Salon de Magie

The Story Behind



Dr. Jak's beloved Book of Mysteries began its trip through various magic owners, including friends of Jaks, a couple of attorneys, and a magic manufacturer. At last, in 1987, Robert L Bluemle had the beautiful book in his hands. Inside the leader-bound book were two trays of compartments that held the various magic props. He commissioned a jewelry photographer to shoot close up shots of the book’s exotic and artistic items in bright color, and he became even more caught up in the life of Siegbert Stanley Jaks.

     A short time later he contacted Leo Behnke in Los Angeles, and they began to put together the life of Dr. Jaks. Bob would write the biography, and Leo collected the tricks and rewrote them so they were all in a matching style.

     For over two years they gathered material, not only biographical facts but photos of Jaks and his friends in Europe and America, all the variations of his tricks, and most of the cartoons and artwork that Jaks used in his magazine articles, advertising, and correspondence.

     During this time, Bob also put together a lecture about Jaks and his fabulous book of miracles that was illustrated by slides of the props. This was presented to various magic clubs, and was also a feature of the November, 1988, issue of M.U.M., the magazine for the Society of American Magicians.

     Through the following years Bob maintained his interest in Jaks by continuing to collect photos and information, but the press of work and a divorce made his time much more valuable. He finally moved to Vermont in 2001 to be closer to his two daughters, and started to enjoy a retired life.

     On 8 May, 2014, Robert Bluemle passed away at the age of 80, and it looked as though the book about Jaks was doomed to vanish forever. Ken Klosterman heard about the finished but unpublished manuscript, and contacted Leo about publishing it in the memory of Bluemle. Leo agreed, and after 28 years the book was put into final shape for printing and distributing.

Ken Klosterman