Until quite recently I have not considered this method to be worth the trouble because 1 have always thought the window envelope technique achieves much the same result by easier means. However, having now at our disposal new types of carbon paper, we can, if we choose, iron out the original weakness and make the technique of practical use.
The old method was quite simple. A white card sealed in an envelope and inside the envelope, stuck on the inner surface was a sheet of carbon paper. By using a Swami Gimmick (or sharp fingernail) one wrote on the outside of the envelope making a carbon impression on the card inside. The Swami was the Stylus type or one which had a ball tip in place of the usual lead. Nothing clearly visible was to be seen on the outside of the envelope. Although you achieved writing on the inside of an envelope, you were still faced with the problem that the carbon was inside with the card. Ways to overcome this have been thought up ; the carbon was wrapped in a sheet which was removed by the performer who handed the card found inside the sheet to a spectator and so on. The best effect or better still, the best results technically speaking, were obtained from this method when Air Mail THIN envelopes were used in conjunction with BLACK carbon that gave a near resemblance to black ball-pen ink or heavy pencil.
Today we have on the market a variety of Carbon Paper called 44 NCR." or in full, 41 No Carbon Required " paper. Sometimes this is called 44 white carbon It is a chemically treated paper supplied in two white sheets which we shall call 44 A " and 44 B Both papers look like normal typing paper, but when 44 A " is placed on 44 B " and anything written on the top sheet—a blue impression is formed on 44 B " underneath. The colour of the impression can be matched with blue artists pencils. The paper is quite sensitive, does not require heavy pressure, and its only fault is that with age it decolourises at the edges and turns a faint blue. This takes a long time. The process is entirely chemical, the writing forms visibly immediately the impression is made and no developers are required or anything .like it.
To utilise 44 NCR." you must make an envelope out of 44 A " and inside the envelope have a slip of 44 B " which is to bear the prediction. Be sure you get the order of 44 A " and 44 B " right, or you will have writing back to front appear on the inside of the envelope and not the right way round on the inner paper. 44 N.C.R." is obtainable from most magical dealers and is supplied in pads. The advantage and improvement of this technique is that the sealed envelope can be given to any spectator who opens it and takes out the inner sheet and you have no worries about carbon paper stuck inside. If you must use a sealed envelope method, this is probably best— but if you have any option I recommend the easier and foolproof way— the window envelope.
(d) The Ink Writer
To my knowledge, no satisfactory Swami Gimmick that writes in ink has, as yet, been developed. I have seen two types available and cannot honestly recommend either. The first is a version of the Overnail Writer v\hich holds a very short ball pen and reserve ink tube. To my mind the appliance is cumbersome and is not satisfactory. The second a Thumb Tip writer which also had a ball pen tip inserted. I am told a version of this writing in real ink has been made but I have yet to see it. The tip method of the two, was best because you could put a new refill in and it was steady and less visible—but for all that it did not warrant the trouble. In my opinion it makes very little difference whether the prediction is written in pencil, ink or, for that matter—blood. The Swami Gimmick as it is, offers you e\erything you require without the necessity of so called 4 improvements' *hich flatter the ingenuity but not the effect.
(e) Preparation of the Prediction
It is a good policy to have a full message on the card bearing the prediction. You could content yourself with just the number or word—but a " lead up " is a subtle form of misdirection. People are obliged to think that you couldn't possibly write 44 all that " in a few seconds . . . and true too ! The best place to insert the fact (that is the number) in the prediction —is in the middle. You could have it at the end or at the beginning, but the middle is best. Then you have words before and after the fact. The lead up should be brief—six to ten words is quite adequate and the words should be piaced so that the spot where you insert the fact is placed in the exact position convenient for writing with the swami. The spot should also line up with the window if you have an envelope in use. For a straightforward 44 think of a number " effect, the prediction can be, for example, 4k YOU
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