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Joseph Kolar

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Joseph Kolar
BornJoseph J. Kolar
December 16, 1884
Chicago, Illinois
DiedAugust 21, 1949 (age 64)
Wheaton, Illinois
Resting placeWheaton Cemetery

Joseph J. Kolar (December 16, 1884 - August 21 1949), who's father toured Europe as a magician before he was born, started his preforming in vaudeville doing magic, escapes, juggling and slack wire walking.


His catch phrase was "Give my regards to the Chief of Police!"

After leaving show business he still kept interested in magic, inventing and writing a column in Sphinx called "Chats by Kolar." His best known effects were:

  • "Kolar's Magic Shears Trick" (1927) which was simplified and marketed by William H. Wilson (AKA Will de Sieve) as "Clippo". Ted Huber introduced de Sieve's version at the IBM Convention in Philadelphia in 1937.
  • "Straw and String Trick" effect where a straw with a string passing through it is cut in half but not the string is pulled out unharmed. It was marketed exclusively by Floyd Thayer beginning in 1928. It also appeared in "Home Entertainment For All the Family" by Gyles Brandreth (1977), where it was mis-credited to Harry Kellar. The names Kolar and Kellar are similar and Kellar created a different cut and restored string trick.
  • A padlock mentalism effect later popularized by Annemann as Seven Keys to Baldpate.

Kolar was a long time member of the IBM and worked hard promoting the first Linking Ring magazine.

His daughter Betty Jane also had a career as a professional performer.[1][2][3]


  • KOLAR ACT. Wraps. 7 pp. (1931)
  • Party and Magic Stunts (1936)


  1. Fun with String By Joseph Leeming (1940)
  2. Abbott's Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks For Magicians (Volume 1), page 118 (1941)
  3. Linking Ring, Vol. 66, no. 11, November 1986, page 64.
  • Stewart James in Print: The First Fifty Years (1989), "The Great Kolar And Betty Jane" on page 789
  • The Magic World, Vol. 7, No. 1, Mai 1923, THE GREAT KOLAR, page 9
  • The Sphinx, Vol. XXVI, No. 10, December 1927, KOLAR by Dr. Harlan Tarbell, page 349
  • The Sphinx, Vol. XLVIII, No. 7, September 1949, Obituary Kolar, page 168
  • The Linking Ring, VOL. 29, NO. 8, October 1949, BROKEN WAND JOSEPH J. KOLAR, page 103