Juggler's Bulletin

P.O. Box 711, Tulsa 1, Oklahoma

Number 41, February 1948




Multi-box juggling is accomplished with an odd number of boxes -- 7 or 9 are most commonly used unless a more spectacular appearance is desired in which case 11 or 13 may be used.

Start with boxes in a row on edge on floor. Push center box forward slightly and with pressure toward center against the end boxes pick the entire stack up, holding them in front of body. Fig. 1. The hands and boxes with them should be turned so the length of the boxes lies in a vertical plane. Now right hand pivots its four boxes (on pivot point A, Fig. 1) by moving downward. When box B rests on box C, the remaining boxes D, F, H are slid downward until box D can be slid against face of box E etc. until all the boxes are nested as in Fig. 2.

Turn this whole assembly in a clockwise direction until all boxes except the one held by left hand will balance on top of right hand's box. Left hand removes its box and places it on end under the stack at the balance point as in Fig. 3. The whole stack can then be balanced on chin.

Remove from chin and return boxes to position shown in Fig. 2. Now by exerting pressure in a clockwise direction with left hand and counter clockwise direction with right hand the boxes will assume an arched formation as in Fig. 4.

Close up arch to resume position in Fig. 2, then separate the boxes. Jiggle and slide them to even them up, with 4 in left hand and 3 in right hand as in Fig. 5.

Bring two stacks together with a resounding smack to position shown in Fig. 6.

Set on table as shown in Fig. 7.

Pick off table one at a time with right hand and smack them hard and fast into left to form a horizontal row in front of body. A downward motion with left hand and boxes is made each time right hand goes to table to pick up another box to slap on stack. Fig. 8.

In the "clip-off" or "chop-off" move the last box is used to knock down the end boxes successively until all boxes are knocked to the floor. Fig. 9.

Pick up scattered boxes, slapping them in a stack on floor. Comedy gag of pretending to wham one or two boxes on fingers can be used here.

Set stack on table as in Fig. 7.

Pick up all but one box with left hand, still stacked up. Pick up last box with right hand and place under stack and hold as in Fig. 10 with right hand. Draw back bottom box rapidly and strike bottom box of stack, knocking it to floor. Stack again rests on box held by right hand. Move is repeated until all the boxes are knocked away and then toss last box on floor with rest.

Harrigan and other old time jugglers used a lighted kerosene lamp on top of stack and caught lamp on box held in right hand for finish, Fig. 11 and 12. Lamp is then tossed off last box into left hand and last box is tossed on floor. Before tossing lamp to left hand it can be tossed from edge of box to side, back to edge etc.

A variation of moves 10, 11, 12 is to use a paddle. Stack is rocked almost to overturning point. Paddle is quickly shoved under stack and stack balanced (Fig. 13, 14) Carry off on balance or use paddle to clip off boxes one at a time until lamp is balanced on paddle.

Juggling with Wooden Bricks. -- Using a couple of dozen or more of the smaller variety. Stacks bricks on corner of table and shuffles them off table with right hand, one at a time, into left hand, to form a horizontal row in front of body as seen at "A" in Fig. 5, with brick in right hand knocks off bricks from end of row one at a time, "B".

Makes a perpendicular stack of bricks on table, carries away, balances, and concludes by knocking off bricks, one at a time, from bottom, "C."

Makes a double stack of bricks, "D," on corner of table, carries away, and opens out at bottom, as indicated by the dotted lines, into the form shown at "E," then returns blocks to original position "D."

Places a board on table, apparently to make perfectly level, makes stack of bricks on board as seen at "F," tilts stack, as indicated, with butt end of closed fan, and when stack is at angle shown by dotted lines introduces fan under bottom brick and carries away stack balanced on fan.

Makes stack of bricks as shown at "G," tilts with fan, and carries away balanced as before.

Increases the height of stack from five to eight horizontal bricks, and places glass of water on top, as at "H," tilts with fan and carries away balanced on fan as before. Balances the lot on thumb of left hand, opening fan with right band, puts fan in belt, drops all the bricks, and catches glass of water in right hand.

The extra figures in the sketch are from my own general note book and may speak for themselves.

N.B. -- The exact size of the blocks is of little or no importance, so long as they are all of the same size and weight. The smaller size, that mentioned above, are best made solid in light tough wood; larger size blocks are best made hollow to keep down the weight. The latitude in respect to size and weight is proved by the fact that one often sees performers using cigar boxes with the lids glued down.

British Juggling Prodigy Shows Some Tricks

First British performer to appear on the Broadway stage since the end of the war is a 16-year-old juggling prodigy, Peter Elliott, with an amazing display of sure-handed dexterity. Known professionally as "Woodrow," he specializes in a routine using three cigar boxes, which he manipulates at high speed in a variety of flashing patterns. In the pictures on this page the high-speed camera stops the motion of the boxes in the air.

Crossing and uncrossing his arms, Elliott keeps one of the boxes in the air. He was taught by his father, a professional juggler, and made his first appearance on the English stage at the age of 14. This is his first visit to the U. S.

The youthful juggler holds two boxes and twirls the center one end on end in seeming defiance of the law of gravity. A native of London, he was evacuated during the blitz. While in the country he practiced from one to three hours a day and surprised his father by his skill when the latter visited him. After that, a stage appearance became inevitable.

Here the trick is to keep the boxes rotating while flipping them over a raised leg. This is the most difficult part of Elliott's routine.

In this maneuver, the juggler flings one box high, then sweeps one arm under it and continues to rotate the boxes from hand to hand. He makes an occasional miss.

A "stairway" alignment is caught by the camera while Elliott is holding only one of the boxes. The boy surprises many a seasoned performer.



I agree with Lind, Lorette and Carey that there's nothing wrong with juggling - provided we class juggling along with a dumb kind of an act like the hillbillies present ! But if we are to rightfully call juggling an art and a profession, that's a different matter. We have only to compare juggling with other acts and professions to see what's wrong with juggling. Let's take a dance act. Here we find that there is a definite name for every step . But not so in juggling. Even in the simple juggle with 3 balls it is called the cascade, crossing, mixing, the shuffle, or what have you. There is no standard nomenclature for jug tricks. Art Jennings was going to start something along this line and I hope he does.

Magic is another act we can learn a lot from as it is far advanced over juggling, especially in having adequate references, not only as to tricks, but the equally important adjuncts to an act such as lighting, music, various phases of publicity, wardrobe, booking and so on. I recommend John Booth's "Forging Ahead in Magic". This covers the above subjects as well as others not found in the juggling books. Booth's book is cloth bound, 134 pages and sells for 3 bux. Rog has some on hand, I think.

Several years ago I met a young jug who was very adept. He was working on 5 clubs. He tried several times to enter the pro ranks with discouraging results. Last I heard he was holding down a job in a factory. Reason: All he knew was juggling tricks which in only half of it and in his case was not enough for him to make a decent living at juggling. Instead of devoting all his time to practice he should have included some STUDYING.

Which brings us around to comparing juggling with one of the leading professions, medicine. The great strides ahead made by the sawbones is due to a great extent to the fact that they do not go in for trade secrets. Once a Doc learns a new wrinkle he sits right down and writes it up for one of the trade journals. In this way all physicians benefit from the newest ideas. But not so in juggling. Some would keep the tricks of the trade a dark secret.

If juggling does not advance and keep in stride with the changing conditions of show business it will become obsolete. Not long ago a well-known jug played a prominent spot in N.Y. He got an unmerciful panning in a review in one of the trade papers, saying his act smacked of the 20's with corny gags and old stuff with clubs and balls. So there you are. Time marches on and so does show business. But what about juggling? Something to think about !


There have been quite a number of clever women jugglers, some of them coming close to the proficiency shown by the leading male exponents of the art.

Selma Braatz was clever with hat, cane and gloves; 5 and 6 ball juggling; 3 pool cues, tossing them and catching one from juggle to a balance on chin. She finished her act with color-changing torches, throwing them continuously around back.

Lucy Gillette, balanced a large spinning tub on the end of a long pole balanced on her foot while laying on the stage. She knocked the pole away, catching the tub on her feet and keeping it spinning. She also juggled six plates while balancing a long bird perch on her chin and a flower pot on her forehead.

Sylvia Loyal did 30 to 40 continuous throws around the back with straw hats in time to music.

Mary Blank was an outstanding object juggler, as were also Olive Palmer, Elly. Mlle. Olive, Marion Drew, and Florrie Rhodesia (billed as the Female Cinquevalli)

Anita Bartling was extremely clever, her best trick being the bouncing of seven balls on a drum in time to music.

Trixie you can see today, juggling six plates while bouncing a ball on her head, and doing her fine stick and ball routine.

Then there were many clever man and woman teams, each person doing their half of the act. After more than a decade as a novelty single act, I was teamed for a long time with my wife Christine, billed as Lorette and Morton. Christine did the spin around with four clubs, three continuous around back, and continuous fast shoulders and slap-overs while we were passing clubs. She was also a good object juggler and tap dancer. Rose Sheldon (of Throwing Tabors and later Baggett and Sheldon) excelled at solo club juggling, passing, and formation work.

Mabel Fonda (of Dell and Fonda, and also the Fonda Troupe) was very clever along these same lines.

Birdie Brady of Campbell and Brady, was also a competent performer.

Jessie Millar, a solo cornetist in vaudeville, became a good club juggler in the act of Alburtis and Miller.

Nina and Nora were a two woman club act, as were also the two Veronas, who did a prettily staged act with clubs.

Several troupes of well trained femininity were: The Four Clovelly Girls, Fitzgeraids juggling Girls, The Juggling Jewels, Six Roma Juggling Girls and many others, so you see, with practice and perseverance a woman can be a prominent juggler too. Again "Au Revoir" to I.J.A. members and all readers of the Bulletn.

STUFF & THINGS by RUSSELL TORELLO (The Juggling Jeweler)

Los Angeles, Calif. I have been scratching my beezer for something intelligent to write for this column when along comes Doug with his question, "What's wrong with juggling?" In the next few minutes I am going to give voice to a few pregnant ideas. First of all, I want you pro jugglers to know that I speak as an amateur, and one who has a lot to learn about the art. Before proceeding I want to say that I have received a lot of inspiration and a few darn good ideas from this sheet that I have put to work to advantage. I can't help agreeing with Larry Weeks in his statement regarding tricks of the trade not being made public property, at least until they were disgarded by the originator. I do feel, however, that there are enough tricks that could be published without hurting any of the pros. Most everything I am doing in my routine has been stolen, or for want of a softer word, copied. I may have a few moves that I think are original, but are they? Every time I see a juggler doing something I want, I try to imitate. Of course I realize this does not add to the originality of my act. But, so what? How about dancers and singers? Same steps, same songs, but really isn't it the performer's own personality and presentation that makes up the difference? Or am I talking through my hat? I do hope the J. B. will continue to bring out unusual ideas. Some of the old timers are doing a good turn for the juggling art by passing on what they know. Without the perpetuation of this knowledge, juggling would die a natural death. I do so much enjoy Joe Marsh's contributions -- a swell job. Although I may never get to use them, I feel they are great. Realizing that there's a shortage of good jugs, a little competition in this field might be worthwhile. (That's Russ flinging clubs. Send me your S. & T., % Box 711 - Doug)


Among the featured performers of the Firemen's Thrill Circus in Rock Island, Ill., was Eric Philmore, His routine was partially as described on page 42 of the Bulletin, except for the addition of rings. He juggled six, also four while balancing a pole and lamp on his forehead. Since he used no clubs or balls, the act differed from the usual. His wife assisted him, and they both wore beautiful wine costumes.

Here and There: Robbin Robertson of Chicago writes that he is now doing a novelty act, mostly juggling, in addition to hand-balancing. Roy Henderson, young semi-pro attending college in Kansas, met Bobby May and Larry Weeks at Al Barnard's home in Wichita, where they had a swell jug session. Swell 8 x 10's composed of four action pics and a still shot are the latest from this studentrouper. Glen Phillips returned to Sioux Falls, S.D. recently after being in Des Moines for a month starting New Year's. While playing Indianapolis, the Elgins met Art Bassett, another young jug who is playing dates near his home at present. This touring troupe of tossers while in Miami met the Wilfred Mae Trio, who had been overseas with U.S.O. Driving to the trio's home between shows, they had too little time for more than a quick glance at all their souvenirs. Wilfred (his surname is Gregory) is one of four brothers- the only one juggling hoops at present. Two have retired and the other passed away two years ago.

Collector's Corner: "Juggling Tricks" or "New juggling Tricks", a booklet by Stanyon, is wanted by Doug Couden. We have a small snap of Truzzi which we will exchange for a pic of any other jug. If you have any Juggliana to sell or swap or want any items, drop me a line.


Dear Roger. Well pal, I got some bad news. By Golly turned out to be a big heel as he just folded in Ga. with just one weeks notice and stored the show in his barn. My motto now is never trust nobody. We didn't save no dough so when we closed we just had one weeks pay and you know how I eat so I grabs a job in a spot on the highway which serves eats and drinks called the Silver Cow. I just help in the kitchen and Marie is a waitress but I got a swell brake. The cook quit and the Mgr., Mr. Cas. Kade ast if I could cook and I says yes. Well, Roger I got by but some of the customers squawked about stomack akes but I gues it was the corn licker they brang along. One thing we get plenty of eats and it leaked out I was a juggler and CasKade says why not put on a juggling act about 9 and use the juke box for music. Well I done it and put on a clean apron and my high cooks hat and Cas introduced me as Juggling Jug Juggleson the Juggling Chef from Jugglestown and ever body eats it up. Marie Assists in her cute waitress dress which is very short, ha, ha. Cas upped our pay so between the two of us and Maries tips we knock down over a yard per week which is better than the rep show. We park the trailer in back of the Silver Cow and no charge for lights or nothing. After a couple weeks we checked up our dough and found we saved the works as theres nothing to pay out as I can even get all the beer I want which aint bad. I juggle real china plates and got a swell routine with 3 as I walk around right next to the customers and juggle them right over their heads and get a big laugh when I say I aint dropped one of these here heavy china plates on anybodys dome -- since last night, ha, ha. The pay is better than on the carnival where you only get 21.50 - 21 hamburgers and 50 cents, ha, ha. So long, pal.

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