Juggling: The Books

Circus News

Juggling: The Books

The history of instructional juggling books in English is, from my perspective, also the story of the rise of hobbyist juggling since the 1940s. In the 1940s, there wasn’t much of a juggling community in America. Professional jugglers found themselves in the company of magicians at conferences like the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) and reading publications like IBM’s monthly issue of The Linking Ring. What juggling books there were, be it Rupert Ingalese’s Juggling, or How to Become a Juggler (1924) or Will Goldston’s Juggling Secrets (1911), were aimed at performers. Hobbyists, though, are not necessarily interested in sharing their juggling with an audience. So, some of them instead “learned how to juggle from articles written in Popular Mechanics by Charles Career… one of the few sources of juggling information before World War II” (“40th Anniversary”).
In 1944, though, that all changed. After graduating from electrical engineering, a juggler named Roger Montandon started up a little press above the Wait Manufacturing Company plants where he worked. He published a newsletter called the Jugglers’ Bulletin, which “gave voice to a wide scattering of jugglers who had no way previously of sharing their interests” (“40th Anniversary”). Montandon’s Bulletin gave advice to jugglers, hobbyists and professionals alike, and it became the first community to develop around juggling in America. It even helped the American juggling community stay in touch with jugglers from around the world who would write into the Bulletin. It was in the Jugglers’ Bulletin that Montandon started calling for an organization dedicated to jugglers like the ones magicians already had. So, in 1947, at the IBM convention, Montandon, Art Jennings, and six others founded the International Jugglers’ Association ...
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Morgan Anderson

Morgan is a PhD candidate in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University in Toronto, ON. She is also a hobbyist juggler and has performed at juggling festivals across North America. A long-standing member of Cirkus Syd’s international Circus Thinkers Platform, Morgan was a co-editor and chapter author for the group’s 2020 and 2022 Circus Thinkers publications, and co-presented/performed alongside Dawn Dreams at the 2021 Circus and Its Others conference. She is currently involved in Cirkus Syd’s Circosonic project which investigates where circus and sound intersect. When not writing, Morgan loves to run, train on the silks, and make videos for her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/morganeua