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The 52 Wonders

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The 52 Wonders
AuthorC. H. Wilson
PublisherAlta California Book and Job Printing House
Publication Date1877

The 52 Wonders - or Cards Manipulated by Science is a very rare 30 page booklet written by C. H. Wilson published in 1877 by the "Alta California Book and Job Printing House" in San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Two copies are known to exist, on is at the Stanford University’s Cecil H. Green Library protected in their rare books section, and the second is in the University of California’s Bancroft Library at Berkeley. The booklet covers card sleights and cheats that are similar to the Erdnasian techniques but published over 25 years earlier than the S. W. Erdnase classic (Expert at the Card Table). The cover describes itself as "A Comprehensive, Scientific, and Practical Treatise on Cards and their peculiarities, and how they may be manipulated and made intelligent. Also, a complete exposé of the most dangerous Short-card and Confidence Games now practiced with the Cards as well as by other devices. Together with a chapter on "Curious Facts in Figures," and other amusing and interesting matters."

A discussion of the book has been written by Tyler Wilson who read the booklet at Stanford and realized what a treasure it was. His notes are "Wilson on Wilson." Those notes are attached to a PDF copy of the original book to capture it for posterity. They were published in "Gibciére, the Journal of The Conjuring Arts Research Center" Volume 10, Number 1 in Winter 2015.[1]


  1. Gibecière is published semi-annually by The Conjuring Arts Research Center; 11 West 30th St., 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Phone: 212-594-1033

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