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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Miracle Coin Board (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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sethb
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I'm curious about the history of a trick known as the "Miracle Board" or the "Jap Board."

This is a small, square, cross-hatched board that can be used to vanish or produce coins. Supposedly it originated in Japan and has been used for years as a pitch item.

Although I've seen my share of Svengali, Money Machine and Ball Vase pitches, I've never seen or heard of this item. However, I think David Copperfield said this was the first magic trick he ever bought -- from a pitchman in Macy's toy department.

Can anyone provide more information on the history of this effect? SETH
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Curtis Kam
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Seth, there are guys who are masters at pitching this item. I saw someone do the pitch a long time ago, at a convention. Apparently the organizers had the foresight to hire the pitchman to perform in his natural habitat, just outside the door to the main hall.

It's astounding what can be done, and how well it plays. I wish I had more info on this, myself. It seems not to be a popular with the manufacturers of plastic props. For some reason, I've only seen them in wood.
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sethb
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Curtis, thanks for the info, it's a start.

I just did a Google search for "Miracle Board," and found that apparently, the trick was originally produced about 40-50 years ago with a red-and-black checkerboard pattern. I also learned that a fellow named Dave Haversat has produced a video on the handling for the board. Additionally, a number of close-up pads and tables are being offered with "Miracle Board" gaffs. Interesting how a good basic idea can be transferred to other props and other uses (assuming that the Miracle Board came first).

BTW, I remember watching a Svengali Deck pitch as a teenager. The guy was really good, and the effect on the audience was almost hypnotic (no pun intended). The pitchman was also very graceful, and was doing all sorts of card flourishes before and during his routine. People, including me, were basically throwing money at the guy to buy a deck. I thought it was the greatest magic trick I'd ever seen -- until he started to pitch the S.S. Adams' Money Machine. A machine that printed real money, imagine that!! <g>

Just goes to show that the trick doesn't make the magician; it's the magician that makes the trick.
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Rick11
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I think I saw the same pitchman perform both the Miracle Coin Board and the Svengali Deck at the old Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Ma (It now called the Big E). It was approx. 40-50 years ago. He also performed Glorpy the ghost. Every year I would find him performing in the Better Living building and would spend every cent I had. I would go home with my new purchase and become frustrated that I couldn't perform like he did. He was a real pro!

Rick
Bill Palmer
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David Haversat was once the owner of Adams magic.

I belive that the Miracle Board goes back to the 1920's or 1930's. It may be in some of the old catalogs. I'll check it when I get home.
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tstark
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The pitchman you are probably thinking of and the one who sold David Copperfield his first board is Dan Tsukalas. Dan was responsible for more sales of this than anyone in history most likely. He is also the one who taught David Haversat. Dan was the "Macy's Magician" and ran the magic counter at that store for many years. He was most known for the board because of its unique nature but he was a very capable pitchman of all the other standard pitch items like the Svengali and Ball and Tube.

The first mention I have ever found was in Thayer and as Bill said most likely the 20s-30s. In that model there was a small wood cap that the coin vanished from under. The cap is what made the trick sure fire, a fact that becomes immediately apparent if you have ever owned one. It is the method of the vanish which made the cap necessary. Without the cap it takes some practice and Dan was testimony to the fact that it could be performed without such a cap.

When Dan pitched the item he did not use a cap and the coin just came and went. He would pass his hand over it, use a handkerchief, cause it to appear under a shot glass, and etc. There are many people that have fond remembrances of Dan pitching the item. Dan sold them at the counter but also attended many conventions, always with plenty of boards in hand. Most magicians who purchased the item relegated it to the drawer with so many other magic items, not because it was worthless but because they could not hope to ever make it sing like Dan did. I have never heard of one of them that ever regretted the purchase.

The board was about 4 inches square and I happen to have one of the ones Dan sold. You had to be very careful when you bought these as the quality varied significantly from board to board. Dan spent a lot of time separating the boards he pitched into firsts, seconds, and garbage. Japan and India provided most if not all of the boards and I have some of the ones that were made in Japan. As I recall these were the ones Dan preferred but it became more difficult to provide decent ones as the quality deteriorated significantly over the years.

You would use quarters or smaller with all of the boards I have seen. Based on the method and manufacture the boards did not accommodate half dollars. The ones from Japan did have a checkerboard pattern but the one I have that Dan pitched was not a checked pattern and was a better quality. There was a video that David Haversat had made some years ago but I personally have not witnessed the board performed by a "master" and it is with regret that I realize I may never see it performed in capable hands.
Romanos
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Hi !!! Does anyone knows if there is any available video of the board online?? I would love to watch this effect!
Stevethomas
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I have 2 different styles of this if anyone can use them.

Steve
Flyswatter
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Does anyone know where I would be able to purchase one of these?
Dick Oslund
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I vaguely remember the "board" when I would help out behind the counter at the (now defunct) ED MAR MAGIC SHOP in Norfolk. VA. (in the early '50s). I haven't seen one in 50 years!
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Flyswatter
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Quote:
On Jan 1, 2015, Dick Oslund wrote:
I vaguely remember the "board" when I would help out behind the counter at the (now defunct) ED MAR MAGIC SHOP in Norfolk. VA. (in the early '50s). I haven't seen one in 50 years!


That is quite unfortunate...I would love to acquire one of these...
Merlin
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Here is an image of the one I have:

Guess I have to figure how to add an image first!!
Merlin
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Test, well I got it attached but not the way I wanted.

Click here to view attached image.
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On Jan 13, 2015, Merlin wrote:
Test, well I got it attached but not the way I wanted.


Mine is very similar in appearance and is stamped JAPAN on the side. The instructions are different than yours but are from the same dealer/pitchman. The board seems to work well. I bought it recently to add to my collection.
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Prof_Fether
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Quote:
On Jan 13, 2015, Merlin wrote:
Test, well I got it attached but not the way I wanted.

The second time is a charm. Thanks for the image. It looks familiar but I'm not sure if I owned it.
alondon
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Does anyone know where I can get the instructions for the Miracle Coin board.
I found one in my magic closet. Does anyone know what one is worth if I want to sell it?
Thanks
Bill Hegbli
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Dayton Magic has a version available here: https://www.daytonamagic.com/panel-board......07c.html

Show Biz magic has a checkered designed one listed here: http://www.showbizmagic.net/magic2.html#halloweenvent
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EVILDAN
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Boards don't seem to cost that much. I've seen them range from $3.00 to about $15.00. The $3.00 boards were the best, because they had the best movement. The others were either too thick or too thick and too stiff to do the moves. The only downside to the $3.00 board was that they don't take a quarter. They're wide enough, but the slot isn't deep enough.

I just put out a book called "The Coin Board Book." It's 40 pages of moves, routines, ideas for routines, etc. If you ever had a coin board and didn't know what to do with it, this will show you and like me. it may become your favorite close up prop. PM me for details.
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SpellbinderEntertainment
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When I was a kid I played with, then dismissed, an effect called “The Coin Penetration Board.” Well— now as an adult it’s going back in my repertoire! All thanks to my buddy EvilDan. If you’d like to add a close-up piece that no one else is doing this could be it. Look at Copperfield’s demo link to see what it can do.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqanfNI-iuU&hc_location=ufi

I’ve read his new book cover-to-cover and it’s a detailed, comprehensive, and creative treatise called “The Coin Board Book.” His 40 page book brings this “$3 kid trick” to the level of a little minor miracle. Not only does it cover every possible nuance and detail of any brand of panels, it inspires the reader to reimagine the effect, and originate new ways to use an old prop.

If you’d like to hear more here’s Dan’s FB page— And info. to order the book:
https://www.facebook.com/psychicsideshow
Terelmes Publishing’s “The Coin Board Book”
$20.00 plus $4.00 postage. Paypal to EVILDAN@PRODIGY.NET.
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Leslie Melville
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Quote:
On Apr 14, 2015, EVILDAN wrote:
Boards don't seem to cost that much. I've seen them range from $3.00 to about $15.00. The $3.00 boards were the best, because they had the best movement. The others were either too thick or too thick and too stiff to do the moves. The only downside to the $3.00 board was that they don't take a quarter. They're wide enough, but the slot isn't deep enough.

I just put out a book called "The Coin Board Book." It's 40 pages of moves, routines, ideas for routines, etc. If you ever had a coin board and didn't know what to do with it, this will show you and like me. it may become your favorite close up prop. PM me for details.


Hi Dan, can you make it two (2) for me in November? Adrian wants one!

Thanks
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