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Harbin Book Zauberbuch

Harbin Book

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Harbin Book   Edited by Martin Breese and Designed by Eric Mason.  Printed by... mehr

Harbin Book


Edited by Martin Breese and Designed by Eric Mason. 
Printed by Martin Breese
and bound by Wm. St Clair Wilson Limited. 
Published in 1983


Back in the 1970s I had the chance to record Robert Harbin on one of my early Magicassette releases.  The Harbin Magicassette probably rates as the most popular of my recordings and is now not available from me but from library.com as a digital download.


In 1983 I asked the late Owen Griffith to transcribe the words from the Harbin Magicassette and he was kind enough to produce the text for me.


The late and great Eric Mason created the illustrations for The Harbin Book that I eventually produced.  One day at a business trade fair I saw a full scale photo litho printing machine being demonstrated and decided to leap in to the deep end and bought the demonstration machine and had it transported by a lorry and about eight strong guys to the Magic Lounge in Richmond Way.


I am proud to say that the very first time the machine was switched on I decided to print The Robert Harbin Book myself.  I had metal plates made from flat artwork supplied by Eric Mason and when the pages had been printed they were sent off to Scotland to a binder who produced a very nice hardback volume for me.


I don’t even recall advertising this book but I do know that I thought that every single copy was sold and good reviews were received. I have always thought of reprinting the book but like many other things in my business it was just a task that was put to one side.


Following the move of my stock from Sheffield to Brighton a box without a label was found and lo and behold inside it were a twenty four copies of this book and still in a mint condition.  They had been in the box and had lain undiscovered for 26 years!


The words are by Robert Harbin and the design and graphics and page layout are by my great friend Eric Mason who passed away a long time ago.  Many people who had Harbin collections were kind enough to allow us to use a number of Harbin photographs and items of ephemera and Eric did a wonderful job of putting the book together.  Zee and Chris Woodward were most helpful and lent us a lot of material such as original photographs and programmes and many other items relevant to Robert Harbin.  


The story of Robert Harbin’s life and times is absolutely fascinating.  He was on the bill of the very first magic show that I ever saw and it was held at the Westminster Theatre probably in 1946.  Also on the bill were Jasper Maskelyne and Kuda Bux and young Martin Breese in his grey short trousers went up on stage to assist Jasper Maskelyn with a brilliant illusion called Through the Eye of a Needle.  What an inspiration for a young man and no wonder that I developed a life-long passion for magic as a result of that wonderful show.


Robert Harbin was a true gentleman of magic.  He was a kind and gentle man and little did he know that he had inspired a young man who would one day make a recording with him and then turn that recording into a rather nice book as well.


Only a few copies left and if they are sold out I might get around sometime in the next 20 years to reprinting the book!  Buy now or we will let you know in 20 years when copies are available!

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