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How the 1916 Shark Attacks Worked

2009-07-27 | 🔗

In 1916, a series of shark attacks took place along the shores of New Jersey. The media downplayed the first attack as a fluke -- but the attacks continued. Tune in and learn more about the story that inspired Jaws in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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every was into podcast open to stuff you missed in history class from housetop works dot com hello and welcome to the five thousand editor tenders keener during my fellow editor kitty lampert canvas katy we have the mail and not the kind of mail that we like to read on the air we have an actual tangible piece of mail a mysterious package its box and no we opened this box we were going to do it live with everyone listing but we decided that since we didn't really know what was in it we didn't the alarming with our girlish screens and cries so we open sparks and inside is a jar and inside jar we ve got a pair bloodied shredded swim trunks for one thing and a news pay clipping second obituary chain and copper tat
that says w be levied at frenzied waters dot com that attached to what i presume is an artificial sharp teeth and we were delighted we didn't know what this lies for user told us is actually a a marketing campaign from discovery so we're still excited but it's not his and written with mystery and intrigue as we had thought and hoped known shark week two thousand nine am starting on august second i think this year and sharp quick like black today is a holiday that everyone celebrated as you did you have to get into it you know with all of you mind enthusiasm and so we're bringing a bit of a historical perspective too sharp with two thousand nine without further ado we are going to enlighten everyone about the nineteen sixteen shark tax on the jersey shore and if you ve seen jaws it was actually based on this story so
go back to july nineteen sixteen stunning first actually so getting ready for independence day weekend and as a heatwave going on and also a polio epidemic and ever is heading to the seashore for the weekend you should know that beach culture was really starting to take off in this in history asserting around the middle aged eighteen hundred people began fox the beach for one with cheap for another reason there were different modes of transportation that you could take to get there i was pretty accessible you go by horses wagon train odd if you're lucky enough to have wine you could even walk son and serve and sand were a nice respite from insects and smoky dusty industrial cities and even though you know that it was somewhat appealing there are some things that warrant cheer appealing for instance people were really cumbrous
bathing suit sometimes made of wool and other heavy fabrics that well and they didn't show off too much but they sort of waited people down and pictures of swimming in a woollen dress women and for man it was like a large tank top with shorts and so they would observe water and make movement very difficult and there were really lifeguards as we think of lifeguards today until the nineteen hundred usually wrists police officers who would stand plays and pretend to be lifeguards for a little while people in the ocean and differ oceanside resorts would section off their areas of the beach with poles and broke and people would hold onto the ropes and fled water in an activity called fanning
king of the fires here like i really got here we had to beat right now i don't think you're lying on a road i know i'm sorry and then in the nineteen hundreds of became even more popular to go to the beach and lifeguard came a specialised profession and not only that but resorts would advertised that they actually had lifeguards which withdraw my people because people thought well hey over if you get a fanny dunk there's a lifeguard there some even had medical pavilions with registered as to how care for them so it was a wonderful place to be the sea side and the jersey shore was really popular as something like eleven president's the time had gone to stay mary todd lincoln went to visit prisons our field actually asked to go there when he was dying from infection so let's imagine the scene we ve got the whites the of the jersey shore coastal beach sites like asbury park spring lake seaside heights beach haven atlantic city
go out and their colorful woollen separate leading in the sign perhaps in striped umbrellas here and there a general merriment maybe even i am good smelling treat her till in the air mary scene would soon be interrupted by greece crimes of nature and charles acting van sand was there with his family at beaching then which is on the south coast of new jersey he was a university of pennsylvania grad he just gotten a job at a philadelphia brokerage firm and was a pretty good miller guy he's per the glee club in it on the varsity go team and he came from a very old family and he and his father and his sisters were there at beach haven for the weekend and his customary for young men to go for a pre dinner dep in the ocean and charles swam right out but the ocean didn't exactly go as planned history crying out and while some beach
start he was calling out for dog he was actually crying for how because a shark had lodged on to his thigh and there was a lifeguard actually there at the time i'll example ought who had been on the island big swim team for the u s and he he swam right out grabbed van sant and brought him in but by the time he brought a man then sat was missing most of his left leg and he bled to death shortly thereafter the shark spite had suffered an artery and his thigh and so he put out pretty quickly bites people viewed thirdly as an isolated incident and for a few days things were com at the beach and day that sort of accident might scare people away from the beach for a very long time didn't really make that huge of an impact you know we have the local news at night to broadcast scary stories and and put people on alert for most of the headlines of the day were occupied with the events of world war one so people
too frightened at the beach the story was on page eighteen of the new york times that didn't even have the front page and people largely conceived of shark attacks is occurring in more southern atlantic waters like around florida georgia in south carolina so they thought it was an anomaly there's one incident at wouldn't happen again but that would not be the case july sixth at spring like a swiss bellboy named charles brewer who worked at the ethics and sussex hotel went out for swam and he was very well liked among staff and guests and he actually spent most of his his wages home to his swiss mother because her other son was at war so here to a special part of the beach there had been a corner da for employee swam and all of a sudden he went under and there was a large red patch and the ocean which led a woman to total lifeguard that she thought a canoe had slipped over red canoe and no one had seen it
can you suffered a couple minutes there was confusion and then they realise that no it was blood and it was charles booter and the lifeguard swam out in a boat and brought him back and he was seeing both of his legs below the me his bones were severed his foot was missing and severe to his abdomen and because it was such a public rescue and public display of how badly mount his wise people became more aware and frightened barks that may be cruising long the jersey shore spring it was a much richer more elite letters town than beach haven was so this made even more headlines now people are starting to come to because it wasn't just attacking the southern jersey shore no the shark was tom the rich but this i knew no boundaries of class because when there was the same sharp or a different one one actually swam inward toward motto on creek which was a title river area off the cow sis was fresh one
and on july twelve a twelve boy in leicester stillwell was attacked unless you're actually had epilepsy so when he went under in mind on creek which is only about thirty feet wide and forty feet deep his friends thought that it had a seizure and he'd be gone under the surface and they needed help getting out so they re the town and came back with the dry cleaner named stanley fisher not be confused with whenever theorist stanley fish totally different man so here large using a pole to programme the water to try to locate his body and he actually discovers that there's a shark lurking in depth so imagine the surprise a shark and freshwater people are panicking one of the accounts i read said that they had stretched a net in there beforehand so the body wouldn't wash out to sea
not knowing that there was a shark and then i would also keep the shark in and that may be why it stayed there and was able to attack fisher instead of swimming backed the ocean but fishing oh then and he was attacked the shark strangers right die another man who had a boat actually try to fend off the shark one of the oars and he found the shark off successfully and got fisher out but fisher later died so now are up to four deaths the same summer and the same general parts of the country and then we about half mile up from where lester stillwell was killed and we have victim number five joseph done a shark bit his lead but he actually was rescued at this point my one residence had kind of wised up to what was going on and he was able to be saved he was taken up strong and they had said that he would never walk again on his limbs are probably be amputated but he ended up keeping both legs which was
eight years and he was the only survivor series of brutal shark attacks and were really just freaked out at this point and even present woodrow wilson had had enough he launched a war on the sea of terror he sent in the navy and the coastguard to help deal with and i'm not exactly sure what they did if they were on the look out for sharks swimming along the beach or if they were actively to capture sharks but people thought that the great white was out about wreaking havoc on humanity and civilians took up their own sort of vigilante justice and shot stabbed and dynamited madeleine creek and started shooting sharks whenever they found them wherever they found them there were several cases of the billions shooting sharks in the head and then getting their pictures taken for the newspaper and clearly that would not fly today that's to put it in
at the time and the fear that was going on it it seemed appropriate and a bottle really avenge and heroic and theirs yeah an unbelievable part of the story but believable because it is true there's manny michael slicer who was a tax durham s and supposedly a parliament bailey circus lion tamer and while he was fishing he actually cost work and raritan bay it was white and supposedly when they opened it they found human flesh inside about fifteen pounds so that great white the terror of matter one creek or was it something else scientists day an ecologist look back and examined not summer and the behaviour of different types of sharks and who the likeliest culprits would be are exactly sure that's the mark of a great whites fabian crystal who you may know his father jacques crystal
that it is unlikely a great white would be in fresh water it's more likely the work of a bull shark inches only one of only two species that can go in and fresh waters both sharks also have really small eyes much more than other sharks at our vision is pretty limited which is why they like to swim near the shore because they can just sort of bump into things instead and in fact their hunting them is called the bump and by because they will bump into something figure out what it is from the bump and then bite it so sorry if a bolshevik about than to you things are not going to go well now get away quickly and after trina actually a bunch of bull sharks were found and lake puncher train and they live in several freshwater lakes and of course that the purpose of this short hide cast is to talk about regular moment in history and to think about the way that beach culture and added toward the ocean and the oceans predators have
hands throughout time it's not to scare you off from your your beach vacation by all means go and haiti in time and i'm with you but it isn't and now just what's out there it it's fun to look at how people's attitudes have changed about bathing culture and we even shocks as scientists of the time kept telling people there were no danger and in fact there were several who said that it couldn't possibly have been a shark who attacked these people because sharks known dont do unpack the tax and that perhaps it was a sea turtles instead so a crazed sea turtle might not make us gonna movie is jobs still about was went very well
knowing about her and the likes of tortoise isn t turtles are relegated to whimsical animated movies and stories about whose faster i turtle or a rabbit their money from a rabbit but if you want to learn even more about sharks shark attacks and post victorian beach and fading culture be sure to visit the website at how stuff works dot com for more on this and thousands of other topics because it has stuff works tat come let us know what you think send an email to podcast housetop or stockholm and be sure to check out the stuff you missed his glass blood on the house of lords that come home this episode is brought to you by mulatto cookies work somewhere
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-06.