Archives On The Air 214: Safety Last: The Career Of Harold Lloyd—Harold Lloyd Papers

Aug 13, 2020

Harold Lloyd was one of the biggest silent film comedians alongside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Lloyd was known for elaborate action sequences where he did his own stunts. His most iconic stunt was hanging off the arms of a clock in Safety Last.

Silent film stunt-work was dangerous, and in 1919 Lloyd lost a thumb and index finger when a real bomb was mistaken for a prop. The blast blinded Lloyd for eight months. After this, Lloyd wore a noticeable prosthetic hand in his films.

Lloyd's movies were popular across the world. In his collection there is a letter from a Japanese fan who started a Harold Lloyd fan club.

After his days as a movie star, Lloyd became a successful producer, but his passion was taking stereoscopic 3-D photos, including photos of The Beatles and Marilyn Monroe.

Harold Lloyd's collection at the American Heritage Center includes promotional photos from his films, correspondence, and a pair of his iconic round glasses.