Nelson Downs (1867-1938),
the King of Koins, is pictured with his two books, the "Art
of Magic" and "Tricks with Coins", which have become
sleight of hand classics.
created an act consisting entirely of coin manipulation. The conventional
wisdom was that coins would be too small to be seen from a distance,
but Downs' act not only defied conventional wisdom but went on to
become one of the most popular and highly paid acts in vaudeville.
'Miser's Dream' routine he created, in which a seemingly endless
number of coins were plucked into existence at this fingertips,
has been emulated by performers ever since, and remains the standard
classic of coin magic.
century old T. Nelson Downs palming coin is shown below.