Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Aeroplane Swimming

From the amazing collection of old photos at Shorpy, here's an activity from 1910 way cooler than anything I had when I was in high school:
Girl Flies Through Air, Shakes “Wings” and Plunges Into Pool

PITTSBURG, Feb. 8 — The pupils of the Sixth Ward public school, North Side, are learning at one and the same time to imitate the bird and the fish — an art which they name “aeroplane swimming.” They have long enjoyed a fine swimming pool and their instructor, Professor Walter Shook, has adopted the use of small biplanes in the course.

Sara Harzberger, a 14-year-old pupil in the school, yesterday demonstrated the new game by gliding from a high balcony by means of the biplane, and as she reached the pool she shook her “wings,” turned a somersault and dived into the water. Professor Shook hopes next summer to take his human fish-birds out to the rivers and ponds to glide from high boats, bridges and banks.

The sport was suggested by a student at the Carnegie Technical school, and those who have tried it say it is a thousand times more thrilling than the ordinary dive and can be made safely at almost any reasonable height.


At Thursday, May 3, 2007 at 6:29:00 PM PDT, Blogger Donna B. said...

Hey Adam! I tagged you for a Thinking Blogger Award. Go here to find out all about it, and here to read my nomination.

Thanks for being a great read!

At Friday, May 4, 2007 at 6:47:00 AM PDT, Blogger Paul C. said...

Man, why couldn't they do stuff like this when I was in school?

I'd have to guess that one of the reasons they don't do this anymore is probably because of the trouble some people might have getting out of the wings once they hit the water. But I think that could be at least partially remedied if they used something that floats, like Styrofoam.

Also, good job with the Thinking blogger nomination. Donna does a good job describing why your blog is so compulsively readable over at her blog- namely, a wide range of fascinating (and esoteric, like this post) topics, covered with enough depth to make you want to learn more, and links provided to allow you to delve to your heart's content.


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