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Emil Jarrow

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Emil Jarrow (c.1875-1959) was a vaudeville magical comedy star.

Emil Jarrow
BornEmil Javorzynski
April 8, 1876
Pleschen Stadt, Prussia
DiedMarch 4, 1959 (age 82)
Islip, New York

Jarrow is known for his rope tricks and as inventor of the Bill in Lemon.[1]

In 1891, as a young man of 15, he began his professional career as a strongman for the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in Germany. He traveled with the show when it moved to England and then the United States the following year. Later, he began working independently by performing acts of strength in local venues, in Chicago and New York.

A stage accident left a leg permanently damaged, so he reinvented himself as a sleight of hand artist with a flair for humor. With a thick Low Dutch-accented patter, Jarrow became quite adept with closely observed sleight-of-hand tricks. For instance, while seated at a dining table, he would unwind the salt shaker lid and empty it into his fist, and with a flourish, “vanish” the salt only to have it later reappear. The props he used for his illusions were simple, household items, rather than elaborate devices. Friendly with his peers, including Harry Houdini, he had a particularly fond relationship with Harry Blackstone, Sr., who would remain his friend until his death at the posh Percy Williams Home for Retired Actors and Actresses on Long Island.



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  1. The Bill In Lemon Book - Featuring Life and Times of Emil Jarrow by David Charvet (1990).