L'histoire de l'évolution des massues

In the Autumn of 2010 I received a phone call from Jay who wanted to buy our Jupiter spinning plates. Knowing his background, I chatted for quite a while with him and discovered he had a collection of Juggling clubs, some dating back to the turn of the century. As one of my daughters, Emma, was due to spend a few days in New York he kindly agreed to give me a few clubs from his collection and the history that goes with them. For a manufacturer of juggling clubs and juggling enthusiasts everywhere I thought it was important enough to share with everyone this history so we have spent time photographing the clubs and typing up his hand written notes here. The clubs can be seen in our Paris shop & will also be shown at the EJC 2010 next year in Munich, Germany along with a few from my own collection including the ‘Whisky bottle club’. Many thanks to all the people involved in this project not least Jay himself. Enjoy.

Chris Blair

The Historic change from wooden to Plastic Juggling Clubs

In the late 18 hundreds Mr. Van Wyke was the first wooden juggling club manufacturer that I known of.
In 1910 he sold his business to Harry Lind. So any of his club’s that still exist are now well over a hundred years old. And are worth from 150$ to 250$ . Depending on the condition of the club. And whether or not it’s been repainted. Those with the Original paint and or decoration are more valued. Van Wyke used a wood turning lathe to spin and to carve out the shape of the body. Then he cut it in half and hollowed out each end on the lathe. He the beloved the edges so they would fit together and they were glued together

A hole was drilled and the handle was glued and inserted. (The handle was made from solid hardwood and also spun on a lathe). Then glue was painted over the belly of club. And while it was wet. A strong material was wrapped around the belly and allowed to dry. This would hold the club together a little while longer after the belly started to crack. So you could understand why they were not very durable. Once the club cracked. Every time you dropped it. The crack got longer. Eventually they would split in half. Of course up to a point you could keep gluing them together. That’s why jugglers used to catch missed clubs on their feet

Van Wick

Stu Reynolds

David Madden

Harri Lind

Jay Green

The Lind Club

Harvy Lind produced his wooden clubs from 1910 to 1965. He made them a little thinner than and not as heavy as Van Wyck is club. Also he used a different kind of wood. In 1947 Mr. Lind got together 5 friends and founded the International Juggler's association

Top group show's me, Harry Lind and Stu Reynold's together
at the 1904 I.J.A Convention.
Soon after this photo Harry Lind passed on.
And Stu Reynold and I became the 2 top prop maker's of that era. I spinning a real plate in that photo

The Unknown club and The Dave Madden Club

This is my reproduction of toy bowling pin Dowel club shown to me Dave Madden in 1963.
He improved on this and made the Madden club. He only produced 12 of these clubs for our group called the Juggling Jesters. Jay Green AKA (Gerald Greenberg).
Melody AKA (Dick Luby), Dave Madden, Mickey O’Malley Harry Deido and Art Bassett.
David made 2 improvements over the unknown club. He used a 1/8 "Dowel instead of Inch ". And he put a solid rubber crutch tip on the end as a knob. This made the handle end very heavy. And the balance was out of whack. They were also very hard on your hands.

Unknown Marker in 1963

But I soon realized that after using them for a few months and dropping them from my high unicycle on to hard cement surfaces. That in didn't see any crack's or wear & tear. It was then that I realized that polyethene plastic would make the world’s best juggling clubs and redesigned them. I made them better balanced, better looking and a better feel. My clubs became then most popular because of my cushioned handle took the sting out of club juggling. I've been juggling for 64 years.
I still love it.

In life, keep looking up.
And as a Juggler you have to.
Here’s to the next generation of juggler's
I salut You

Jay Green

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