Alvin Kelly’s Claim to Fame? Sitting on Flagpoles!

By Karen Harris

It is not the most conventional way to fame, but for Alvin ‘Shipwreck’ Kelly it was certainly effective. During the 1920s and 1930s, Kelly earned a name for himself…and a certain degree of notoriety…by sitting atop flag poles and other odd elevated perches for extended periods of time. Shipwreck Kelly is credited with starting the flagpole sitting fad, which was popular in the Roaring Twenties and he even earned a spot in the World Record Book for his sitting ability. Here is the peculiar story of Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly.