Harlem, NY Cycle Explodes During Theatre Performance, Apr 1910


Woman Performer in “The Globe of Death” Burned – Audience in a Panic.

Just as “Fedora,” known off the stage as Mrs. Agnes Hatfield of 9 Riverside Avenue, Newark, N.J., was swirling in lightning circles on a motor cycle in every direction inside the walls of a great steel lattice globe, known as “The Globe of Death,” before the final act in the Alhambra Theatre, in Harlem, last night, while her husband, Charles Hatfield, stood in the centre of the globe, to increase the danger of the performance, there was a sudden loud report, with a terrific belch of flame, from the oiltank (sic) of the cycle. The motor cycle collapsed, throwing the woman, her husband and the wreckage of the wheel in a confused heap in the bottom of the globe.
James Brennan, a stage hand, rang down the curtain, and grabbed two water pails and threw the contents as best he could into the sixteen-foot high globe. At the same time John Shuber, a fireman of Truck Company 30, who was on duty in the theatre, and Detectives Brawley and Essig of the West 125th Street Station, rushed out before the curtain and tried to calm the panicstricken (sic) audience, assuring them that there was no danger.
Dr. Jerome Wagner of 51 East Ninety-sixth Street, who was in the audience, meanwhile hurried back of the stage. He found Mrs. Hatfield who had worn only a flimsy pair of tights, was badly burned about the legs. Her husband had escaped injury. Mrs. Hatfield insisted on appearing before the audience, clothed in a long coat, and assuring them that she was not badly hurt. Then she submitted to have her injuries treated.
The last act of the evening’s programme went on as scheduled.

The New York Times, New York, NY 9 Apr 1910