A tube man, also known as a skydancer or air dancer and originally called the Tall Boy, is an inflatable moving advertising product comprising a long fabric tube (with two or more outlets), which is attached to and powered by an electrical fan. As the electrical fan blows air through the fabric tube, this causes the tube to move about in a dynamic dancing or flailing motion.
The design of the tube man was invented by Peter Minshall, an artist from Trinidad and Tobago, along with a team that included Israeli artist Doron Gazit, for the 1996 Summer Olympics. Minshall originally called his invention the "Tall Boy". Gazit eventually patented the concept of an inflatable, dancing human-shaped balloon and licensed the patent to various companies that manufacture and sell the devices.
Some local municipalities in the United States have banned the use of these products. An ordinance in Houston, which went into effect in 2010, prohibits the use of all attention-getting devices, claiming such devices "contribute[s] to urban visual clutter and blight and adversely affect[s] the aesthetic environment and the safety and quality of life for the community and the citizens of the city."
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