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Retrospectacle: Flagpole Sitting

It was a fad that became all the rage in 1924: flagpole sitting. It reached new heights when, on a dare, stuntman Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly climbed up a flagpole and sat on the top for 13 hours and 13 minutes. When word of his feat got out people wanted in. It became the new spectator sport as records for flagpole sitting were being broken and set. Cosmopolitan magazine called the fad “competitive imbecility.”

Retrospectacle: Silly Putty

It bounces and it breaks. It stretches even when you think it can’t stretch any more! It’s ... more

Retrospectacle: Lava Lamps

The vibrant color and mesmerizing motion of the lava lamp is a trademark of the 1960s. But this ... more

Retrospectacle: Surfing

Surfing moved from subculture to popular culture in the 1950s. Gone were boards made from redwood, ... more
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