Joe was the forerunner of the modern stuntman.
He could jump onto the surface of water in a tank and out again, simply wetting the soles of his shoes. That this feat involved a double spring is proved by the fact that he would jump up to the water a distance of 5 feet and then clear the tank landing 6 feet beyond it. he would jump onto a crate of eggs, touch them and spring off without breaking a single shell.
One death defying feat involved him jumping over the back of a chair onto the face of his daughter, lying on the ground, and springing off again without hurting her, but leaving the marks of whitening from the soles of his shoes, on her cheeks.
Joe's fantastic abilities reached the ears of King Edward who was apparently as baffled as everyone else as to how he did it. In fact the King was so intrigued a command performance was arranged at London's Covent Garden for the publican's abilities to be tested. The King was so bowled over by Joseph's jumping that he sent him a cheque for £25.
Joe performed before most of the crown heads of Europe who would see him presenting one of his favourite freak jumps - leaping over a handsome cab. As his fame spread, he was beset with challenges from all parts of Europe.
In fact the more he jumped the more daring his feats became. The stunt man was so at home in the air that he eventually became known as "the man bird", a name which greeted him everywhere he went from New York to Vienna, Warsaw to Paris and Berlin to Brussels.
The man bird's more picturesque feats were: clearing a full sized English billiard table lengthways, jumping over a chair placed on top of a table with his ankles tied together , springing from a brick, stood on end, over seven chairs without causing the brick to move, and leaping over ten chairs placed together in one jump.