Early IJA Conventions – A Pictorial Collection

Much has been written about the founding of the IJA, especially in Juggler’s World magazines that celebrated the organization’s 40th and 50th anniversaries. I don’t wish to repeat those articles, but instead I want to share 26 photos from the first 15 years of the IJA’s existence that I recently received as part of photo collections donated to the Historical Juggling Props Museum by Bill Dietrich and the family of Ira Mullin. Much thanks to Scott Cain for his work in arranging for the donations of these collections. Many of these pictures were taken by Lane Blumenthal, the IJA’s official photographer at the time. This ezine has limits to the size of photos that can be uploaded, so I would highly recommend clicking on each photo to see it at a higher resolution. Also be sure to watch the video of the newsreel coverage of the 1950 Convention. It’s interesting to note that a good number of those pictured in these photos are still alive, and at least two still attend IJA Festivals. These include Betty Gorham Willer, Bill Dietrich, Bobby Jule, Tommy Curtin, Roger Dollarhide, Roger Montandon, Stu Raynolds, Art Jennings, Jr., and Hovey Burgess.

1947 – Pittsburgh, PA (Founding Meeting)


IJA Founders – (Top l-r) Bernie Joyce, Jack Greene, Harry Lind, Art Jennings, George Barvinchak. (Bottom l-r) Bill Dunham, Roger Montandon, Eddie Johnson.

1948 – Jamestown, NY

IJA1948 (1280x828)

1950 – Elkhart, IN

IJA1950 (1280x721)IJA1950Names (1280x641)

IJA1950ActionShot (1280x755)

IJA1950BusinessMeeting (1280x785)

IJA1950LouMeyerVinCarey (1280x880)

Lou Meyer and Vin Carey

IJA1950RaynoldsLind (882x1280)

Stu Raynolds and Harry Lind

DietrichTalent2 (767x1280)

Bill Dietrich and Bill Talent

1956 – Norwalk, OH

IJA1956 (1104x1280)

1957 – Chataqua, NY

IJA1957 (1087x1280)

1958 – Ashtabula, OH

IJA1958-3 (1030x1280)

IJA1958-2 (1280x876)

1959 – Wickford, RI

IJA1959 (860x1280)

IJA1959-2 (1280x832)

1960 – Madison, WI

IJA1960 (875x1280)

IJA1960-2 (1280x857)

1961 – Bristol, TN

IJA1961-2 (1280x1002)

IJA1961 (1031x1280)

1962 – Erie, PA

IJA1962 (1117x1280)

1963 – Wickford, RI

IJA1963 (1280x913)

Undated Photos

IJAUnknownYear (1280x709)

IJAactionshot3 (1280x1005)

IJAactionshot2 (1280x810)

IJAactionshot (1280x775)

Early IJA Convention Ribbons

DSCF1952 (963x1280)

DSCF1954 (1280x876)


David Cain is a professional juggler, juggling historian, and the owner of the world's only juggling museum, the Museum of Juggling History. He is a Guinness world record holder and 16 time IJA gold medalist. In addition to his juggling pursuits, David is a successful composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer as well as the author of twenty-six books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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