Merv Taylor (July 29, 1904 - January 5, 1974) was a magic inventor and manufacturer.
Born Merville Andrew Taylor
July 29, 1904
Died January 5, 1974 (age 69)
Garden Grove, California
Awards won 3 national contest in 1948 inlcuding orginality.
Born in Dennison, Illinois, but lived most his life in California, Taylor started out teaching art, metalcraft, electrical shop and mechanical drawing. He also did some work for the government, but in 1940 a magician performing at the school took one of his broken props to Merv to fix, which sparked an interest in magic.
By 1945, Taylor, who found the magic business more fun than teaching, moved to the San Fernando Valley and went into fixing and creating magic props exclusively. With three of his brothers and a few friends, he built a shop with a retail store in 1948. He employed Alan Wakeling for a time and many people wanted his pieces including Richard Himber and Orson Welles.
With Bill Larsen, he help start the Southern California Magic Dealer Association and was its first president, and two years later, was president of the national Magic Dealers Association.
Merv won the IBM national convention award for original trick and won the Fleming Perpetual award (it is currently in the IBM offices in St. Charles) and in need of repair.
He was married to Della Sherwood, who was a magician in her own right.
Manufactured items Split Deck, created by Bob Haskell.
References Genii, Vol. 9, No. 10, June 1945, Cover Page, MERV TAYLOR, page 369
Genii 1952 June (Cover)
M-U-M, Vol. 42, No. 4 September 1952, MERVILLE A. TAYLOR magician-of-the-month by Leslie P. Guest, page 95
Genii 1952 September (Cover)
M-U-M, Vol. 63, No. 10, March 1974, Broken Wands, page 8
M-U-M, Vol. 65, No. 5, October 1975, MERVILLE A. TAYLOR by Frederic L. Rickard, page 9
Genii 1973 October (Obit.)
Magicol No. 74 (February 1985)
Genii, Vol. 50, No. 6, December 1986, Merv Taylor by John U. Zweers, page 448