History behind the “Lion / sidecar / wall of death” photo

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lion on wall of death You may have seen this photo (at right) recently. Like many people, I’m sure, I found it incredible, difficult to believe, and inspiring. Just the act of sitting next to a lion takes a certain bravado. Even “tame” lions are caged—in fact, the last “lion drome” was closed after a lion bit a drunk carnival worker. Biting, it’s what those big teeth are for.

So I did a little research and dug up these resources. The first link is from Sidecar Pete. He seems to have been the one to find the photo in a shop and post a digital photo of the photo online. Pete was also fascinated with the photo and linked to a New York Times article on Walls of Death from 2006 and to Thrillarena.com’s pages about lion dromes (Thrillarena Lion Dromes 1 and 2). A site called Dark Roasted Blend also has a brief history of walls of death including lion dromes with lots of great vintage photos.

John Watson

John is the original founder of Photodoto, but after running it for 4 years he had to focus on different things. If you're interested in what John has been up to recently, you can check is personal blog or browse his photo blog.