is experienced in using DeLand’s Automatic Playing Cards. The collection has one pack with a yellow wrapper, and one without. According to the card case, the packs of cards were made in America exclusively by S.S. Adams Co, Asbury Park, N.J. The pack has been on the market for decades. Richard Kaufman, an expert on DeLand, says that DeLand’s Dollar Deck had that name from the time it first appeared on the market in May 1914 until the end of 1918. When S.S. Adams first put it out in early 1919, they did so with the title, Automatic Playing Cards, and it was under that title that it has been sold until sometime in 2009, when Magic Makers bought S.S. Adams and changed the title to DeLand’s 100 Dollar Deck.

52 to 1 Deck by Wayne Fox and David Penn

52 to 1 Deck by Wayne Fox and David Penn

This trick has rightly become very popular. The performer spreads a deck of cards to show they are all different. A spectator is asked to look at and remember just one card. The performer then cuts the pack and only then asks the spectator to name their card. The pack has been cut to the thought of card! The trick can be repeated and it is even possible to allow the spectator to cut the pack. They too cut to their chosen card. The pack includes a link to online instructions.

Wizard’s pack of Demon No. 1571 cards

Wizard’s pack of Demon No. 1571 cards

The owner of this pack can perform a wide range of card tricks. In addition to the Davenport Demon featured on the card case, the Joker and Ace of Spades also feature special Davenport designs. Complete with Davenport instructions.

Regular pack of Demon No. 1571 cards

Regular pack of Demon No. 1571 cards

In addition to the Davenport Demon featured on the card case, the Joker and Ace of Spades also feature special Davenport designs. These packs were imported from the USA, as can be confirmed by the ‘Imported Playing Card – Duty Paid’ wrappers that are still on some of the packs. The card case differs from that in Item N3266.