Via: Sidecar Pete’s
This great old image struck my fancy and after a bit of searching I was able to find a bit of info associated with this photo which was thought to have been taken circa 1929 in Revere Beach, MA and provides a historical reference for one of America’s craziest professions—the sideshow lion drome daredevil.
These type of “Wall of Death” or Thrillarena exhibitions were an amazing draw for the carnival, circus and traveling sideshows of the early to mid 1920’s. Called motor dromes—they came in all shapes, sizes and configurations. Set against the cheers and screams of fans and a busy depression era midway, many of these acts were performed on 90 degree (straight up and down) wooden barrel board walls, others were fully enclosed within steel and iron cages. None of which offered the riders any protection against injury, in the case of a wreck, or from being attacked by the animals used in the acts. Promoters of all sorts hurried to sign daredevils who were capable of both marveling the crowds with their death-defying driving skills and taming the wild beasts used in the shows.
The Looping Nixies Globe of Death Via: Thrillarena
Left: an unknown female lion drome rider.
Right: Ethel Purtle with the well-known star of the show—”King”