Newly Discovered Film of the First IJA Conventions

1948 IJA Convention

The archives of the Museum of Juggling History contain many hundreds of films, VHS tapes, and DVDs. Many of these have yet to be viewed or digitized due to time and financial constraints. Of all the films that have been viewed, one of the most remarkable is a film that shows at least the first, and probably the first two, IJA Conventions. These were held in Jamestown, NY (USA) in 1948 and 1949. The video of these films, which you can see below, starts with 8 minutes of film of the IJA’s Founder, Art Jennings. Then the focus changes to convention footage. Well-known jugglers such as Bobby May, Charles Career, Mel Ody, Stu Raynolds, Carl Thorsen, Harry Lind, and George Lerch appear in the 53 minute long video. I (David Cain) have provided sparse commentary during the video to point out important jugglers and noteworthy features. Check out this amazing historical find below.

We also have video from the 1950 IJA Convention, which you can see below. It features Betty Gorham and Carl Thorsen.

We also have videos of the 1969 IJA Convention, featuring Albert Lucas, Fudi, Bill Gnadt, and Roger Dollarhide, as well as the 1970 IJA Convention, featuring Albert Lucas, Bill Gnadt, and Jay Green. You can see these two videos below.

Watching these videos reminds us where the IJA came from as the organization continues to expand their mission to serve the juggling community around the world.

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 three books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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