Putt Mossman The Stunt Man

From the February 1934 issue of Motorcyclist magazine

It was in the year of 1927, in the summer time and about halfway through the afternoon. The happiest lad in Eldora, Iowa, was riding down the highway, still smiling over his good fortune in having the day before secured his first motorcycle. Thus far there was nothing about the incident to make it any different from hundreds before it or hundreds since when proud youngsters gloated over their first mount. What followed is history, for in the next few minutes there was born one of the greatest motorcycle stunt men of the age, perhaps of all time.

Looking up for a moment from the job of piloting his machine (and on that second day of ownership it was still a job) the lad spied two beautiful young ladies of his own age. There was forthwith a desire in his bosom to attract their attention. In a flash he conceived the idea of standing up on the saddle on one foot as he rode by. To think was to act and in the next moment Putt Mossman was putting on his first show. By his own admission it was a very wobbly show, barely good enough that it did not end in a spill, but it brought the desired applause and Putt has been dragging down the applause ever since.

At the age of 27 he looks back over a list of accomplishments sufficient to crowd the life span of the average individual. He reviews more than 80 jumps pictures. He recounts several seasons of barnstorming during which he has thrilled crowds at fairs in all states with his program of blindfolded jumps, jugging eggs while poised on one foot atop the saddle of a speeding motor, dragging behind a motor with only his hands hanging on the luggage carrier and thence to the other foot board, turning clear around while standing on the saddle, standing in the saddle and shooting two toy balloons at the same time as his left hand wields a pistol and his right a rifle, and in fact almost any other stunt the imagination can conceive.

Aside from his accomplishments as a showman he has done well in motorcycle competition having won races on the 5-mile and 3-mile tracks as well as upon the night speedways.

At the age of 15 Putt had aspirations in the matter of pitching horse shoes. That his ambitions were well founded was shown when he won the Iowa state championship and later when he won the national championship. He defended his state title in a meet at St. Paul and again at Des Moines. He defended his national title twice in Florida. He next claimed the world’s championship and was permitted to enjoy the title without dispute. When he had conquered all comers in horse shoe pitching contests he turned to trick pitching and has displayed his prowess in this direction in leading theatres all over the country.

The same qualities of physical control which enabled Putt to become expert at horse shoe pitching and as a motorcycle stunt man were of advantage in another field. He became an expert marksman, had 51 amateur fights, 27 wrestling matches, one of which was to a draw with a welterweight champ of Canada, and played baseball with the Boston Braves.

Putt’s latest is a motorcycle Rodeo and circus, which gives the public where he is playing a taste of polo, horse shoe pitching, tumbling, high kicking, shooting, juggling, cave man soccer, blindfold jumps, wall crashing and other features. In fact almost any thing you mention, Putt has tried and almost anything you want he can deliver.

Putt married Johnnie Diehl’s sister, Helen, last July. She is rapidly learning the way of motorcycle tricks and the two promise to be a team that will go far and be long remembered.