Harry Gardiner

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For the Scottish footballer, see Harry Gardiner (footballer).
For the Australian politician, see Harry Gardiner (politician).
Harry Gardiner
Human Fly crawls up walls of Camden NJ Courthouse cropped Feb 10 1915.png
Harry Gardiner in 1915
Born Erik Weisz
(1871 – after 1923)
New York City
Occupation Illusionist, escapologist, stunt performer, actor

Harry H. Gardiner (1871 – after 1923),[1] better known as the Human Fly, was an American man famous for climbing buildings. He began climbing in 1905, and successfully climbed over 700 buildings in Europe and North America, usually wearing ordinary street clothes and using no special equipment.


Some of the famous climbs Gardiner performed:

  • November 11, 1918 in Hamilton – Gardiner climbed the Bank of Hamilton building to celebrate the end of World War I. While climbing the side of the building, Gardiner stuck his head into one of the open windows and signed some insurance papers. He also purchased a $1,000 bond. The 47-year-old professional Fly admitted that he had to try for insurance at the Bank of Hamilton because it had so far been impossible for him to gain insurance elsewhere, since he was considered a high risk. This spectacle brought much attention to the Bank of Hamilton.

Gardiner is mentioned in a story of present day skyscraper climber Alain Robert, The New Yorker magazine, April 20, 2009.[3]


  1. ^ Largo, Michael (2007). The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died. p. 114. 
  2. ^ "Immense throng witnesses "Human Fly" scale Tower building in front of Sun offices". Vancouver Sun (Vancouver). November 1, 1918. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Collins, Lauren (April 20, 2009). "The Vertical Tourist. Alain Robert’s obsession with skyscrapers". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 

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