Bicycle In The Sky Steel Pier Performance By Jonathan Green

Jonathan  Green

Joined June 2009

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The Second Of My Vintage Steel Pier Images From An Album I Purchased On Ebay. Those Were The Days :)) First A Man Walked Across The High Wire With His Buddy Standing On His Back. That Was Good, But How About We Bike Across Now!
Please Give A Round Of Applause For Our Fearless High Wire Performers. Circa 1930 New Jersey USA.
****The Following Passage Is From The Following Website*** www.steelpier.com
In its heyday, The Steel Pier entertained tens of thousands of visitors each day with attendance reaching 80,000 the Sunday before Labor Day. With non-stop entertainment including the top names of the day and novelty acts like the Diving Horse and the high-wire motorcycle act and four theaters that could accommodate 12,000 patrons at a time, The Steel Pier was indeed, The Nation’s Showplace.

Steel Pier originally opened in 1898 and quickly became known for showcasing the world’s top entertainers. From the 1920’s through the 50s everyone who was anyone played Steel Pier. W. C. Fields was a member of the minstrel group that appeared during the Pier’s inaugural season, but headline appearances quickly followed for him and everyone else. Guy Lombardo, Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, Bob Hope, Amos ‘n Andy, Frank Sinatra – everyone played Steel Pier. It’s been said that Big Bands weren’t really big until they started to play on Steel Pier.

For one admission price, patrons could enjoy every concert, film and attraction without ever spending another cent.

In 1925, George Hamid, a one time tumbler with the Buffalo Bill Circus who had a flair for presenting the most astounding outdoor circus entertainment, joined forces with the pier’s owners to showcase the spectacles that launched a legend.

The Human Cannonball, the High Diving Hawaiians, Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly – who set the world’s record (seven weeks) for pole sitting and started a national craze and yes, the Diving Horse were all the ingenious work of George Hamid, who eventually purchased the pier in 1945.

Atlantic City’s venerable Miss America Pageant has close ties to Steel Pier. Frank Gravatt, one of the pier’s early owners who hired George Hamid, saved the event from financial ruin by hosting the pageant in the pier’s main ballroom for four years running. The pageant later moved to it’s current home in Convention Hall.

As air travel became accessible to more vacationers and Atlantic City slipped into its long, slow decline, the glory of Steel Pier eventually faded away until it closed in 1976. But, in nearly eight decades entertaining millions of people, it gained a well deserved place in the hearts of visitors worldwide.

Today, the Catanoso’s and their partners are counting on nostalgia to bring in visitors and modern day amusements and thrills to keep them coming back. With 24 rides, games and prize wheels, a food court and free admission, the Steel Pier is successfully luring back the family trade to a town that had become a one – dimensional casino resort. A custom made, double-decker carousel, fashioned by Italian craftsmen, features hand-painted scenes from Atlantic City’s past.

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