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Roslyn
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Hi all,

I'm in the process of researching various different stunts and the stunt men/women that performed them.

One particular guy I'm interested in learning more about is an old performer called Joe Darby.

So far I know he was born sometime around 1860 and died I believe around the early 1970s. He lived in Netherton, in the borough of Dudley, Westmidlands, UK.

He was famous for performing various jumping stunts, but the one I'm most interested in learning more about was his ability to seemingly jump on water.

From what I've been told and found out doing the usual google search is that he would jump in a tank of water and then after touching the surface of the water with the soles of his shoes (the upper part of his shoes would stay dry) he then jumped out again.

He would do something very similar using his daughter. This time he would jump on his daughters face. Chalk would be left behind where his feet touched her, yet she would be unharmed.

If anyone knows the principles behind how this works, has a theory about how to do this, or knows anyone who actually still performs amazing feat please let me know or pass on my email.

Thanks for your time and help.
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Harley Newman
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Interesting.Very.

Have you tracked down his daughter?
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Roslyn
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First of all a correction... Joe Darby died in the 1930s and was in his 70s.

Hi Harley, I didn't know he had any children who were still alive. I'll look in to tracking her down. Any idea what she's called?

After doing a little more digging around it seems that it could be possible that Joe used something called a double spring in order to complete his stunts. I'm not too sure what that is, but on a website I found it says that he jumped up 5 feet into the tank and then ended up landing some 6 feet away from it once he'd finished.

Any ideas what a double spring is? Again I've googled it and it comes back with endless results about Sonic the Hedgehog. Something I'm sure is great fun, but not really that useful here Smile
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thegreatnippulini
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Sonic stole the double spring move from Mario, who came up with the idea with help from Luigi. After more investigation it turns out that Luigi copied this move from Joe Darby. A whole bunch of people in Pennsylvania attempted the double jump and ended up stuck in trees, therefore they re-named the town Upper Darby.

OK, that was fun.
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Harley Newman
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I'd never heard of him before, and have no idea about his daughter. It's just an idea. I guess she's probably died by now. Grandchildren? You'd have to do some research. Church records might be a starting point.

Double spring...I'm not sure. I have a set of gadgets, that strap onto my shoes, that have springs on them. Unfortunately, they're not built for adults (which I pretend to be), so I don't get the spring in my step, that I would if I had a much smaller body.

There are some amazing prosthetic devices, with different kinds of springs, for folks whose legs have been amputated. I'm guessing that one could build strap-ons, and wear baggy pants. It could be a whole lot of fun.
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Roslyn
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Just read that he took his jumping across a tank of water even further by doing the same stunt across a canal!!!

Leaping across a canal in two bounds, the second seemingly happening by pushing off the water's surface, this guy seems like a bit of a forgotten legend.
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Todd Robbins
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Something like this is not to be forgotten, unless there is a reason to forget it.

Todd

Quote:
On 2009-04-03 10:35, Roslyn wrote:
Just read that he took his jumping across a tank of water even further by doing the same stunt across a canal!!!

Leaping across a canal in two bounds, the second seemingly happening by pushing off the water's surface, this guy seems like a bit of a forgotten legend.
Todd Robbins
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I'm forwarding info about Joe Darby to Adam Savage.
Kondini
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Ros,,,have pm`d you.

Ken.
Roslyn
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Thanks for the PM Ken.

They've got a statue of him in his home town of Netherton, Dudley, West Midlands. I've not seen it myself yet, but I have a friend that lives in Birmingham, not too far away from there, and he's told me that the statue of Joe has him holding a set of dumbbells, one in each hand, could this possibly be a clue to the secret of how he managed to pull off his stunts?

Rather than the weights being there to seemingly make things more difficult could this extra weight have given Joe a second boost of momentum during the jump.

I'm thinking that maybe he jumped, and as he touched the water he would swing his arms and the weights then carry him the rest of the way.

Of course I'm no scientist and this is merely the theory of someone who sticks nails up his nose and fire in his mouth in order to pay the rent, but it certainly seems feasible to me. Anyone here a physics major?
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Stephon
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Although I'm not a physics major, I'm certain that that is not the method he used: When he jumped, he would be falling earthward (into the water) with a force equal not only to his body weight and the weight of the dumbells, but also the kinetic energy of the jump itself; to counteract that to the point that he wouldn't break the surface of the water, he would have to swing the dumbells up with enough force to not only cancel out the momentum he had going toward the water, but to exceed it enough to lift him into the air, which would be impossible. Further, the force of the dumbells swinging up would actually push him *down* an equal amount, and without something solid beneath him to push back, I believe he would simply go into the water even faster.

To get an idea of it, get a pair of the heaviest dumbells you can lift, stand on solid ground, and without bending your legs or pushing off, try to swing them hard enough to pull you off the ground. Then image doing that while jumping into water.
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Harley Newman
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Which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of lead.

He'd fall weights or not.
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adam christopher
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Or a pound of b#ll sh@t......lol
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On 2009-04-25 14:16, Roslyn wrote:
They've got a statue of him in his home town of Netherton, Dudley, West Midlands.


We've got a statue of Paul Bunyon with an axe in Texas, but I'm not sure if he really did everything attributed to him either.
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Harley Newman
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Not if he's in Texas.

Maine would be another matter entirely.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Juliegel
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Quote:
On 2009-04-26 18:44, Harley Newman wrote:
Not if he's in Texas.

Maine would be another matter entirely.


We have one near the California/ Oregon border. It kind of makes sense due to all the redwoods.


Dylan
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Spin stabilizes an object and keeps it from simply falling into the water...was Joe spinning?

http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/stoneskip.html
Stephon
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Yeah, but he'd also have to be flat, round, fast and at a 20 degree angle to the surface of the water.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
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Harley Newman
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There's no doubt he'd found a good angle.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Stephon
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And the puns are off to a rocking start.

I would join in, but I don't have the stones; guess I'll skip it.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
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