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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » T Nelson Downs. How many coins could he palm? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Inner circle
Spokane, WA
2514 Posts

Profile of critter
I have heard it said that he could palm 60 coins. I don't think that's even possible. Even the custom thinned coins he used would make almost a 4" stack if 60 were piled on top of each other. I don't even want to think about how large such a stack of halves would be.
Is there any evidence of this, or was it all publicity?
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers

"This I offer in explanation of how it was that I found myself in my undergarments as I sat in my cell attempting to plot my escape."
~Professor Phineas Valeyard, Miskatonic University Dept.of Psychodynamic Natural History.

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Veteran user
Hobart, Indiana
369 Posts

Profile of MagicalArtist
There's a good discussion on this in Bobo.
It has been stated that Downs never used the moves illustrated in Figures 5 to 11. I am unable to find any record of his using them other than his book. However, I have vivid recollections of Downs' amazing skill. I have seen him execute a series of sleights with coins that was little short of miraculous, doing things one would not believe possible, and doing them so effortlessly-with even less effort than the average magical enthusiast expends to palm a single coin! Therefore I'm almost willing to believe that Downs could execute this series of "hide the coin" moves and make them look like a smoothly executed set of movements, in which the hand was shown both sides, and the fingers opened and closed and wriggled freely to prove their innocence.

See the section in Bobo on The Miser's Dream for more discussion of Downs.
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