Category Archives: video

The Globe of Death – Going Round and Round and Up and Down

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  • The Mendoza’s Globe of Fate motorcycle and bicycle act

A little over a week ago on The Sunday Edition we featured a Wall of Death thrill show film. Geoff, a reader from Australia commented on it and told us of the Durkin Brothers Globe of Death show that traveled the Down Under entertainment circuit for over 20 years. In many of these acts as seen above, riders loop vertically as well as horizontally in a globe while traveling at speed on motorcycles.

We decided to investigate a little further and found that in March of 1904, Arthur Rosenthal, a bicycle stuntman of Grand Rapids, Michigan, filed a patent application for certain new and useful improvements in bicyclists globes. His patent for a Bicyclist’s Globe was granted quickly on May 3, 1904, and the patent drawing for it can be seen below.

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  • Arthur Rosenthal’s 1904 patent drawing for a Bicyclist’s Globe

From what we were able to piece together from period bicycle magazines and other sources, Rosenthal and his partner, Frank Lemon, performed routines of skill and nerve guaranteed to deliver laughs and roars at fairs, amusement parks, and in shows across the land. The pair soon turned to motorcycles and the act became known as the Globe of Death. 

We found references to many other performers with similar globes and acts starting in the early teens including Guido Consi, an Italian daredevil, who introduced his Sphere of Fear in 1913 during a circus performance in Rome. An German engineer, also built and operated a globe act prior to World War I.

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  • Two early Globe of Death acts can be seen on the left and center above. The Durkin Brothers act of Australia can be seen above right in the mid-1940s

Cedero and his Golden Globe arrived in New York City in 1915, the first of several Brazilian globes and globe riders to travel to the United States. His act was performed at carnivals and circuses here in the U.S. until leaving for a tour of Central and South America in 1940. Between the two World Wars, the popular Globe of Death shows enjoyed the greatest popularity in Brazil.

Below is a more recent 1950s video of a news film clip of a Globe of Death act, filmed at Palisades Park in New Jersey, courtesy of Buyout Footage. This short presentation will show you just how exciting one of these acts can be. The photos above are courtesy of The Globe of Death Chronicles, and The McWhirters Project.

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Posted in Motorcycle photos, Out Of The Box, video | Tagged , , , , , , |

The Sunday Edition No.VII – The 1957 Pikes Peak Hill Climb – Double-Ended Model T Ford – A Streamlined Motor Home

The video for our Sunday Edition today was produced for the Socony Mobil Oil Company and shows and describes the running of the 1957 Pikes Peak Hill Climb. The event was sanctioned at the time by USAC with classes for both open-wheeled championship type racing cars and stock cars. In addition to the racing cars, at points in the video there are some interesting views of parked spectators cars. Bob Finey won the champ car class, and Jerry Unser took the stock car class win.

You can learn more at about the history of the event at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The video is courtesy of the pikespeaklibrary.

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Reader Stan Fleming sent in this photo of a double-ended novelty car, made out of a Model T Ford. By the mid to late-teens used Ford’s and parts could be obtained cheaply and we assume that the first of these may have been constructed starting in that period or the 1920s. If anyone knows more about the origin of this type of car or the details behind this later one, please send us a comment.

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In response to our recent post on the Zephyr Land-Yacht, reader Lillian Manfried from the United Kingdom sent us a copy of this press photo she bought at a flea market. She would like to learn more about it including the constructor and what type of chassis it is on. Send us a comment of you have any knowledge about it and can help out.

The Sunday Edition is for reader contributions, please join in and share with other vintage car enthusiasts from all around the world. If you have a great photo, know of an excellent video, a mystery or story, contact us here (we will send you and email address) and include your full name so we can credit your submission.

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Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Auto Racing 1946 - 1965, video | Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Finishing Touches on the GM Le Sabre Show Car and a Harley Earl Demonstration

Today we have a pair of short news film clips showing the 1951 Le Sabre show car. It was perhaps the most visionary post-war creation from the GM Art and Colour group guided by Harley Earl, who was assisted by a very talented group of designers. A clay version of the Le Sabre first appeared in the fall of 1950 and the actual car was constructed, finished and shown to the public by July of 1951. The video above showing the finishing touches being applied to the car is courtesy of GM Heritage. 

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  • Le Sabre promotional photo courtesy of GM Heritage 

This concept car was one of the first post-war automobiles to introduce aircraft design elements such as the wrap-around windshield and the taller and more pronounced tail fins that were incorporated into the car. The Le Sabre pioneered new features such as a dual gasoline and alcohol fuel system, and the use of lightweight materials. In the short film clip below courtesy of British Pathe, you can see Earl activating the moisture sensor which would raise the convertible top if it began raining when the car was unattended.

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Posted in Auto photos 1946 - 1965, video | Tagged , , , |