This is Otto "Pop" Carter, 90 years old, in 1947. He was known as "America's oldest and best-known roller skater." At his advanced age, he had been a professional roller skater for 82 years. But even after this he kept on going for quite a while. According to his listing on IMDB
, "At age 104, participated in the Southwest Pacific Roller Skating Championships and the Rollerama Show in 1960."
I don't know when he died. Perhaps he's still alive.
- July 28, 1947
Vanished forever in Africa while visiting Idi Amin. Surname suspiciously close to "brisket." 'Nuff said.
Contemporary account from 1985.
Article from 2007.
[Click to embiggen]
Wow, a sports girdle for fat boys! And in the last panel, it seems to have had the power to change Fatty's hair color as well!
Original ad here.
Chuck has mentioned the sport of ferret legging before in a column
, so it's not entirely new to WU. Wikipedia offers this description:
Ferret legging is an endurance test or stunt in which ferrets are trapped in trousers worn by a participant. Also known as put 'em down and ferret-down-trousers, it is a sport that seems to have been popular among coal miners in Yorkshire, England. Contestants put live ferrets inside their trousers; the winner is the one who is the last to release the animals. The world record is five hours and thirty minutes. The sport may have originated during the time when only the relatively wealthy in England were allowed to keep animals used for hunting, forcing poachers to hide their illicit ferrets in their trousers…
The sport is said to involve very little "native skill", simply an ability to "have your tool bitten and not care".
Nick Roberts, back in 1972, took the sport to an unusual extreme. From The Dispatch (Lexington, NC) - Oct 30, 1972
And here's a video I found in which ferret legging is demonstrated. Except that what's shown doesn't seem to be a true form of the sport, because the contestants are allowing the ferrets to poke their heads out of the trousers, whereas the idea is to trap them inside, thereby generating a panic response.
Based on the description, it doesn't sound like this was particularly cruel to the rat, though perhaps slightly stressful for it. Apparently the Humane Society got custody of the rat once the game was closed down.
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News
- Jun 15, 1939
The connection? I can only assume that once upon a time, tennis rackets were restrung with sheep guts. But the image is certainly bizarre.
Original ad here.
Fewer people are playing golf, which has the golf industry worried. One solution being proposed is to make the holes bigger. A lot bigger. 15 inches wide. The idea is that if the game is easier, more people will play. Although personally I don't think people are not playing because the game is too hard. I think they're not playing because it's too expensive. More details at wsj.com
It sounds like a nice idea. The "SOCCKET" is an electricity generating soccer ball. So children in impoverished communities, whose parents can't afford electric light, can play soccer during the day to charge the device up, and then use it at night to power a small lamp to read by.
Plenty of money was raised
to produce these things and ship them worldwide. Unfortunately it seems that the gadget wasn't field-tested very well, because reports are that most of them promptly stopped working after a few days. So a lot of kids now have an overpriced soccer ball. [pri.org
Back in 1932, 14-year-old Charles Highfield was promoted by his father as being the strongest boy in Great Britain. In the first picture, that's the father standing on his son's neck. The Coventry Telegraph
has a bit more info about Charles's brief career as a strongman.
Speaking of possible Olympic events, how about one where the Big Band leader has to race around like a nut and take a turn at every instrument in the band?