13 January 2009

Rufus Hussey - The beanshooter man

Rufus Hussey demonstrates for a local North Carolina television reporter his skills with what nowadays one would call a slingshot. In his time Rufus was famous, appearing with Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show and with Charles Kuralt for a segment of On The Road. He died in 1994; the last "beanshooter" he made carried the number 15864.

When you watch the video you are seeing a skill that would have been common in the 1920s, and which certainly had precursors as far back as medieval and Biblical times and most likely to the earliest stages of human prehistory.

Update: in the comments section, Vanwall is of course correct in pointing out that the ancient slingshots employed a markedly different technology than those created since the discovery of rubber.


  1. I'm impressed - even with my Wrist Rocket that had a brace, I was never that good. As for prehistoric slingshots, tho, vulcanized rubber wasn't around until the late 1800s or so, so if you're thinking about a classic 'sling' that used hide or rope and was swung in a circle - that was used from antiquity to today, but slingshots are fairly recent. I did know an Apache gentleman who was amazing with a real sling, tho.

  2. I grew up making that kind of slingshot in Spain when he was a child. This is an universal thing.


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