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How Does a Magic Wallet Work?

How Does a Magic Wallet Work?
http://www.seenontv.com/prod-pages/magicwallet.html, http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190246202978, http://www.cherrydale.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=27_45&products_id=29055, Additional photos by Diane Todd

The Magic Wallet

The Magic Wallet may seem like a revolutionary wonder, but it has actually been around since the 1920s. This sly invention originated out of necessity by wait staff in France for squirreling away tips and receipts. Since then, an assortment of look-alikes has been made available all over the globe. The wallet's focal maneuver, though quite impressive, is actually a relatively simple concept.

What You See

A "magic" or trick wallet is a simple, rectangular, booklet-style contraption, slightly larger in size than a standard credit card. This wallet has the ability to open from both its right and left sides. Upon opening the wallet from the right side (as if opening a small book), you will see two small vertical straps over the left side and two small straps over the right side, in the shape of an X. This X is your target. You simply fold your paper bill into a fourth of its size, place the bill on the X and close the wallet. Next, flip the wallet over and open it from the left side. As if by "magic," your bill appears on the right side, conveniently locked into place by the two vertical straps.

The Construction

The theory behind the Magic Wallet is quite elementary. The Magic Wallet is actually a three-paneled object which can be constructed of any malleable material. The first panel is made up of a plain rectangular shape. The third panel is also rectangular in shape, and adorned with straps shaped like an X, covering it. The middle panel consists of two vertical straps connecting the first and third panel. The first panel is then folded under the vertical straps. The wallet now appears as a booklet with the strap panel laying across the first panel on the left side and the panel with the X on the right side.

The Trick

Place an object on the X and fold the left side over the right side. When you flip the wallet over and open it from the left side, you are only opening the first panel. The middle panel consisting of the vertical straps now lays across the third panel which houses the X with the object on it. Et voila!

About the Author

Diane Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from North Carolina State University and is a former video and web producer for a North Carolina multimedia agency. She also spent several years as a media specialist/graphics designer for the Cumberland County school system in Fayetteville, N.C.