Sunday, August 1, 2010

- this time wearing peach baskets strapped to her feet


Maria Spelterini (whose last name is sometimes spelled as Spelterina), born about 1853, was an Italian tightrope walker who was the only woman to cross the Niagara gorge on a tightrope, which she did on July 8, 1876. She used two and a quarter inch wire and crossed just north of the lower suspension bridge. She crossed again on July 12, 1876, this time wearing peach baskets strapped to her feet. She crossed blindfolded on July 19, and on July 22 she crossed with her ankles and wrists manacled.

She also toured Europe, performing at Moscow, St. Petersburg, Saint Aubin on the Island of Jersey (August, 1872), and Catalan (24 August 1873).

An article appeared in the French paper L'Univers Illustre in October, 1873, showing her crossing the harbour at Saint Aubin, Jersey and her portrait.

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