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In 1927, Harry H. Gardiner, known as “The Human Fly,” visited Logan, West Virginia. His visit followed an appearance at Huntington, WV, and preceded a visit to Williamson, WV. For more on Gardiner’s general biography, follow this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Gardiner

From the Logan Banner (25 January 1927):

“Harry H. Gardiner, ‘The Human Fly,’ has come to Logan. The boyish-looking man of 57 years, whose death-defying exploits in scaling the walls of the world’s highest buildings have thrilled millions of onlookers, will give an exhibition here Thursday night, under the auspices of McNeely-Gunther-Nowlan post, American Legion. Gardiner is billed to climb from the ground to the dome of the Court House and unfurl the Stars and Stripes to the Guyan breezes from the apex of that structure. This he will undertake to do at 7:30. As he climbs he will perform many a stunt to amuse and startle the interested throng. All this time his figure will be in the glare of a searchlight provided for the purpose and his test will be done without the aid of any  mechanical device. Preceding this act there will be some martial music on the Court House square, and some local citizen will deliver a four-minute speech. And someone in the crowd will receive a gift of $15 in gold from the Manning Clothing Co. Just a few days ago Gardiner thrilled an enormous assemblage in Huntington by scaling the walls of the Coal Exchange building, which is 200 feet high, and as high as any building in the state. In an article published in Muscle Builder in the 1926 Gazetteer [he] is quoted thus: ‘One hundred and twenty of those who have sought to imitate me in this hazardous profession have fallen to death. There is no chance of rehearsing your performance. Each new building is an unknown problem. If you do not guess the right answer, death awaits below, with a breath of up-rushing air, and arms of concrete.'”

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Evening Public Ledger (Philadelphia, PA), 10 February 1915.

From the Logan Banner (28 January 1927):

“Nerves of steel, nimble and well-trained hands and feet, a lithe body, and a resourcefulness born of experience enabled Harry H. Gardiner to scale the north wall of the Court House before an enormous crowd last night. Atop the dome he unfurled the Stars and Stripes, and from that point of vantage the flag is now waving for the first time. Saturday night he will scale the White & Browning building, a much higher structure. This performance will start at 9:30, or after rather than before the Logan-Huntington basketball game. Last night’s exploit was thrilling–except to those who expected the ‘Human Fly’ to do the impossible, or to crash into the concrete to provide a super-thrill. Of course, there were a few who supposed evidently that he would walk up the wall with his body at a perfect right angle to the wall and that he would surmount the roof projection like a fly walking on a ceiling. Thousands of people were present: they occupied all the space in front of the Court House from which the performer could be seen, except what a few automobiles occupied and except for the lanes kept open that motor traffic might not be blocked. That crowd at a political rally would have been estimated at 10,000. The Banner is convinced that it exceeded 5,000. Saturday night’s performance as was last night’s will be under the auspices of Gunther-McNeely-Nowlan Post, American Legion.”

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World Building (Sun Tower Building) in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, October 1918.

From the Logan Banner (1 February 1927):

“In view of a crowd that packed Stratton street for the distance of nearly a block, Harry H. Gardiner, the ‘Human Fly,’ climbed the front of the five-story Pioneer Hotel Saturday night. With the aid of a hook at each window, he was able to get finger holds on the sills and then lift himself to safety and prepare for the next step upward. To scale the last lap and reach the roof he made use of the braces for the electric hotel sign for a foothold and also the lowered hook to get  a finger hold on the edge of the roof. As on Thursday night when he scaled the court house and tied a flag to the apex of the dome, his performance aroused both admiration and scorn. There were evidently many persons who believed a ‘Human Fly’ would walk and maybe fly like a fly. While as indicated the main section of the crowd of spectators was on Stratton street, it extended for 60 to 70 feet out on Cole street, and besides, hundreds of persons watched from the windows of the nearby buildings. Gardiner himself announced that he had been unable to get permission to climb the White & Browning building and for that reason substituted the hotel which is about the same height. He will climb the Mountaineer Hotel in Williamson Thursday night.”

human fly 1.jpg

Vancouver, B.C., Canada, October 1918.