Information on Bob Haskell

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Glenn Farrington » 08/02/04 12:27 PM

I would love any kind of information anyone can give me on Bob Haskell.

Is he still around? Where does/did he live? Anything on his life or his magic.

Comedy's Easy...Dying Sucks.
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Postby Jerry Harrell » 08/02/04 12:48 PM

Robert "Bob" Haskell was born in 1914. He worked the west coast night clubs, and during World War II he toured with his wife Madelaine. He played the magician's assistant in the film The Mad Magician in 1954. He invented the "Split Deck" and the "X-Salted Shaker" in the 1950's, and he may have invented the Appearing Candle. He wrote the 1962 booklet "The Magic of Haskell" Mr. Haskell passed away in 1972.
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Postby Guest » 08/02/04 06:28 PM

Bob Haskell appeared on at least 2 episodes of "You Asked For It",(which are available on video) one where he does a "carnival game expose'" and I think also a gambling expose'".
I saw him open the PCAM convention(public show) in Oakland with a Bill in Lemon....closing with finding/impaling 3 selected cards on a sword.

Postby Jim Riser » 08/02/04 06:58 PM

I believe the Merv Taylor made Haskell gambling demo set was devised by Bob Haskell. Owen makes them now. Pete Biro might be able to add a little info as he has/had one.

Also, somewhere I have a regular 8mm movie of part of his act in the 1967 "It's Magic" show in LA. I have not looked at it for years; but as I recall, he did a traveling pocket watch effect and something with a bow and arrow. If you are interested in a digital copy, remind me sometime when it is cooler and I'll make you one (if my 8mm projector still runs).
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Postby Pete Biro » 08/03/04 11:08 AM

Last contact was actually with "Kit Haskell" Bob's daughter. She had a batch of Haskell-designed Merv Taylor "hot books" and was trying to sell them.

She lives in N. Calif. but I lost track of her.

Bob did do the Merv Taylor gambling act, and as far as I know, designed it. I still have mine.

He worked in San Francisco for the Pacific Gas and Electric Co., but I don't recall in what department.

Last time I saw him he did the gambling act.

Before that I saw him on an "It's Magic Show," where he had a problem. Since you want to know history, I shall briefly describe that problem.

He was doing the trick where his wife would shoot an arrow through a scattered group of playing cards. Cards that Bob would throw into the air in front of an archery target. She was an expert with bow and arrow.

Anyway, Bob went into the audience and "missed" his Classic Force. He then used the old dodge, "That's your indicator card... push it into the deck to choose your card."

He missed again. And then he missed a third time finally getting the force card on the fourth try.

I was cringing and felt so sorry for him.

Now the irony of this... when he moved the target, his hand went behind it and he switched for a one way deck, so she would actually shoot the arrow into a card and it would be the "chosen" card.

I thought... why didn't he just use a one way force deck in the first place, then there would be no missing, and no need to switch decks????

Oh well... :confused:
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Postby bippityboo » 03/30/11 11:30 PM

Hello I am the youngest daughter of Robert Haskell. My name is Maggie.My father passed away some years ago.My middle daughter found this site I am so honored that my father is remembered.
What would you like to know if I can help I will.

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Postby Pete Biro » 03/31/11 12:02 AM

Hi... I knew your dad, but was not close to him, but I loved his work. Is "Kit" still doing drawings and artwork in San Francisco?
Regards, pete biro
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Postby HenryBrouillon » 08/18/12 08:38 AM

Dear Maggie Haskell
I'm a magician from France. I'm an admirer of your father's work. I recently managed to find a second-hand "Gambling Demonstration Table" that your father devised and that was made by Merv Taylor. Unfortunately the instruction sheet is missing (it contained the whole Gambling Lecture that Bob was giving with the table). Is there anyplace in the family archive where you could find these instructions for me, or do you know a magician who owns one of the tables and could send me a copy ?
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Postby Chas Nigh » 01/17/15 06:36 PM

I knew Bob back in the sixties when I was a young guy. We would see each other at Tom's Shop. I saw his lecture at the Drake and although I thought the material was a little weak he was able to entertain everyone with the sheer force of his personality. Bob was a pro through and through and was very creative.
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