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Follow the Leader

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Follow the Leader is a classic plot in card magic where some red cards and some black cards are placed face down in two piles. As the top cards are turned face up and switched, the pile of the face down cards are shown to have followed with them.

According to an article in Ibidem (No. 6, July 1956), Faucett Ross discovered the "Follow The Leader" effect in 1929. While staying at the home of T. Nelson Downs, Ross came across a letter written from amateur German magician Dr. Reinhard Rohnstein to Ottokar Fischer in which the trick was described and credited to a Vienna amateur. Ross showed the trick to Dai Vernon.

Dai Vernon published his handling in 1933 in Five Close-Up Problems (also included in the Early Vernon book in 1962) as "Follow the Leader", the name in which this effect has come to be best known.

Peter Warlock in a lecture entitled The Creation of a Magical Effect given April 24, 1951 then in The New Pentagram (December 1981) states that Martin Chapender, at the turn of the century was making twelve court cards resting against a glass change place with twelve pip cards placed in a similar manner.