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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Chair and Balanced: 1917

Chair and Balanced: 1917

Washington, D.C., 1917. "Reynolds, J., performing acrobatic and balancing acts on high cornice above Ninth Street N.W." Our fourth glimpse of "Jug" Reynolds at work atop the Lansburgh furniture store. Harris & Ewing. View full size.

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On a lark and a Fark

Everyone Knows it's Windy!!

Waaaaaaaaaaaaay too windy for that stunt. The guy is clearly crazy. I wonder what that netted him?

Sweaty hands and butterflies

That's what this pic gave me and I love heights.

No vain boaster he!

Two years later, Jug Reynolds appears to have moved to New York, where he was still thrilling them from the rooftops. Here is an admiring little feature about him in the October 1919 issue of Popular Science Monthly.

The Spotter

Who says that cigarettes don't make one look cool?

OK sir, that's enough

we really should be getting back to the taxi, the traffic is bad this time of day.

Publicity stunts

Stunts like this were common back then.

There was one fellow named George Polley who was known as the human fly. He would scale any building as a grand opening stunt, or for a promotion. Once, a haberdasher had just put a new suit on a window mannequin, and was out front admiring his display when Polley came along. George said "I would stand on my head on the roof for a suit like that!" to wich the shopkeep replied, "If you can climb to the roof, I'll give you that suit."
George Polley got the suit.

However, his life was cut short at the age of 28. Not from a fall, but from a brain tumor.


I like the way the other chap is ready to catch him (with fag in mouth). This is something Harold Lloyd would have winced at.

SHORPY OLD 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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