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Charles Jordan

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Charles Jordan

(From The Bat No. 9)
BornCharles Thorton Jordan
October 01, 1888
Berkeley, California
DiedApril 24, 1944 (age 55)
Petaluma, California
Resting placeCypress Hill Cemetery, Petaluma
CategoriesBooks by Charles Jordan

Charles Jordan (October 1, 1888 - April 24, 1944) is most known for a card sleight published Thirty Card Mysteries (1919), which became known as the Jordan Count.


Jordan met Bob Madison (mayor of Santa Rosa, California) in 1908 who gave him his first lessons in sleight of hand at the age of 19. Later, Jordan began to work out his own and soon began publishing and selling the tricks and pamphlets which made him famous. Family members said he was inventing an average of ten tricks per week.

Jordan moved to Penngrove, California where he worked as a chicken farmer for many years. He also designed and built large radios.[1]

In 1919 he published a book on card magic entitled Thirty Card Mysteries. In it he described a new sleight which became known as the Jordan Count, a method of false counting of four cards for secretly altered their order.

In 1920 he published 5 booklets with over 50 card effects of his own invention. He continued publishing until 1923 when he lost his interest in magic and turned his studies to radio and soon began to manufacture sets.

During the 1920s and 30s, he was a champion of puzzle contests, often published in newspapers, winning cash prizes. Jordon, with coworkers, entered and won contests making tens of thoughs of dollars yearly.

Charles Jordan never performed in public and his fame was based mainly on his publications. In 1935 he was contacted by Theodore Annemann who wanted to publish a collection of his work. However, the series was abandoned shortly after. Lloyd Jones also tried to contact Jordan to express his desire to publish Jordan's works in book form, but Jordan passed away before he could find him.[2]

Jordan died in Petaluma, California after many years of illness. Interment was in Cypress Hill Cemetery in Petaluma on April 26th.

Many of Jordan’s effects were later collected and published by Karl Fulves as Charles Jordan's Best Card Tricks.


  • Charles T. Jordan Collected Tricks by Karl Fulves (1975)
  • Charles Jordan's Best Card Tricks by Karl Fulves (1992)


  1. Magical Mathmatics by Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham (2012)
  2. Jordan Search Leads to Grave, Bat no. 9, 1944, Jordan Memorial Issue, page 45.
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