Newly Discovered Collection of Juggling Props From Gus and Ursula Lauppe

In the past, I’ve written about the famed husband and wife juggling duo of Gus Lauppe and Ursula Hill Lauppe. They were both born in 1922 and were some of the top jugglers of the middle part of the previous century. You can read about them by clicking here.

The Museum of Juggling History has had a few props from Gus and Ursula on display for the last several years, but recently a huge collection of their props were discovered in a shed on the property of the Simpson Animal Park, a small zoo in Brunswick, Maine (USA) that Gus and Ursula owned at the end of their lives.

The props were discovered by Chris Gutscher, who was writing an article about the park. Chris contacted me and put me in contact with the current owner of the park, Michael St. Pierre. After speaking with Michael, it was arranged for me to pay for Michael to ship three large boxes to the museum. The props were moldy and very dirty, but my brother Scott and I spent days cleaning them. Below you can see what arrived.

One of Gus’ mouth sticks

One of Ursula’s head pedestals

Ursula’s practice ball-end clubs

These are wonderful medium-sized balls used by Gus and his son Don.

Don Lauppe with the medium-sized balls

Don Lauppe with the medium-sized balls

Plastic rings from the 1960s

Translucent plastic rings from the 1960s

Gus and Ursula

Cork clubs made by Paul Bachman for Gus and Ursula

Fiberglass clubs made by Claude Crumley

Fiberglass clubs made by Claude Crumley

Fiberglass clubs made by Claude Crumley

Various small balls, including lacrosse balls, filled raquetballs, and Exerballs

Some old sports balls Gus used for spinning

There were also some more modern juggling props, most likely bought by Gus at IJA Conventions in the late 1980s or early 1990s. You can see them below.

An incredible old Dube spinning ball

Other Dube spinning balls

Dube European clubs

Dube Airflite rings

Dube Airflite clubs

In all, there were almost 90 props. Some of these are now on display in the Museum of Juggling History and others have been shared with fellow collectors.

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 15 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-four books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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