The First Niagara Falls “Barrel” Daredevil: Annie Edson Taylor

Annie Edson Taylor with her Horseshoe Falls barrel
Destitute and desperate, former charm school teacher Annie Edson Taylor went over Horseshoe Falls in a barrel in 1901 and cashed in on her brief celebrity selling books, photos and talks about herself. Later institutionalized, she died penniless.


Talk about a tough old broad. Annie Edson Taylor was the first, and the oldest, person to survive a tumble over Niagara falls in a pillow-padded barrel of her own design. At a time when women were expected to be docile, delicate and fragile, Annie Edson Taylor was a fearless, foolhardy badass.

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