FRANK FITHEN
At the age of 9 Frank lost a good part of his upper arms in a railroad accident.
   Instead of dwelling on his disability he focused on his abilities and learned to ride a specially built bicycle and unicycle. In his 20's he developed a routine of tricks and proceeded to tour the country performing as a street entertainer, bridesmaid dresses discount charging no admission but taking up collections to help pay his expenses.
  In the early 1900's he even toured Europe for three years, earning his living by his trick riding and the selling of his pictures.
With the advent of the auto-
mobile and, soon thereafter, automobile racing Frank switched form bicycles to autos around 1912 and became known as the "Armless Auto Speed King" driving his 6 cylinger, 60 hp "Oakland" car at speeds approaching 60mph! (Fast for that time),
   Frank would demonstrate how he could crank the car with "a few kicks of his foot".  He drove the car using his stumps fitted into a specially built steering wheel, while braking and shifting were accomplished with his foot.
   Frank continued to criss-cross the country, earning a living by selling picture postal cards of himself, a few of which are shown here. In 1915 he was mentioned in several news articles as he made his way acrosss the country to the Panama-Pacific International Expo at San Francisco in his hi-speed automobile, signing and selling his photos along the way.
   Unlike other armless performers who used their feet in place of hands, Frank used his teeth to sign his postcards and would use his stumps to do most other things.
   Frank was married but I don't know if he had any kids.
Note the specially built steering wheels in both photos.  Frank would steer and otherwise control the car by placing his stumps in the steering wheels openings
Strictly speaking, of course, Frank should not be included on these pages because he was never a member of a circus or carnival sideshow. But because he travelled the country demonstrating his abilities in spite of his diability and sold souvenir photos to earn or supplement his income - a time worn tradition in the business - I've decided to include him here.