Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BLONDIN, Emile Gravelet, funambulist, born in France, about 1830. In 1855 he was engaged by William Niblo to perform with the Ravel troupe in New York, and was subsequently part proprietor of a circus. On 30 June 1859, he accomplished the remarkable exploit of crossing the Niagara River on a tight rope, and afterward crossed with a man on his back, and performed similar feats in other parts of America and Europe. The rope on which he crossed, a short distance below the falls, at a height of 150 feet from the water, was 1,300 feet long and 31/4 inches in diameter.
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