The cult section of the literary world

Twisted Tuesday: Vintage Knife Throwing

KTDA1b

Also known as the “impalement arts,” throwing knives at a human target dates back to the 1st century and has been commonly seen in vaudeville acts, carnivals, and circus sideshows. This great art is still practiced today. The Great Throwdini is currently the fastest and most famous impalement artist in the world!

A common myth about impalement art is that the knives really aren’t being thrown and are instead hidden under the knife thrower’s sleeve as a rigged board springs up with knives along the human target. This is actually false. Knife throwers are really throwing those knives and there is definitely some real danger involved. Typically, the one in danger is a beautiful woman:

vintage-knife-thrower

knife throw

KTRB3

But that’s not always the case…

tumblr_l602owjK9C1qcnyp3o1_400

Anyone who has ever watched “Wonder Showzen” will be familiar with this cute little cherub-faced girl having knives thrown at her in the intro. This footage comes from a 50’s knife throwing act where Louella Gallagher, a Texas mother, would throw knives at her 5 and 2 1/2 year-old daughters: Connie Ann & and Colleena Sue. This newsreel of this 50’s knife throwing family is a great vintage gem.

The Gallaghers weren’t the only child-target impalement art acts, there was also Florence Shufflebottom, who not only practiced knife throwing, but also sharpshooting and snake charming.

flo4_view

If you’re a fan of vintage carnivals, this BBC documentary, which features an interview with Florence Shufflebottom (damn that’s a great name) is terrific! It has loads of great carnival footage and history.

flo8_view (1)

Until next time Bizarros!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s