Karl Rappo is often considered the first strongman juggler, beginning his performing career around 1825. Many other heavyweight jugglers followed. You can click here to read about Paul Conchas and here to read about Paul Spadoni. These two famed heavyweight jugglers even had a public feud, which you can read about by clicking here. In this article, we will examine two other strongman jugglers, Troba and Captain Henry Smith, mainly through photos of them.
A contemporary of Paul Conchas and Paul Spadoni was the German juggler Troba. While he wasn’t nearly as well known as Conchas or Spadoni, his feats were no less amazing. These included many similar tricks to Conchas, including juggling rifles, which he fired while tossing and catching them.
In the illustration above, Troba is shown balancing a sentry box with a soldier inside on his chin while holding artillery shells in each hand.
A newspaper article from 1904 tells a little about him.
It does not seem that Troba had a long or storied career, but he was active during the middle to later parts of the first decade of the twentieth century. Reviews of his act were quite positive, although one critic called him out for stealing most of his material from Paul Conchas.
Captain Henry Smith
Captian Henry Smith is considered the last of the “old school” heavyweight jugglers. Hailing from Austria, Smith, whose real name was Heinz Marko, performed an amazing act from the 1930s until the early 1950s dressed as a naval Caption. He was known as the “Wonder of Human Strength.”