Barry Larkin's Olympic Torch


Barry Larkin, 1956 Summer Olympics


Wooden chair leg painted silver as handle; plum pudding can as top.


Can be lit without a combustible fuel source. Induces mass laughter.


May start mass anger at user. Wielder becomes soaked in kerosene fuel.



Collected by

Warehouse 13







Date of Collection



Origin[edit | edit source]

Barry Larkin is a veterinary surgeon from Melbourne, Australia who performed a hoax during the 1956 Summer Olympics where he pretended to be running with the Olympic Flame. Larkin and eight other students at St John's College, University of Sydney, planned to protest against the Olympic Flame. One reason was that the torch relay was invented by the Nazis for the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany.

The plan was to get one of the other students, dressed in white shorts and a white top, to carry a fake torch. The fake was made of a wooden chair leg painted silver, on top of which was a plum pudding can. A pair of underpants, worn by one of the students in National Service, was put inside the can, soaked in kerosene. The underpants were set on fire. The torch was scheduled to enter Sydney, carried by Harry Dillon. Dillon would present the Torch to the Mayor of Sydney, Pat Hills, at Sydney Town Hall.When Larkin presented the torch to Hills, he was unprepared and did not look at the torch before going straight to his speech. While Hills was talking, Larkin walked quietly away, avoiding attention. Hills was not told the torch was a fake until someone whispered in his ear that it was a fake. Hills looked around for Larkin, but by now Larkin had merged into the crowd and escaped.

Effects[edit | edit source]

When held, it lights itself and causes laughter in nearby persons. If it is dropped at any point, the amusement turns into riotous anger. Also soaks the holders underpants or other clothing in kerosene.

Triva[edit | edit source]

  • If the wearer is not wearing underpants, the leggings become soaked.
  • If leggings are not worn, the next largest item of clothing becomes soaked.
  • If no clothes are worn, the hair becomes soaked. Testing was called off at this point due to inability to locate a bald volunteer.
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