Wednesday, March 27, 2019

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 27

March 27, 1917 – A 206-pound man jumped out of a seventh story window of the Lumber Exchange Building this afternoon on a two-pound rope and didn’t break his neck.

The man was—still is—F. A.  Forest, Detroit, Mich., whose favorite pastime is trying to hang himself. In his vest pocket, he carries a lovely picture of himself, his wife and his four children, all hanging from the roof of their home.

His rope is really a steel cable, 3.32 inches thick—about as heavy as some kinds of fish line. It is a part of a patent fire escape that he invented. Today’s jump was Number 141—and he isn’t done yet, he says. Forest has a badly broken nose, which he solemnly declares he acquired while skating.

Forest’s hanging stunt has become an obsession. Even the frowns of F. J. Kraft, superintendent of the building, could not dissuade him today, and before anyone had time to interfere, he was out of the window.

He has been on “on the jump” for two years, his longest descent being from the roof of a 12-story building in Detroit. He went down at the rate of about four feet a second and landed on the ground with about as much force as though he had jumped from a curbstone, he says.

With his machine he can regulate his speed to suit himself, Forest says. The machine consists of an aluminum box, about three inches in diameter, which contains a spool and pulleys, from which the cable unwinds itself. The cable will lift 1,200 pounds.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune
; “Jumps From Seventh Story, Lands Unhurt; Detroit Man Chooses Lumber Exchange for Scenes of His 141st ‘Leap for Life.’”; March 28, 1917; p. 13.

Lumber Exchange Building circa. 1910-1917

Photos taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Sept. 16, 2014, 
as long as acknowledgement included.  


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