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As a young man, back in the 1940's, I was taken to St George's Theatre in London to see a magical show entitled Hey Presto. On the bill were Kuda Bux, Jasper Maskelyne and Robert Harbin. I was overwhelmed by the entire show and no wonder as I was being entertained by three magical greats. I was about 11 years old and went up on stage to assist Jasper Maskelyne with the illusion 'Through the Eye of a Needle'. As I walked out of the theatre I was determined that one day I would be a magician.
Little did I know that years later I would have the opportunity to sit down in Robert Harbin's apartment in London to interview him and gather together some of the threads of his life in magic. He told me his story from the very beginning and it was a story of determination, error and sheer genius.
We talked about Zig Zag and he said that only those who purchased his book had the right to manufacture a Zig Zag for their own use and he said that already there were many times more Zig Zags than copies of the book that he had published. He was saddened by the piracy but expressed very little bitterness. "There is little honour among we thieves," he said.
Here is Robert Harbin's life story. A tale of hardship, bitter experiences and how it all lead to his great success.