Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday in History: Barrelling

On this day in history in 1838 a little girl was born into a large family during a time in America that people made their living doing whatever they could wherever they could.
Annie Edson Taylor, the "Queen of the Mist," and her barrel, pictured
here with her test pilot, a cat who fared the same as she in the trip
over the falls: a bleeding head, but otherwise uninjured. (via wikipedia)
She became a school teacher, and moved from her home in New York to various different places, steadily westward, and if she was not successful in a business venture, she moved on. After the death of her child which was followed by the death of her husband, she went to Bay City, Michigan, San Antonio, Texas, and even Mexico City. But none of these places provided her with the security she felt she would need in later life. She returned northward with a sure-fire plan.
On this day in history in 1901, on her sixty third birthday, Annie Edson Taylor, in her custom made barrel, plummeted over the edge of Niagara Falls. “If it was with my dying breath,” she told newspapermen later, “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.”
Unfortunately, the stunt did not make her as affluent as she had hoped, but she was able to use the fame she gained to make money for the rest of her life.
Happy hundred seventy fifth birthday, Annie the adventurer!

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