“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. Desiring to secure her later years financially, and avoid the poorhouse, she decided she would be the first person to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
“The trip itself took less than twenty minutes. After the journey, Annie Taylor 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.”
“Her manager, Frank M. Russell, decamped with her barrel, and most of her savings were used towards private detectives hired to find it.”