It has occurred to me in the writing of the foregoing pages, that perhaps many of my readers will experience a certain amount of difficulty in obtaining the necessary properties, or "props" (for short) as the goods suitable for Juggling practice and performances are called. We find in the profession that the home-made article seldom gives real satisfaction; and goods bought at shops, where they profess to understand the manufacture and use of such articles, are of little (if any) more utility. Juggling "goods" to give perfect satisfaction should be made by one who thoroughly understands their use, and who is acquainted with the particular tricks for which they are intended. Very many hours of practice may be saved, if properly made "props" are used. I remember what it cost me in my early days, both in pocket and in time wasted at practice, through not knowing where to get such articles as every would-be Juggler must possess. I was continually visiting wood-turners, tinsmiths, etc., and buying "props" from people who obviously didn't know the difference between a Conjuror and a Juggler. It was not until I became personally acquainted with a "real live professional Juggler" that my troubles were to some extent at an end. This Juggling friend of mine "put me wise," as our American cousins would say, to innumerable little wrinkles as to how to make, and get made, certain articles that I had never dreamt of. I certainly should never have found out in the ordinary course of events, and I might have gone on practising in the old way for a lifetime; for such performers as my friend are rarely met with. It is very seldom one is encountered who will give away the "little secrets" of his business. Although there is much less "faking" than many people think in the manufacture of Juggling "props," there is a great deal in how the "props" are made to lessen the risk of failure. This even applies to such ordinary things as the plates and balls used in the most familiar of all Juggling tricks.
Many will think, no doubt, that it is just as easy to juggle with wooden and rubber balls of different sizes or weights, as it is with any other kind: but let me quickly correct my reader on this point. Hours and hours of practice may be saved by commencing to learn ball-juggling with the right size and weight of ball. The same applies to plates and to every other article that it is possible or likely that the budding Juggler will use. It is with the idea of helping those of my readers who really intend taking up juggling either as a hobby or with a more serious view in mind, that I have decided to save them the trouble and worry that I had to go through (the same no doubt that many of our best known Jugglers also experienced) by suggesting to the publishers of this little work to arrange the manufacture of a few of the most needed "props" the amateur is likely to require. This, I am pleased to say, they have agreed to do and I assure my readers that all articles and tricks mentioned in the following small catalogue are made by experts in the manufacture of juggling "props" and are guaranteed to be exactly the same in every detail as those used by many of our finest Jugglers.
I may add that in my present act I use a number of these articles, namely, the juggling candle and candlestick, a spinning basin, the imitation umbrella, a cigar and a set of torches, etc., all of which give me complete satisfaction.
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