Alex Elmsley

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Alex Elmsley
Born(1929-03-02)2 March 1929[1]
Died8 January 2006(2006-01-08) (aged 76)[2]
OccupationMagician, Computer Programmer

Alex Elmsley (2 March 1929 – 8 January 2006) was a Scottish magician and computer programmer. He was notable for his invention of the Ghost Count or Elmsley Count, creating mathematical card tricks, and for publishing the mathematics of playing card shuffling.[3][4][a]

He began practising magic in 1946, as a teenager. He studied physics and mathematics at Cambridge University; whilst there he was also secretary of the Pentacle Club. He was a patent agent, and later a computer expert, in his day job.[2] Otherwise, he was an amateur card and close-up magician. He was awarded an Academy of Magical Arts Creative Fellowship in 1972.[citation needed]

He created a number of well-known magic tricks, including The Four Card Trick[5] (still available from Magic, Inc.[6]), Between Your Palms,[7] Point Of Departure[8] and Diamond Cut Diamond.[9]

In 1975 he briefly toured the US giving a highly praised lecture known as the "Dazzle Card Act", which consisted of a magic act followed by a detailed discussion of routining.[10] Notes on the lecture were released under the title Cardwork.[11] Elmsley was the subject of The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley (vol. 1 1991, vol. 2 1994).

He named the special count used in The Four Card Trick the ghost count, though it would later become known as the Elmsley Count.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Magic Directory: Alex Elmsley". 2006-04-18. Archived from the original on 2006-04-18. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  2. ^ a b "Article - Alex Elmsley, An appreciation by John Derris". Magicweek.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-25.
  3. ^ Stewart, Ian (2006). How to Cut a Cake: And other mathematical conundrums (Paperback). OUP Oxford. p. 114.
  4. ^ Morris, S. Brent (1998). Magic Tricks, Card Shuffling and Dynamic Computer Memories. The Mathematical Association of America. pp. 12–69.
  5. ^ Minch, Stephen (1991). The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley, Volume 1. L & L Publishing. p. 21.
  6. ^ "The Four Card Trick By Alex Elmsley".
  7. ^ "Abracadabra". Vol. 13 no. 335. June 28, 1952.
  8. ^ Warlock, Peter (1953). Come a Little Closer. Penshaw Press.
  9. ^ "Genii". Vol. 19 no. 3. November 1954. p. 85.
  10. ^ Minch, Stephen (1994). The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley, Volume 2. L & L Publishing. p. 425.
  11. ^ Minch, Stephen (1994). The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley, Volume 2. L & L Publishing. p. 492.
  12. ^ Minch, Stephen (1991). The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley, Volume 1. L & L Publishing. p. 21.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Both Stewart and Morris refer to Elmsley's articles published in The Mathematics of the Weave Shuffle (Faro Shuffle) in The Pentagram, Vol. 11, No. 9-10-11 from June, July, August 1957.

External links[edit]