The Props of Ernest Montego in the Museum of Juggling History

Ernest Montego (1936 – 2016) was the first juggler I ever saw after learning to juggle and has been my favorite juggler ever since. I eventually got to meet him and later got to know him and his wonderful wife Lorena over Facebook and Skype. Unfortunately, Ernest passed away in 2016.

Ernest Montego and David Cain

Lorena and Ernest

Ernest and Lorena were early supporters of the Museum of Juggling History and generously sent me the following props.

This was Ernest Montego’s first head pedestal. You can see him using it in the following photos and videos.

The following ring was used for Ernest Montego’s famous finale trick, which is often cited as the most incredible juggling trick of all time. The ring was toss juggled in the Brunn Finish on the unicycle.

You can see it used in the following photo and the video that follows it.

The next ring was also used in Montego’s finale trick, spun on his leg.

You can see it in the video below.

The following vinyl spinning ball was also used by Ernest Montego in his finale trick, seen above, balanced on the head pedestal.

The next prop is a wonderful cork club that can be seen in the following photos.

The last prop originally sent to me by Lorena and Ernest was this wooden hexagonal club.

You can see Montego use it in the video below.

Later, the museum acquired a few more Ernest Montego props when we purchased Paul Bachman’s collection. Let’s take a look at these.

You can see this pedestal used in the following video.

This baton was used by Montego like a club. You can see him using these batons in the above video and similar batons in the following photo.

The mouth stick below was also used by Ernest Montego and was part of Paul Bachman’s collection.

Ernest’s wife Lorena recently sent the museum another box of props. Let’s examine these new props in detail.

Below you can see the balls that Ernest used to teach himself to juggle at age 8 or 9. These are the only “first props” of any legendary juggler represented in the museum and I’m highly honored to have them on display.

Next is one of the clubs that Ernest learned to juggle clubs with at the age of 12.

You can see these Ernest using this club in the following photo.

Ernest Montego at age 12

Next, we have a set of three clubs that were used early by Ernest when he was 17 years old. They are made using what is known as the skeleton club design.

Below is another skeleton club used by Montego. You can see it in the following photos.

The next new prop is another cork club similar to the earlier one that Ernest and Lorena sent, just with a different decoration.

Next are three more batons similar to the earlier one.

Below is a great old head pedestal used by Ernest Montego.

The four wooden and metal clubs shown below can be seen in the photo and video that follow it.

Below is one of the ball-end clubs that Ernest used for juggling five clubs at the age of 19.

Next is a pedestal that Montego used that was balanced between a mouth stick and a ball. You can see video of it being used below as well.

Finally, we have Ernest’s favorite mouth stick, which he worked long to perfect and used for a very long time. You can see him use it in many of the videos in this article.

The  Museum of Juggling History now has more Ernest Montego props on display than any other juggler. I’m so happy to honor him in the collection. The museum now has two shelves of Montego props and has some duplicate props in the traveling exhibit as well. If you would like to learn more about the incredible life and career of Ernest Montego, click here to read the obituary I wrote for him in 2016. Thanks again to his widow Lorena Kuhn for sending the new props and for her continued support of the Museum of Juggling History.

To close out the article, here is a video of Ernest from one of his appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show that hasn’t been online before.

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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