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Eddie Garland
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Gee...there is actually a little video about him...cute!
By the size of those canals I'm thinking Joe must have known precisely where to jump and may have been skipping on submerged stones.
Have a go...
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A pound of feathers (actually) would weigh more than a pound of lead. Feathers are measured by the avoidupois system of sixteen ounces to the pound, while lead is measured by a twelve-ounce pound.
TV Mc Arthur
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Fresno (CA) County Public Library
"They don't get better.....just faster."
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Profile of KBellBob
Hi...First time poster here.

I am doing research as well and came across Jumpin Joe Darby along with a rival jumper John "JACK" Higgins.
Jumping itself is natural and one of the first things we learn even before we walk. these stunts or feats seem quite unbelievable, but call me gullible, I believe 'em. Of course seeing is believing, well sort of ;-)
Records indicate that Higgins compete against Darby in a live contest and won.

At least in this case it might be.... Here is a link to a video of Higgins at 54 years old.

It shows Putting out lit candles with his feet mid air, some spectacular jumps AND the WATER basin filled with water ATOP the head of a lady assistant. WOW.

If anyone succeeds in duplicating such stunts please contact me. I plan to work towards some of them myself.
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Profile of abigkahuna/1

That was amazing. Hey, I am almost his age now and can barely lift both my feet of the ground at the same time...
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Profile of Chance
All the earlier claims make perfect sense now that I've seen the video. I've done similar stunts jumping over the backs of 6 volunteers while breaking boards. But the canal stunt is impossible as described without some form of cheating. The spoof video shows exactly what will happen without hidden gaffs.

And the dumbells are just a prop. If an athelete really wanted to use extra weight to jump higher or run faster, the right way is to practice with, but then perform without.
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Profile of Jacksgirl
All, I am John (Jack) Higgins great niece, and interested in him as family history rather than the stunts. I have seen the Pathe news clip noted above, but the main sources of my info are an 10 page article in Strand magazine Vol 14 1896, and also links ;

The article is fully illustrated with his many stunts, so may give you more clues. I also have info on him travelling the world with Circuses, but he mainly earned his living by appearance fees and wagers on matches with such as Joe Darby around the British Isles.
I have various newspaper cuttings. I also have 'Athletics Miscellany'1984 which lists his 'records', about 8 including; 'Standing hop with one jump' 25' 9" . This article also has Joe Darby's records, as well as some American jumpers. The records note "with weights, and note the weight of the dumbells)
I have very little info on his exploits in USA and South America, or when/where he died. So if anyone comes across anything whilt following up jumping stories, plesae let me know.

Frances Mullin (nee Higgins)

I heard from my dad and uncle (who saw him) about his feats, and jumping over the canal in his home town of Blackburn was first amongst them. There was never any talk of cheating , but I know he used take off boards (sprung?)and the dumbells did seem to be used.
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