(1 customer review)

Genius of Robert Harbin by Eric Lewis

(c. 1997) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Details: Winner of the H. Adrian Smith Literary Award

Are you having trouble finding new stand-up material suitable for stage or platform? Would you like someone to help you out? How about Robert Harbin. Yes, Robert Harbin, creator of the Zig-Zag and stages full of other classic effects. This book might just be the answer to your problems.

The friendship between Robert Harbin and Eric Lewis was a friendship made in heaven. Throughout his long life, Harbin bubbled over with new ideas and Eric had the workshop and the technical skills to build anything his friend might think up. Eric’s own creativity often found its way into these creations as they slowly took shape in his Northampton workshop. For this book, Eric has selected sixty effects that range from mental magic, club and cabaret tricks, escapes, close-up and stage illusions. Some were first published in scarce magazines but most have never appeared in print. Told here is the true story of the creation of Harbin’s legendary Zig-Zag Girl illusion. Because of Eric’s close association with these routines, besides writing and illustrating them, he was able to include many important construction details and presentational points.

Eric wanted this to be more than just a book of tricks so he has woven throughout the text a very personalized biography of his dear friend. To assist in this, The American Museum of Magic kindly lent Eric Harbin’s original scrapbooks from which we were able to reproduce numerous rare photographs that trace Harbin’s career from his early days as Ned Williams in South Africa to his unprecedented fame in England and around the world. Complementing Eric’s text is a Publisher’s Note by Mike Caveney, a Foreword by Robert Lund, an Introduction by John Fisher and a final chapter by Alan Shaxon.


11 Publisher’s Note (Mike Caveney}
15 Foreword (Robert Lund}
19 Introduction (John Fisher}
29 Preface (Eric Lewis)
35 Notes Concerning Dates on Tricks

37 Part One: Ned Williams
39 Chapter 1 Little Neddy Grows Up
49 Chapter 2 Some South African Magic
51 – Card Materialization
53 – Card Through Matchbox
55 – A Strange Matchbox
58 – Glass Suspension & Levitation
63 – Will O’ the Wisp
69 – Drinka Pinta
71 – The Transparent Man
74 – Ned’s Spring Flowers
75 – Balloon to Flowers
76 – The Powder Puff
77 – Chocolates to Flowers
81 Chapter 3 Ned Invades Great Britain
87 Chapter 4 Ned The Professional
97 Chapter 5 More Magic of Ned Williams
97 – Psychic Vision
100 – “I’ll Do It Again” Tissue Paper Tear
103 – Ned Williams’ New Sun and Moon
106 – Color-Changing Wand
108 – Color-Changing Ribbon
111 – Four-Ace Supreme
114 – Silko Table Top
116 – Uses for the Silk Vanishing Wand
117 – Color Changing Silk

119 Part Two Robert Harbin
121 Chapter 6 From Maskelyne’s to Muskets
133 Chapter 7 Pre-War Robert Harbin Magic
133 – Vanishing Dress
136 – Poached Eggs
140 – Vanishing Walking Stick
141 – One From Six Card Miracle
143 – Bill in Lemon
146 – Polychromatic Liquids
148 – Mechanical Walking Through a Rope
153 – The Eric Lewis Version
154 – Gloves – and a Table
161 – Hammatap
164 – Sherlock’s Last Case
166 – Knifed
171 – Magik Musik
174 – Vanishing Radio
179 – Ribbon Folder
181 – Folding Nest of Boxes
183 – Vase and Flowers Production
190 -Super Newspaper Reading
193 Battle Dress and After
205 Some Battle Dress Magic
205 – Mental Masterpiece
207 – Interpenetration
212 – Symsilk
216 – Vanishing & Appearing Table Lamp
221 – Pack-Away Tables and Other Things
225 “Hey Presto,” “Oz” and the Visible Sawing
233 – The Visible Sawing
227 1949-57: A Period of Change
249 More Harbin Magic
249 – The Moving Finger Writes
252 – Simplicity Prediction
255 – Dippy Magnet
257 – Ad Infinitum
259 – Rosebush of Oz
263 Chapter 13 Bermuda and After
271 Chapter 14 The Invisible Man and the Zig-Zag Girl
271 – The Invisible Man
273 – The Zig-Zag
279 – The Walking Zig-Zag
283 Chapter 15 Some Early Illusion and Escapes
283 – Padlocked Pyramid
287 – Phenomena
290 – Haunted Cheese
295 – Harbin’s Wrist Restraint
299 – The Squeeze
302 – Strapped Escape
306 – Assistant’s Revenge
313 Chapter 16 The Final Mysteries
313 – Knives of Opah
315 – Blades of Opah
326 – Non-Mechanical Walking Through a Rope
328 – Tippling Match
330 – The Two-way Prediction
331 – The Four-way Prediction
333 – Harbin-‘s Final Trick
337 Chapter 17 The Last Decade by Alan Shaxon
347 Harbin in Print
358 Acknowledgments

  • Publisher: Mike Caveney’s Magic Words
  • Pages: 358
  • Location: Pasadena, CA, USA
  • Dimensions: 8″x10″
  • Date: 1997
  • Binding: hardbound

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Approx. Price: $45.00 (2000) ***

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1 review for Genius of Robert Harbin by Eric Lewis

  1. Andy Martin

    Robert Harbin was a Genius!

    This is a great book for all of us who can’t afford Harbin’s original. Gives a real useful insight into one of the few great minds in the magic industry. Highly recommended!

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