Here he is the original Card Duck invented by Laurie Ireland c. 1936: Otto The Automaton Duck 🙂
I’m so pleased to track this rare find down and particularly one in such good condition and working order! Otto is a big duck – you can see the difference between Warren Hamilton’s Jo-Anne in the final photo. He is quite substantial and weighing in at almost 4lbs, Otto is ready to take care of business for sure.
What amazes me about Otto is that even though he was the first duck created he has more features than many later card ducks. Built very solidly by Ireland Magic he has two modes of picking the cards. One using the more common approach by moving a lever in the base of the duck and the other by attaching a thread that goes off stage and operating Otto hands off and separate from the performer resting alone on a table. (In the photos you can see the ring that is attached to the string, this doesn’t need to hang out if desired and can be tied off inside the body if you want to hide it completely, but I found it useful where it was.)
I like the beak mechanism too – it looks more like a real beak and operates very realistically. Also because of the way the neck is balanced it is easy to make Otto nod his head which is used quite effectively in the original patter story below (by Jimmy Trimble, Terre Haute, Indiana).
When I ordered Otto I was not sure what to expect but I was very pleased when he arrived and I took him through his paces. He looks perfectly at home with all of the other ducks that came after him:
Otto The Automaton Duck – One Duck to Rule Them All 🙂
Effect: I am often asked if I do card tricks and I always Answer, “No, but I have a DUCK WHO DOES” (Exhibit Otto). He is a very SMART DUCK, in fact, he is almost as smart as I am, but don’t spread it around, I might want to sell him. The duck’s name is Otto. (Remove red box,hold up for inspection). This is Otto’s feed box. I feed him three times a day and once in the morning. He eats lemons. That’s where he gets that SOUR PUSS. Otto is an accomplished magician. And like all magicians, he ‘s flat on his back (indicate flat back with hand).
In order to demonstrate Otto’s remarkable ability, I will have a number of cards selected from this pack. Please write your name or make some distinguishing mark on the cards. Ladies may write their telephone numbers. (Have at least 3 cards selected and marked, controlling them by your favorite method.) Place deck in box after good false shuffle and cut. Pick up Otto with finger on trigger and shielded with other hand) “Otto, can you tell one card from the other?” (Otto nods yes) “Which is the other?” (Otto’s head this time remains perfectly still and after sufficient pause) “See I told you he was a smart duck! He sees all, knows all, and says nothing.”
(Ask the person whose card is on top the name of the card they drew.) “Otto, take a look in the box and see if you can see the ladies card” (He slowly lowers head and then raises it again.) Do you see it Otto? (Nods head). Now, pluck it right out. (Duck’s head goes down quickly and comes up with card in beak. Have spectator remove card). “You will find your name written on it, which proves the absence of trickery, except possibly myself. But I wouldn’t fool you for the word – not in the condition it’s in! (Do same with second card). Truly remarkable. Otto is not such a bad egg, at that. Even though he’s a little fresh.
Otto is a very clever mind reader. His uncanny ability sometimes causes considerable embarrassment. Just tonight when I was introduced to Dr. Joe Doaks Otto looked him over and says “Quack Quack”. (Duck his head twice as you say it. To spectator say:) “Don’t tell Otto the name of the card you selected. Just picture it in your mind.” (Look the spectator over suspiciously and then whisper in Otto’s ear. Otto nods knowingly, repeat this business. Go into a huddle,so to speak. Work this business up good, then finally have Otto look in the box. Ask him if he sees the card, have him pick it out. Quickly verify it. Hand to spectator to keep as a souvenir, with Otto’s compliments.) “Otto will now pause for applause. That’s right, Otto, take a bow” (Otto nods serenely to right and left.)
(Incorporated in the above are ideas and suggestions from Gustafson, Dorny, Ireland, Magill and others. )
(To make Otto look into his box or nod “yes”, just lift the trip lever with the finger without any force. The head responds at once to the finger action. The same action is used for looking into the box, replying “yes”, and bowing to his audience. This is a real laugh.)
(Notice: Includes: Printed Instructions.)( Post Source: martinsmagic.com - click for details )