SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

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Traffic-Stopper: 1923

Traffic-Stopper: 1923

"Galen Gough, October 5, 1923." The Miracle Strong Man under two tons of fun outside the State, War and Navy building in Washington, D.C. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Happy Fun Car

The passenger in the Durant looks less like a man wrapped up in a Fun Fest and more like a guy who's worried about running over someone.


Anyone heavy into physics in the crowd here that could weigh in with a guesstimate of the actual poundage that would be applied by that one tire and consequently dispersed by the 2x12? Given the engine being somewhat directly over his chest, we know it'd be more than just one fourth of the total.

The 1,001th Crush

Dave, you were pretty close with your guesstimate of two tons. I can only see two people in the car in the photo - maybe there are really small people in the back seat.

Washington Post, Oct 6, 1923

Lets Auto Run Over Him

Former Marine Does Stunt Twice in a Day
For "Fun Fest"

Run over by automobiles 1,001 times, Galen Gotch, former marine and strong man, who is appearing nightly at the Gavel Club's "Fun Fest" at the Coliseum, each time has escaped unhurt.

Before several thousand persons on E street yesterday, Gotch permitted a seven-passenger sedan to run over his body. Later he repeated the stunt in front of the State, War and Navy building.

The automobile weighed 2,800 pounds and five passengers, 700 pounds.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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