May 2, 1842
Troy, New York
|Died||November 5, 1889 (age 47) |
Robert Nickle (1842-1889), born John Newbanks in Troy, New York, began his career as a magician after purchasing Jim De Barr's show and went on to become one of the most successful magicians of his day. De Barr also provided him the name "Nickle" because he had said he "wasn't worth a dime".
He often told people that his real name was "Charles Robert Nicholls" and attributed his start in magic to Alexander Herrmann.
Nickle was known for performing and popularizing the Breakaway Fan.
Walter Edwin Floyd, was first associated with magic when he began working as an assistant to Nickle at the age of 18.
He died at a relatively young age, collapsing after a show at the Globe Theater in Washington, D.C., from a combination of heart failure, tuberculosis and alcoholism. He was picked up unconscious in the streets of Washington and carried to a hospital where he died. Nickle was later buried in a potter's field somewhere near Washington.
His death certificate was printed in the Conjurers Monthly Magazine.
- Looking Backward by Henry Hatton in Sphinx, Vol. 05, page 66 (1906)
- Robert Nickle Centennial by John Mulholland, Sphinx, Vol 41, (1942), page 123.
- Magic: A Pictorial History of Conjurers in the Theater By David Price, (1985)
- Notes about Robert Nickel, Conjurers Monthly Magazine, Vol. 01, No. 03. (September 15, 1906) page 91.