JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

The Human Fly: 1917

The Human Fly: 1917

Once again it's daredevil John "Jammie" Reynolds, seen here clambering up a building in an unusual (and maybe unintentional) multiple exposure circa 1917. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Fly swatted

The photo was taken on Sept. 8, 1917, as Reynolds climbed the Equitable Building at 816 14th St. NW. (This was a Saturday, and Reynolds scheduled his stunt for 1:30pm in order to allow government clerks -- who only worked a half-day on Saturdays -- to join the crowd of onlookers.) According to the Sept. 7, 1917 Washington Times, Reynolds spent the previous Wednesday engaged in dare-deviltry (seen previously on Shorpy here, here, here, and here) atop the Lansburgh furniture and carpet store on 9th St.

Alas, there is no account of the sign Reynolds wore on his back. The Times photo of the Sept. 8 climb is too grainy to show the text, although the photo caption does tell us there was a 10mph wind; that the building was slippery from recent rain; and that Reynolds balanced himself on chairs at the edge of the roof after finishing the climb.

D.C. city fathers evidently grew tired of Reynolds' antics, as the Sept. 16 Evening Star reported that he was arrested -- on what seems like a rather questionable "unlawful assembly" charge -- after clambering up the Barrister Building at 635 F St. NW.

Good to the Last Drop!

Is that a Maxwell House ad on that nimble fellow's back?

[I dunno, but if that sign on his back really says "Good to the last drop" -- yikes. Wicked funny. - Dave]


Nice climbing shoes!!

Dulin's Restaurants

Ernest Dulin ran two restaurants--at 710 13th Street NW and 814 14th Street.

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2023 Shorpy Inc.