Welcome To The Lion Drome

by Jason Toon

So, like, what the hell is up with this picture? Is that really a lion riding in a sidecar alongside some kind of old-fashioned racing automobile? And are they really racing along an almost vertical wall, to the cheers of thrilled fairgoers?

Yes and yes. Apparently, this was something people used to do for fun. Photodoto rounds up the story of "lion dromes" and "walls of death", with several links to articles about this bizarre byway of North American culture. The best of the linked sites is Thrillarena, with plenty of photos of the likes of "Fearless Eggbert's Lion Drome".

Now, it's sad that there used to be so many more options for live entertainment in the pre-mass media age. But maybe it's a sign of progress that we're no longer strapping lions into dragsters and racing them up and down walls for our amusement.

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)