Genius of Robert Harbin
Lewis, Eric C.
The Reilly & Lee Co. (1997)
In Collection
Magic tricks
Hardcover 0-915-18130-8
Lewis, Eric: The Genius of Robert Harbin
A Personal Biography
©1997 Mike Caveney's Magic Words, CA
Hardcover, w/dustjacket, 358 pages

Comments: Illustrated by Eric Lewis. Edited by Mike Caveney. Includes detailed explanations for sixty-six Harbin effects including a number of previously un-published illusions.


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


Lavishly illustrated with 150 photographs, programs, and advertisements.
Hardbound with full color dust jacket.

One of magic’s finest books on one of the magic geniuses of our time, Robert Harbin. The book is divided into two parts. Part one is on Ned Williams (Harbin’s real name) covering his upbringing in South Africa, his arrival in Great Britain plus his magical creations under that name. Part two covers Robert Harbin, the name with which we are most familiar. Here you will learn about his rise to magical fame plus all of his great magical creations. Learn the true history of his Zig Zag, Assistant’s Revenge, and his stage magic with Vanishing lamps, nest of boxes, vanishing radio, walking thru a rope, bill in lemon, packaway tables, mentalism, visible sawing illusion, and on and on. Truly creative genius in this book.

The name Robert Harbin towers over the magic world during the last half of the 20th century. He is known most widely for the Zig-Zag Girl but also created in incredible number of cabaret and close-up effects. Here are 66 of Harbin's most astonishing tricks including a number of previously unpublished illusions. Included is the story of his famous Zig-Zag Girl and the many preliminary ideas that contributed to its creation. You will find mental magic, club and cabaret tricks, escapes and close-up effects. The explanations are enhanced with 180 detailed, line-drawings by Eric Lewis. Integrated throughout the book is a personalized biography of Harbin as seen through the eyes of his close friend and confidant, Eric Lewis.
Additional material was supplied by Robert and Elaine Lund, John Fisher and Alan Shaxon.
Product Details
No. of Pages 358
Personal Details
Read It No
Location Magic Library (Home) Shelf P
Condition Near Mint
Owner Bryan-Keith Taylor
Links Library of Congress
Robert Harbin
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ned Williams
14 February 1909
Balfour, South Africa

12 January 1978 (aged 68)
Westminster, London, England

Robert Harbin (born Ned Williams 14 February 1909 Balfour, South Africa - 12 January 1978 Westminster, London, England [1]) was a British magician and writer. He is noted as the inventor of a number of classic illusions, including the Zig Zag Girl. He also became an authority on origami.

1 Career
2 Bibliography 2.1 On origami
2.2 On magic
2.3 Other subjects

3 References
4 Further reading
5 External links


The young Ned Williams first got interested in magic after an unknown ex-serviceman appeared at his school with a magic show later described as "rather poor".[2] Williams came to London at the age of 20 and began by working in the magic department of Gamages toy shop.[3] He began performing in music halls under the title "Ned Williams, the Boy Magician from South Africa".[2] By 1932 he was appearing in the Maskelyne's Mysteries magic show in various London theatres.[4] He was the first British illusionist to move from stage performing to television, appearing in the BBC TV show Variety in 1937[5] and in his own show which began in 1940. He developed a number of new tricks, including the Neon Light and the now ubiquitous Zig Zag Girl. His lesser known inventions include the Aztec Lady, The Blades of Opah, and Aunt Matilda's Wardrobe.

Much of his inventive genius was put into written form and he is known as one of the most prodigious authors on the subject of magical effects. However, although Harbin was brilliantly creative in the field of magic he was not a particularly good writer and his friend and associate Eric C Lewis has stated that many of Harbin's titles were ghost written for him.[2]

In about 1952 Harbin appeared in a minor part as a magician in the film The Limping Man, produced by Cy Endfield. In 1953, Harbin and a friend of Endfield, Gershon Legman (1917–1999), discovered a common interest in the Japanese art of paper-folding. Harbin wrote many books on the subject, beginning with Paper Magic (illustrated by the young art student, the Australian Rolf Harris who in the middle of the project, caught the origami idea and contributed several intricate models himself) in 1965, and was the first President of the British Origami Society. He was the first Westerner to use the word origami for this art-form. He also presented a series of origami programmes for ITV in its "Look-In" magazines for children in the 1970s.

His grave is at Golders Green Crematorium in London.


Titles by Robert Harbin

On origami
Paper Magic: The art of paper folding, Oldbourne, 1956, ISBN B0000CJG8R
Paper Folding Fun, Oldbourne, 1960, ISBN B0000CKUYQ
Secrets of Origami, old and new: The Japanese art of paper-folding, Oldbourne, 1963, ISBN B0000CM4YW
Teach Yourself Origami, Hodder, 1968, ISBN 0-340-05972-9
Origami 1: The Art of Paper-Folding, Coronet, 1969, ISBN 0-340-10902-5
More Origami, The art of paper-folding no.2, Hodder, 1971, ISBN 0-340-15384-9
Origami 2: The Art of Paper-Folding, Coronet, 1971, ISBN 0-340-15384-9
Origami 3: The Art of Paper-Folding, Coronet Books/Hodder, 1972, ISBN 0-340-16655-X
Secrets of Origami, Octopus, 1972, ISBN 0-7064-0005-4*Origami: Art of Paper Folding (Teach Yourself), Hodder, 1973, ISBN 0-340-16646-0
Origami Step by Step, Hamlyn, 1974, ISBN 0-600-38109-9
Have Fun with Origami, ITV, 1975, ISBN 0-900727-26-8
Origami: Art of Paper Folding (Illustrated Teach Yourself), Picture Knight, 1975, ISBN 0-340-19381-6
Origami A/H, Hodder Arnold, 1976, ISBN 0-340-27950-8
Origami 4, Robert Harbin, 1977, ISBN 0-340-21822-3
Have Fun with Origami, Severn Ho., 1977, ISBN 0-7278-0225-9
Origami: Art of Paper Folding (Coronet Books), Hodder Headline Australia, 1977, ISBN 0-340-21822-3
New Adventures in Origami, 1982, Harper & Row, ISBN 0-06-463555-4

On magic
Something New in Magic, Davenport, 1929
Psychic Vision, Davenport, 1930
Six Card Creations, Davenport, 1930
Demon Magic, Davenport, 1938
How to Be a Wizard, Oldbourne, 1957, ISBN B0000CJUT3
How to Be a Conjuror, Sphere, 1968, ISBN 0-7221-4322-2
Magic of Robert Harbin, C.W. Mole and Sons, 1970 - This was published with a run of only 500 copies, after which Harbin had the plates destroyed.
Magic (Illustrated Teach yourself), Treasure, 1983, ISBN 0-907812-39-2
Magic (Illustrated Teach Yourself), Knight, 1976, ISBN 0-340-20502-4
The Harbin Book, M. Breese, 1983, ISBN 0-947533-00-1
Harbincadabra, brainwaves and brainstorms of Robert Harbin [i.e. N. Williams]: From the pages of Abracadabra, 1947-1965, R. Harbin

Other subjects
Waddington's Family Card Games, Elm Tree, 1972, ISBN 0-241-02111-1
Waddington's Family Card Games, Pan, 1974, ISBN 0-330-23892-2
Party Lines, Oldbourne, 1963, ISBN B0000CLQIH
Instant Memory: The Way to Success, Corgi, 1968, ISBN 0-552-06091-7

1. GRO Register of Deaths: MAR 1978 15 2717 WESTMINSTER, Robert Harbin, DoB = 14 Feb 1909
2. a b c Smith, Eric C. "Introduction to Genius of Robert Harbin quoted at The Magic Depot". Aaron Smith. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
3. The Times, "Obituaries", 13 Jan 1978, p.16, col.F
4. The Times, "Varieties, &c.", 9 Mar 1932, p.10, col. E
5. The Times, "Broadcasting", 9 Feb 1937, p.9, col. A

Further reading
Eric C. Lewis, The genius of Robert Harbin: A personal biography, Mike Caveney's Magic Words (1997), ISBN 0-915-18130-8