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December 18, 2012

Annie Edson Taylor: The First Person to Survive Trip Over Niagara Falls in a Barrel in 1901

Annie Edson Taylor (1838-1921) was an American adventurer who, on her 63rd birthday, October 24, 1901, became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Desiring to secure her later years financially, and avoid the poorhouse, she decided she would be the first person to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Taylor used a custom-made barrel for her trip, constructed of oak and iron and padded with a mattress.

Several delays occurred in the launching of the barrel, particularly because no one wanted to be part of a potential suicide. After the journey, Annie Taylor told the press:
“If it was with my dying breath, I would caution anyone against attempting the feat... I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the Fall."

(via Niagara Falls Public Library)



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