This 1931 poster for the Man With the Iron Neck gives a good preview of his act. The Great Peters was a bungee-jumping pioneer; the rope he used covered a really long elastic band, so Peters could plummet, nearly touch the ground, bounce back, and un-noose himself.
Though the Man With an Iron Neck died in 1943 while performing this stunt, it wasn’t due to a weak spine. (Intestinal fortitude was also not to blame.) The Great Peters met his end when his rope broke. There’s no bouncing back from that.
In a not-very related story, the New York Times has a story today about Israeli gangsters sitting shiva for murdered crime boss Yaakov Alperon. Apparently, somebody didn't like Alperon despite attempts to rehab the family name. As part of this p.r. campaign, Alperon had opened up his family home to model Yael Goldman (above) "as part of a television reality show, 'Once in a Lifetime,' in which people were matched with different, often incongruous, types of families." Kooky!
Goldman was happy to do the show, but waxed philosophical afterwards. The model said, “You see ‘The Sopranos’ and it sounds sexy that some Mafioso comes and charms you into the sunset. But in reality it is the opposite. It is very intimidating, scary, not kosher.” Oy.
The poster above is from Ricky Jay’s droll and vastly informative book on unusual performers, Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women.