Annie Edson Taylor

Annie Edson Taylor, a 63 year old teacher from Bay City Michigan, became the first person on record to go over the Horseshoe Falls in a barrel and survive. Broke and alone, Annie, like many other daredevils, took her life in her hands, in the hopes of fame and fortune. At the time of her stunt Taylor claimed that she was 42, thinking that the press would look more favourably on a younger woman attempting the feat.

On October 24, 1901, Annie went over the falls in a 41/2 foot 160 pound oak barrel bound with metal hoops. It was stuffed with pillows and a small mattress, and contained a 45 kg anvil in its bottom to keep it upright in the water. The barrel was also outfitted with a makeshift breathing tube made out of a hose. Her assistants pumped air directly into the barrel with a bicycle pump before sending her on her way towards the brink of the Falls. She plunged 167 feet over the cataract and survived with only minor cuts and bruises.

Taylor however, did not find the fame and fortune she so desperately seeked, and she died many years later a penniless woman. She is buried alongside Carlisle Graham in the Oakwood Cemetery, and holds the title of being the first person to go over the Horseshoe Falls and survive.