Maria Spelterina

The first woman tight rope walker crossed the Niagara River in July of 1876. Maria Spelterina, an Italian daredevil was brought to Niagara for a week long engagement, in which she crossed the gorge several times. Spelterina performed several stunts as she walked across a 2 ¼ inch thick wire cable. With the exception of carrying someone on her back she successfully performed many of the same stunts of her earlier counterparts. Including walking across with bushel baskets attached to her feet, crossing blindfolded, and crossing with her arms and legs shackled. On one of her last trips across she delighted audiences when she skipped and danced across the wire cable. Spelterina’s amazing feats proved to the audiences of her day that she was just as capable as her male counterparts, if not better.