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Mail Tribune 100, May 13, 1920

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

May 13, 1920


Bristol, Eng. — Charles George Stephens, a barber of this town, has announced that he is going to try to shoot Niagara Falls in a barrel.

He has booked his passage from Liverpool to Quebec on June 18 and says he intends to make the attempt at the end of June or early in July.

Stephens is 56 years of age and stands 5 feet 9 1/2 inches. The barrel will be 6 feet, 2 inches and in the middle 32 inches. Inside the barrel Stephens plans to be secured by straps and the barrel is to be weighted at the bottom with a hundred-pound weight to keep it upright in the water. Special breathing apparatus is also being fitted.

Among the many other feats which Stephens claims to have performed are the following:

Kissing a lion in its den, shaving customers in a lion’s den, boxing in a lion’s den and parachute descents from balloons; for which feats he boasts three ribbons, five gold medals and six silver medals.


To shoot Niagara Falls in a barrel has been the ambition of numerous persons seeking notoriety, but few have accomplished it. Mrs. Anna Edson Taylor, who went over the falls in a wooden barrel about 1908 was severely injured, but recovered. “Robby” Leach made the drop successfully and without injury in a steel barrel in 1911.


Medford’s clean up day is set by Mayor C. E. Gates for Saturday, May 22, in the following proclamation, issued today:

“It is the duty of every citizen to assist in maintaining the beauty and cleanliness of our city, and it is generally conceded that Medford is one of the most beautiful metropolitan little cities on the Pacific coast. I believe we should use every means possible to keep pace with our reputation or improve on it if possible.

“In consideration of the above I hereby declare and proclaim Saturday, May 22, 1920, as Medford’s clean-up day and request the co-operation of everybody in our efforts to make this the cleanest and best city on the Pacific coast.”

C. E. GATES, Mayor

News from 100 years ago