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Last updated 23/12/2023


The Fold and Switch Effect
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the magical effect that I call the Fold and Switch Effect, which appears to have no established name in magical circles. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

This page includes information about what is effectively the same effect achieved by rolling up a napkin.



The earliest publication of this effect that I know of is in 'The discoverie of witchcraft' by Reginald Scot, Esquire, first published in 1584 in a section which also describes the Buddha Papers effect.


The effect also appears:


In 'Hocus Pocus Junior', which was published in London in 1634.



In 'Neueröffnete Raritäten und Kunst-Kammer' by Simon Witgeest, which was published in Nurnberg in 1702.



In 'Natürliches Zauber-Buch oder neuer Spiel-Platz der Kunste' by Simon Witgeest, which was published in 1707.



In 'The Whole Art of Legerdemain or Hocus Pocus in Perfection' by Henry Dean, which was published in London in 1722.



In 'The Conjuror's Repository', which is undated but thought to have been published c1795.



In 'The Boy's Own Book' by William Clarke, which was was published by Vizetelly, Branston and Company in London in 1828, includes the effect under the name of 'The Counter Changed'.



In the 5th edition of 'Das Buch der Zauberei' by Johann August Donndorff, which was published in Vienna in 1839.



The version of this effect achieved using a rolled-up napkin appears in 'After the Dessert' by Martin Gardner, which was published by Max Holden in New York in 1941.