Stars of Vaudeville #365: Salerno
Originally posted in 2011
Adolph Behrend (a.k.a. “Salerno”, b. this day in 1869) is known for several things:
* He was one of the originators of the style known as “gentleman juggling”, in which the juggler wears a classy tuxedo and juggles ordinary household items. (A natural outgrowth of his origins. He began juggling his father’s woodworking tools in his shop back in Prussia as a teenager).
* He is also known as the creator of the “Salerno Ring”, a rig consisting of a pole balanced on the juggler’s head, with a ring at the top of it, in which a ball would be made to rotate. Think of the control required!
* He is the originator of the show bizzy gimmick of throwing illuminated objects in the dark. (In this case, he devised electric torches with colored lights that actually changed color in mid-air).
This influential vaudevillian passed away in 1946.
To find out more about vaudeville past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
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