The Alpha Troupe and Gregory Troupe – Hoop Rolling Jugglers

Many hoop rolling troupes were established in the late 1800s and early 1900s after William Everhart (click here to read about him) invented the genre. Two successful – but mostly forgotten – troupes from the United States were the Alpha Troupe and the Gregory Troupe. They were active at the same time. While not a huge amount of information still …

Paul Conchas – German Strongman Juggler

The art form of heavyweight juggling didn’t reach its heyday until Paul Conchas began his career in 1895. Conchas, a German who was born Paul Huett around 1875, was a master performer and promoter. He was known as “the Military Hercules,” wearing an elite Prussian Household Guard uniform, complete with eagle-crowned helmet. For much of his career, he was assisted by …

Why You Should Come To The IJA Festival In Fort Wayne

I, David Cain, wear many different hats in the juggling world. I’m a full-time performing juggler. I’m a juggling historian and writer. I’m the curator of the Museum of Juggling History. And now, I’ve taken on the position as the Director of the 2019 IJA Festival, which takes place June 24-30, 2019 in Fort Wayne, Indiana (USA). Like any festival …

Videos From The Vault – Lou Folds

Lou Folds (also referred to often as Lew Folds) was born Louis Foldes in 1905 in Hungary, where his father was the mayor of a small town. His family immigrated to the United States when Lou was an infant. Juggling was Lou’s third career, as he first worked as a professional boxer and then as a professional dancer before taking …

Harry Barrett – The Inventor of Boomerang Hat Juggling

The art of juggling with boomerang hats, also known as flying hats, has been popular for over a hundred years. One of the best boomerang hat jugglers is Argentinian superstar Paul Ponce. You can see his work with them below. The art of juggling straw hats by throwing them out over the audience was invented by American juggler Harry “Pop” …

The Swinging Knock Away Routine

A forgotten routine that was once somewhat common in a juggler’s repertoire is what I like to call the swinging knock away routine. In this series of tricks, the juggler places a cigarette in a volunteer’s mouth and has the volunteer hold small lighted candles in his hands and on his head. The juggler then swings a long string with …

Two Novel Methods of Teaching A Three Ball Cascade

When teaching very young children to juggle, most jugglers choose to use scarves to try to slow down the juggling pattern. This addresses the biggest challenge that young children face in learning a three ball cascade, which is the problem of hand speed. However, the use of scarves has one very giant drawback. There is very little carry over of …

Old Malabar – The Donkey Balancing Juggler

Old Malabar (Photo courtesy of Lukas Reichenbach) The juggler known as Old Malabar was born Patrick Feeney in Sligo, Ireland  on February 20, 1800. He was the son of a poor farmer. A weak student in school, he longed to travel to see the world beyond the farm. His brothers gave him thirty shillings to start his journey and Patrick …

IJA 1983 Photo Album / Scrapbook

At the 2016 IJA Festival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a scrapbook was donated to the Museum of Juggling History by Duane and Mary Pickering of Milwaukee, Wisconson. This scrapbook features photos that the couple took and literature from the 1983 IJA Convention held in Purchase, New York (USA). You can see these photos and literature below. Thanks to the Pickerings …