Saturday Scenes

Thu 5 July 2012

Also Known as Funambulism

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 20:52

On the 30th of June in 1859, French acrobat Charles Blondin was the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Born in 1824, The Great Blondin first appeared in public at age five and quickly made a name for himself as a tightrope walker in France and then in the United States and the United Kingdom. He became famous crossing Niagara Falls near Rainbow Bridge on a tightrope 8.3cm (3¼ in) in diameter and almost half a kilometre (over a quarter of a mile) long. He was just 50m (160 ft) over the rushing water. And as if that were not enough, he crossed the bridge another 16 times.

Blondin made several more crossings of Niagara, each one more daring than the last. He crossed it blindfold, pushing a wheelbarrow; once he carried a stove, stopped half way across and cooked himself an omelette, another time he crossed on stilts. In August 1859 he crossed the gorge with his manager Harry Colcord on his back.

According to legend, Colcord claimed that the trip was truly terrifying with broken guy ropes causing the rope to swing violently and Colcord had to dismount half way across.

In 1860 the Prince of Wales watched Blondin cross Niagara Gorge. He was asked if he would like to be carried on Blondin’s back for the return journey. He refused.

Blondin continued to perform until he was in his 70s, including pushing a lion strapped into a wheelbarrow across the tightrope and riding a cycle on the tightrope. He died in 1897 at age 75 of diabetes.

Meanwhile, on the 30th of June in 2012, amazing feats of photography occurred as these Saturday Scenes were taken:

These are the daring photographers who took them:

It’s easy to join in!

Simply take a photograph on a Saturday and send the url to @SatScenes along with a location.

Follow SatScenes on Twitter to see all the photographs as they arrive and check out the Saturday Scenes 2012 list for an introduction to all our recent submitters.

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