Annie Edson Taylor was the first to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She used a custom-made barrel with padding and leather straps. She climbed inside the airtight barrel, the air pressure was compressed with a bicycle pump and on her 63rd birthday, October 24, 1901, she headed down the Niagara River towards Horseshoe Falls. After the plunge, rescuers found her alive with only a small gash on her head. She was hoping for fame and fortune with her stunt, but she died in poverty.