This remarkable film shows a collection of stunts being performed by daredevils, all taking place over 100 years ago in the United States on motorcycles, automobiles, aircraft, and bicycles.

The movie starts by showcasing new techniques developed by motorcycle police officers to catch speeding motorists – they leap from their motorcycle onto the side of the car and climb in, leaving their motorcycle to crash unceremoniously by the side of the road.

Next up in the second clip we see a skier trying a new form of his sport, being towed behind an automobile, though this clip ends as you may expect – with a crash.

The third clip shows what are purported to be some farmers attempting to plant seeds in their fields by dumping bags of seed off the wing of a biplane in flight – it’s doubtful this was effective but it certainly looks entertaining.

The fourth clip shows a windmill maintenance worker riding the largest windmill blades in the world, each of the blades in 55ft long and he holds on for dear life he goes around and around.

Automobile, Motorcycle, Airplane, and Bicycle Stunts From 1918

The fifth clip is one of the most interesting (and also clearly staged for effect), it shows the country’s first aerial police force that was founded to keep tabs on misbehaving pilots. It was illegal at the time for pilots to fly lower than 300 ft at high speed.

In the sixth clip we see young daredevil Franklin Rose transition from a car to a biplane at 71 miles per hour, courtesy of a rope ladder hanging below the aircraft. He then repeats this feat from a motorcycle to the same plane however he falls and is dragged along the ground at 91 mph for a few moments – though thankfully he appears unharmed.

The seventh clip shows the 316th Squadron of the 91st Division of the Air Service flying in formation. World War I had ended the same year this film was released and aircraft had proven their use during times of war.

The final two clips show daredevil bicycle riders, first they’re riding in circles on the rooftop of the Palace of Fine Arts, and after this they’re jumping their bikes across a gap courtesy of a custom built ramp arrangement. The film then ends abruptly after showing a stunt cyclist on fire doing the jump through a wall of flames – however it all seems deliberate and not the result of an accident.

– The song playing in the background is “Ain’t Misbehavin'” by “Fats” Waller and his band.

Published by Ben Branch -