Monday, April 12, 2010

Bike Series #5 - Tornado Smith

More on the Wall of Death (see previous post Bike Series #1). 

Tornado Smith, the Wall of Death rider from Southend, and his wife having tea with their pet lion and lamb.  
George “Tornado” Smith brought the Wall of Death from America to England in 1929, and featured such spectacles as ”Briton the Wall-riding lion” and “Gymkhana Girls and Girl Protégées” in his billing.  Check out the skull-and-crossbones badge on his beret, he’s nowhere near as mild-mannered as he looks.  –Derek Berwin/Hulton Archive
Tornado Smith posts a letter while riding his penny farthing bicycle. He is wearing a learner plate and his bike is advertising his Wall of Death act. –Derek Berwin/Hulton Archive
(above) Circa 1935, Earls Court, London — Tornado Smith, who entertains the crowds at Olympia with his Wall of Death ride, is seen riding a penny-farthing on the Earls Court Road. — Image by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection
(below) Circa 1936, Southend-on-Sea, England — Mr. “Tornado” Smith, a stunt motorcyclist, clips the toenails of his pet lion, at home. — Image by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection.

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