Monday, January 30, 2017

100 years ago Harry Gardiner "The Human Fly" climbed this Building in Alabama

National Post Card Week
May 3 - 9, 2015

In 1917, Harry Gardiner climbed to the top of the Empire Building in downtown Birmingham, Alabama.  A crowd of 35,000 people gathered to watch "the Human Fly" scale the sixteen story building.  The Birmingham Ledger newspaper sponsored the promotional event.   This image was the cover of my book "Birmingham: Then & Now. (2007)

This postcard is from JD Weeks and is number 71 in a limited edition of 100.

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Harry H. Gardiner (1871 – after 1923), better known as the Human Fly, was an American man famous for climbing buildings. He began climbing in 1905, and successfully climbed over 700 buildings in Europe and North America, usually wearing ordinary street clothes and using no special equipment.

The climb on this postcard took place on January 30, 1917. 

1 comment:

Mr Baggins said...

Mr. Gardiner was, for some time during the early 1920s, sponsored by "Nu-Grape".
When he paused during his ascent, he would call out to the crowd of spectators, "Don't Forget"!. To which they would yell back, "Nu-Grape". I have also read a newspaper article saying that "Nu-Grape" gave away mailboxes in Birmingham as an advertising ploy. Those truly were some interesting times!