by Martin Breese and Designed by Eric Mason.
Printed by Martin Breese
and bound by Wm. St Clair Wilson Limited.
Published in 1983
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 lybrary.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.
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.
donít 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.
story of Robert Harbinís 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!
can purchase the original Harbin Magicassette --