The Original Globe of Death has been in the Urias Family since it was built in 1912 by Jose Urias; the Great Grandfather of the Urias Brothers. Jose passed on the legacy to his son Jose II and grandson Victor, then to Victor’s sons Erwin and Melvin who continue to perform in the Original Globe.
Urias Globe of Death Trivia
The Globe was originally constructed with heavy steel strapping and hand pounded steel rivets to hold the steel straps together and give the Globe its crisscrossed metal weaved appearance.
68 years after its construction (1978) Victor was transporting the Globe while on tour with Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus when he was struck from behind by an 18 wheeler when the truck driver had fallen asleep.
The Globe, motorcycles and equipment were damaged and pieces of steel were strewn alongside the highway for more than a mile, fortunately there were no major injuries to Victor and his family. The Globe was gathered up, welded and repaired without missing any shows!
Performing in a Split Globe of Death
The Urias Daredevils defied all odds by riding their motorcycles in a Split Globe of Steel. The picture to the right is from 1960 and shows Victor Urias riding atop the massive 15 foot gap in the splitting globe maintaining a speed of 50 miles per hour.
Victor performed this act with his brother Geraldo. They were riding English motorcycles; Villiers which had engines built by Rolls Royce. This act toured throughout South America. The split Globe of Death and the roar of the Urias motorcycles thrilled audiences everywhere the Urias Troup performed.
The First Globe of Death Female Performers (pictured at top of page)
Victor Urias introduced his wife, Kathia Urias, to the audiences that came to watch the Urias Family Daredevils perform in the Globe of Death. In fact, the Urias Globe of Death was the first globe to add a lady standing in the center as the motorcycles raced around her in the Globe of Death.
Victor Urias was the first Globe of Death ever to feature a female rider in the early 1960’s. In the 70’s the Urias Family was the only globe ever to feature 2 female riders!
Victor Urias and Douglas McValley careen around the metal mesh globe at breakneck speed in the 110th edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus. The Urias Family Globe of Death toured with Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus 1978-1986, 1999-2000, 2008-2009
The Urias Family is the first Globe of Death act to feature 3 motorcycles, and the first to feature 3 motorcycles and a Lady standing in the center. The photo on the left was taken in 1989. It shows (from left to right) Melvin, Kathia (front), Erwin and Victor.