Today in history: Charles Blondin

in history •  last year

Hello Steemians!

Welcome to today's episode of the "Today in History" serial, where I bring you daily historical facts and events of the current date.

On February 28. 1824. in St Omer in France, the acrobat and tightrope walker, Jean François Gravelet, known as Charles Blondin was born.

In 1829. at the age of five, Blondin started attending the École de Gymnase in Lyon where he started training as an acrobat.
After only 6 months of practice he made his debut under the name "The boy Wonder", showing great skill and his original settings of his acts.

In 1855. Blondin traveled to the United States and performed in New York City with the Ravel troupe.
Blondin got the idea of crossing the Niagara Falls and so he did on June 30. 1859. and became the first man to cross on a rope.
After being successful the first time, he started improving his act, crossing the Niagara blindfolded, in a sack, carrying his manager Harry Colcord and even cooked and ate an omelette while sitting down in the middle of the way.

Charles Blondin carrying Harry Colcord across Niagara Falls

In 1861. he traveled to England and performed in the Crystal Palace in London and in the year also in Edinburgh in Scotland in the Royal Botanic Gardens and in the Royal Portobello Gardens in Dublin, Ireland.
While he was performing in Dublin his rope broke, while Blondin wasn't injured two of his workers fells to their deaths.

On September 6. 1873. he crossed the Edgbaston Reservoir in Birmingham and in 1992 a statue in his honor was built at the nearby Ladywood Middleway.

In 1896. he held his final performance in Belfast.
Shortly after, on February 22. 1897. he died of diabetes at age of 73 in his home, "Niagara House" in London.
He was buried in the Kensal Green Cemetery.

Thank you for reading!
I hope you enjoyed this episode about the most famous tightrope walker of all times, Charles Blondin!


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