Tiny Oz pays tribute to death-defying, scantily clad trapeze artists from 1870s Adelaide

It is a sunny day in the late 19th century.

A crowd in the Adelaide Parklands picnics on cold cuts and pigeon pies as a large balloon slowly rises into the sky.

High in the air, a scantily clad woman performs trapeze tricks suspended from the balloon basket — before slipping away to parachute to the ground.

This story from Adelaide’s past has been brought to life in miniature form by the ABC’s Tiny Oz series, which features craftspeople from across Australia re-creating their local history.

Tonight’s episode features a miniature of the first-ever hot air balloon to lift off in Adelaide — and the carnival atmosphere that surrounded it.

The miniature took 11 modelers some 1,704 hours to complete.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Angus Randall)

‘Scandals’ in scantily clad artists

Co-host and miniaturist JoAnne Bouzianis-Sellick was amazed at the stories coming out of her home town.

“Ladies, scantily clad, would launch out of the balloon with not much more than a canvas beach umbrella strapped to their back and perform these death-defying aerobatics to the cheering crowds below,” she said.


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