|Born||Norman DeBlois Houghton|
February 3, 1909
|Died||March 4, 1998 (age 89) |
Norman Houghton (February 3, 1909 - March 4, 1998) is best known as the created of the card sleight now known as the Flushtration Count.
His father was a pharmacist and part-time photographer. They eventually settled in Toronto. Norm joined the Canadian Army during World War II, where he spent most of his time in Italy.
Houghton became interested in magic after seeing a magician perform in a side show at a local fair when he was just twelve.
His first published effort, "Twenty-First Century Silks" (as Lorne DeBlois), was featured on the cover of the December 1936 issue of The Sphinx. Over the next 6 decades, he contributed many close-up effects to The Jinx, Ibidem, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Sphinx, Genii and The Linking Ring.
In the 1960s you could also find his effects published under his real name (i.e., as "Norman Houghton") in Abracadabra.
Among his notable creations is a sleight now known as the Flushtration Count (or the Back Count), a method for showing that all the cards in a small packet are identical when in fact they can all be different. It was popularized by Brother John Hamman in his trick, Flushtration, marketed by Abbott's Magic in 1969, and as such is commonly attributed to him, but Houghton published the count nearly 15 years before in Ibidem No. 1, June 1955
Eventually, he became a regular at the Saturday Round Table in Toronto, which met in the basement cafeteria of the old King Edward Hotel. A group of close-up enthusiasts that included Derek Dingle, Elizabeth Warlock, Tom Ransom, Reg Holden, Mike O’Dowd and David Drake.