Barrel Woman

Annie Edson Taylor (1838–1921) was an American adventurer who, on her 63rd birthday became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel. The desire to secure her later years financially, and avoid the poorhouse, made her came up with the idea. The trip itself took less than twenty minutes. Afterwards she 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.”

I am speechless. What a crazily courageous woman.

Update: She was mentioned in this Radiolab series.

6 Comments leave a comment below

  1. Chris Van Allsburg wrote a great children’s book about this woman, entitled Queen of the Falls
    http://smartcat.acpl.lib.in.us/?itemid=|acpl-bibs|ocn605010700

  2. risk you life for money??

  3. Love this story. Something has to be considered, the age, the time – back then, it really was something unique and the alternatives were likely a lot more than just not having money. Merry Christmas

  4. Can’t decide it that’s nuts or awesome! I think it might actually be both. xx

  5. Well, a 63 yr old woman in 1901 with no prospects had nothing to lose, did she? It’s a sad story, really. Hope she was able to live out her days comfortably on whatever profits this generated.

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