This begins with a dangerous look at Faustino Chacón, the fireproof man, courtesy of Enrique Jiménez-Martinez. The brush with Mr. Chacón left this issue a little bit singed on the cover, but none the worse for content.
Following this, we continue to heat things up with a revealing article on the World’s Challenge Champion Card Manipulator of the World, Dr. James William Elliott! The article was written by Jan Janson, a card magic historian and friend of Conjuring Arts, who used a heretofore unpublished cache of letters between Dr. Elliott and T. Nelson Downs. These letters were in the collection of Robert Lund and are now in the collection of the nonprofit American Museum of Magic. Jan delves deeply into Elliott’s life, and even reveals a few of his most cherished card secrets. A must read for anyone desiring to go for the title! This is the first collaboration between Conjuring Arts and the American Museum of Magic.
The mathematician Gaspard Monge’s shuffle is next on the docket, featuring a look at how it may be used for magic, and its relation to faro shuffling, by R. Sid Spocane II. This delightful introduction leads you into a translation of Monge’s original article, “Reflections on a Card Trick.” Monge was a newly minted Ph.D. in France, in the late 18th century, when he first presented and published this great paper. The translation was expertly rendered by Maxwell Pritchard.