We recently watched a movie musical from 1933 called Let’s Fall in Love (the very familiar song of that title is featured prominently in the picture), and therein encountered an intriguing scene set at a traveling carnival.
In the scene, we see something very similar to the midway attraction that asks customers to throw a ball at a target, and if they hit it, they trigger a lever, which triggers a trap door and dumps a clown into a vat of water.
We’ve all seen such an attraction, right?
Well, in this picture, the attraction, called “Roll the Babies Out of Bed,” instead features two scantily clad gals who fall out of bed when the target is hit.
We were left wondering, did such a carnival attraction ever exist, or did it spring from the movie makers’ collective imagination? We were inclined to think the former, but we had no evidence to back us up.
Until an acquaintance, who’s something of a kindred spirit when it comes to having an interest in life as it was once lived, informed us that there was indeed just such an attraction—at the New York World’s Fair in 1940. It was called “De-Bunk-Her” and featured co-eds in PJs who tumbled out of bed when the aforementioned target was hit. She even pointed us to a New York Public Library photo site that boasts several images of the attraction that were once seen in the pages of Life magazine.
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This friend further suggested, given that such an attraction had been featured in a moving picture some seven years earlier, it’s likely these attractions were not uncommon at traveling carnivals and fairs of the time. We’re inclined to agree with her.
But now we turn to the Cladrite Radio community. How about it? Have any of our readers and listeners heard firsthand accounts of (or had personal encounters with) such an attraction?
Dare we hope one of you has a snapshot of it?