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Val Evans’
STOP Card Trick Revisited
by Jim Gerrish

The original Stop Card Trick was used and described in 1868 by Robert-Houdin. It was a pet effect of Frederick Bancroft (by 1897) and Nate Leipzig (by 1909). These were accomplished by sleight of hand, or gaffed cards, but involved no physical apparatus beyond that. I can’t find who first came up with a prop solution, but Val Evans was a contender in that contest, as was Jack Hughes who created “Attaboy” in 1939. But while Attaboy makes use of two secretly connected card houlettes, Val Evans makes do with only one cleverly constructed houlette and a length of ribbon.

Val Evans (1896-1981), invented his version of the Stop Card Trick in the 1940's. Unlike Attaboy, it was not designed for kid shows, but for adults and serious mentalism. Since it is no longer available, I have made a "kitchen workshop (no power tools)" version which can be presented on stage, or up close, even tablehopping. As a bonus, I include a cardboard version which can be made from a card box and a pair of scissors - my Oracle Box from 1989.

You'll need a sheet of 1/8th inch thick 6" by 16" Basswood and some 1/4 inch thick 2" by 18" wood, plus a 12" length of 3/4 inch square molding.

Regular playing cards are needed to perform.

Kitchen tools - razor knife, metal yard or meter stick, sandpaper. A hand drill for use with a 2 inch hole saw is nice, but optional.

Wood glue and masking tape.

WJ29-06

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