Piff Paff Poof

The grandfather of safety pin tricks, going back to 1935. This is a quick, simple trick you can do anytime you find yourself within reach of a couple safety pins.

This tutorial video was created for a series of Sunday Magic Lessons posted in the SME Talk Magic group on Facebook. I shared this lesson on March 29, 2020.


Piff Paff Poof was originally published as an instruction sheet, as seen in this magazine ad from the time. There are two curious things about this ad.

First, the illustration is wrong! It shows the bars of the pins oriented in the incorrect way. I suspect this was intentional so that magicians would try to imitate the trick and it would not work, forcing them to have to buy the instruction sheet for the real secret.

Secondly, the ad says it is a trick from Jean Gorden. The actual person who created this trick was Gene Gordon, well known as the co-founder of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, magic shop owner, and inventor of many tricks including what we now call The Invisible Deck.

Table of Contents for Safety Pin Tricks

  • Safety Pin Tricks A collection of lessons for new and old magical ideas with safety pins.
  • Phantom Pin Opener Two new ideas for a quick opening sequence for the Phantom Pin trick found in Tarbell.
  • Piff Paff Poof The grandfather of all safety pin tricks. Two linked pins are instantly pulled apart without opening.
  • Durham's Pin Thru Hank Pull a safety pin through the fibers of a cotton handkerchief, closely related to the more well known Phantom Pin.

Published: March 29, 2020

Access: Public


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