Red Hill Jr. was no stranger to the Niagara Falls and the power it possessed. His father Red Hill Sr. was well known in the area. He had helped rescue several people from the Niagara River, but he had never actually attempted a trip over the falls.
One of his sons, Red Jr. was slightly more foolhardy than the elder Hill. In July of 1950 Red Jr. announced to the media that the following year he would go over the Horseshoe Falls in a ball, similar to the one used by Jean Lussier in 1928.
Lloyd, the younger of the two, was not going to be upstaged by his older brother and decided to attempt the journey in 1950 in a steel barrel. His attempt was thwarted when his barrel was caught in a weir used by the Canadian Power Plant. After his rescue, the barrel slipped into the river and disappeared, unoccupied over the falls.
The following Summer Red Jr. followed through with his announcement, except unlike his brother, he chose not a steel barrel, but instead a contraption that he referred to as the “thing”.
Some claimed it to be a rubber ball, but in fact it was fourteen rubber truck tire inner tubes covered with heavy canvas and held together with a thick net. The ends were packed with even more inner tubes and Red Jr. was held in place with even more inner tubes.