As early as Percival Stein’s days, men were performing great displays of daring by jumping from building to building to promote brands.
Percival Stein employed an actor named Richard Talmadge, a stunt man from Hollywood and paid him to make daring leaps from one building to another to launch events and promote companies.
Talmadge was very accomplished at his craft, known today via the likes of Stephane Vigroux, as “parkour”. So good in fact was Talmadge, that he had to fake injuries and accidents in order to generate publicity for the stunts! He was capable of jumping 17 ft and 6 inches from a standing position, a feat unbeaten by anyone.
However, on one jump in New York City, Talmadge fell a mammoth 60 feet, crashing to the ground and narrowly escaping death. It appeared that the distance was 17ft and 8 inches, a distance he knew he couldn’t traverse, but for some reason had miscalculated. The lesson Stein learned was if you’re in the stunt jumping business, learn to use a tape measure. Talmadge never made another jump again and Percival Stein headed towards retirement.