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Antique collection and restoration is a rare hobby which people go into for fun or for the joy of saving up the past for the benefit of the future generation. However, the opposite is the case with veteran antique collector and restorer Frank Fritz who abandoned his job as a fire inspector and went into the antique collection business as a career which has proved to be tremendously successful today. Frank Fritz, TV star and celebrity was born on October 11, By nationality, Frank is American but by ethnicity he is white.
He was brought up in Ohio along with his sister who is a few years older than him. Frank has a Christian upbringing and is known to be even-tempered and sociable. He attended his high school at a local school but declined to proceed to college afterward for reasons best known to him rather, he started going about picking unique antiquated items that may have significance to a place, people, tribe or historical time.
Just like a modern-day Archeologist, Frank was interested in antiques but the only difference is that he does not have to engage in digs to gather his own treasures rather he picks them from different places. Frank worked as a fire inspector for almost 25 years. He was known to cover the areas between Des Moines and Cedar falls in Iowa, however, the passion for collecting antiques was already burning in him and this was later identified as the reason why he did not proceed to college to pursue higher education.
His interest in antique collection grew so much that he decided to quit his job as a safety and fire instructor to pursue his passion. At a very young age, Frank fancied collecting rock along with Mike Wolfe.
Mike is a friend Frank he made when he was in high school. The duo have a similar interest in antiques. Like Frank, Mike started with rocks and old can beers and as he grew up, his interest moved to vintage cars and toys. The co-founders traveled all over the country, visiting over two hundred cities looking for junks and antiques to refurbish and sell to the public via their Antique Archeology shop. However, there came a quantum leap in the life of Frank Fritz in The show has brought him popularity because it has grown to become one of the most successful shows with very high ratings.
The show is staged in such a way that the co-presenters do the same thing they would do on their normal everyday routine, i. They also co-founded the restoration company which functions in refurbishing and reselling of antiques.
Since Frank is taciturn with information about his love life, many people have concluded that he must be gay, but this is just an assumption which has not been confirmed. Over the years, the media has managed to confuse us with pictures of Frank with different women but who can tell whether he is involved with them in a romantic way or not?
Frank has never been involved in any marriage to date. No wife, no children, and no divorce. Because of so much secrecy with regards to his relationships, people have started to speculate that he must be romantically involved with his partner Mike in a homosexual relationship. It has also been rumored that he married his longtime girlfriend Jodi Faeth, in but this is still not confirmed. Another rumor says that he is currently in a relationship with a woman, but Frank has not disclosed much about it but he has been found photographed with her on more than one occasion.
Whoever thought collecting old discarded items is capable of making one a millionaire.
The barrel circled the spume-coated waters several times. Always just beyond the men's reach. Finally a Niagara Falls, Ontario, man named Mark Mundi snagged the barrels towline with a grappling hook. Kid Brady stripped to his swimming suit and slip into the water.
Holding on to the rock he grasped the rope and passed it up to Graham. Scrambling back up, Brady joined Graham Ross and Williams as they pulled the heavy barrel out of the water onto the rock. Quickly they cut the lid off. Ross, on his hands and knees, poked his head inside. Cradled on a saturated pillow, a sickly white face turned its eyes upward and blinked in the flood of daylight.
He seemed like a perfect choice to manage a high diving feat. He was hired by Mrs. Taylor to become her manager and promoter. Taylor although wanting little recognition learned that there was little money to be gained without notoriety. A strong, wiry man with the black bushy moustache, Trusedale had fished and hunted ducks on the upper river for years and knew its occurrence and temperament like a book.
A number of times, at the request of other would be daredevils, Truesdale rowed across the river and dumped a barrel overboard in the current that sweeps over the horseshoe's western rim close to the Canadian shore. It must've been Truesdale who suggested sending Annie's barrel over the falls on a trial run first with a cat inside.
Before the big day came, and before the preliminary test drop, Annie's barrel was removed from the lobby of the state Park hotel and taken to an alleyway, perhaps behind the hotel, were Annie posed for pictures inside her barrel. Crudely hands painted on the staves were the words "Queen of the Mist".
Here the barrel was loaded into his boat, the cat placed inside, and the manhole cover closed. The barrel was then towed the near the Canadian shore and released. The barrel was carried over the Horseshoe Falls. It was later recovered by Captain Richard F. Carter and a deckhand took a rowboat upstream where they snag the barrel near the Canadian shore contorted back to the dock the lid wasn't screwed and the reportedly jumped out however in reality the cat was dead.
The cause of death is said to have been suffocation. The barrel was undamaged. Taylor made ready for her great adventure. This was the originally scheduled date for her attempted stunt. The weather was clearly an issue and concern for Truesdale and the others as high winds prevailed churning the navigable portion of the river from which they planned to release Taylor inside her barrel.
Russell and representatives of the press, she arrived at the dock at Port Day. Though it may have caused her some embarrassment she removed most of her outer clothing and stood attired only in trunks and a jacket. A few moments later she slid through the opening in the top of the barrel which floated in shallow water near the quay.
Her barrel was towed out to the middle of the River however high winds precluded its release and the journey was cancelled by Truesdale and she was returned to shore. Anna was born in Cayuga County New York in Edson had 11 children: When Annie was 12 years of age her father died. He was killed in a tree cutting accident on the farm on March 23rd Her mother Lucretia died not long afterwards. At the age of 14 she and her two older brothers John and Delano were sent by their guardian to attend the Conference Seminary and Collegiate Institute in the Village of Charlottesville, New York about 50 miles west of Albany.
During her stay at the seminary she roomed with another student by the name of Jennie Taylor. They became close friends and eventually became relatives when Jennie married Annie's brother Delano and in , following four years of school, Annie married Jennie's brother David Taylor, a medical student from Branchport New York. David was 11 to 13 years older than Annie was at the time of their marriage. They had one child who died several days following birth.
It is believed that her husband David enlisted in the 19th infantry in Auburn New York in He was a first lieutenant in the Union Army. Taylor was wounded in battle at Weldon Railroad in Virginia on June rd and later died of his wounds. Although Annie claims to have been widowed at the age of 20 it was more likely that she was widowed in her mid to late 20s. She decided to become a schoolteacher, one of the few occupations open to American women in the s.
She became a teacher of physical culture and dance. Work in Michigan was sparse. Taylor was becoming increasingly lonely, impoverish and despondent. Anna Edson Taylor describes her sensations during the passage over Niagara Falls in a barrel: Truesdale, the boatman, that he could cut me loose, but when he did so to wrap on the barrel with his ore. A moment later came the warning rap and I was off, but not before I cried out to Mr. Truesdale's voice seemed to come from a great distance, to be swallowed up in a steady roar of the falls.
I thought my heart would burst when I was when I realized that I was set loose and was floating toward the falls. My heartbeat so hard I thought it would suffocate me, but it was too late to back out. I struck on the rocks, and the barrel rolled over and over. After this it seemed to me as if I went around a curve and I rolled over again and hung against a rock. It was just as if I could feel myself hanging on the edge of a sheer precipice and shutting my eyes before the drop into the abyss.
Now I tell you I knew exactly where I was. I knew I was on the edge of the precipice, and braced myself for the shock, and I think that for about 3 seconds I lost my reason. I did not faint, but my mind was gone. I was oblivious of everything. The next thing I knew I was in the cataract below. It must've been the velocity of going over that took my senses away. I realized that I was in the cataract under the falls. I can only describe the fearful sensation by linking it to the movement of a dasher in a churn.
It was is if you had turned me with all your might and pushed me around and around at the same time, over this way, and over that way, and round and round, and thrust up and down with joy and force. It was a tremendous churn! But the barrel, in spite of these terrible thrusts and the wild whirls, was standing up. The water was up to my waist, and I was on my knees in the bottom of the barrel, more dead than alive.
Every time the barrel bobbed up it seemed almost jumped out of the water. Those mighty jumps were terrible. Every time it came down it seemed to strike upon a rock. It would stand on the rock and grind and grind. Water was coming in from the top, and my hands were in it, but my arms were tight bound in the loops.
The awful rolling knock my head first on the front of the barrel and then on the back. I expected to be killed at any moment, but even at that I was not sorry that I was where I was. Then all at once, the barrel gave a tremendous jump. It seemed to me it leaped 15 or 20 feet in the air, like a streak of lightning, and I lost my senses again. When I came to myself, I was going around like this waving her hands in a swift, rotary motion.
The barrel was standing straight up, but revolving so rapidly that I was dazed and dizzy, but I remember thinking, "this is the place where things go down and disappear forever", and I kept running this over in my mind again and again.
And now, for the first time, I began to have hope, and with it came the feeling of pardonable triumph. I had succeeded, and although I was spent and weak, I was eager and confident that somebody might come and pull me out quick. If I was strong enough I would have screamed with delight when I felt the barrel being dragged to shore. The barrel was 22 inches in circumference at the head, 34 inches in circumference in the middle and 15 inches in circumference at the foot.
Each stave was oiled thinking the barrel would shed water better because of the oil. To provide ballast and to keep the barrel upright in the water, a blacksmiths anvil had been bolted with iron bars to the barrels underside.
A small hole had been drilled near the top of the barrel into which a threaded rubber air hose would be screwed to allow Annie to breathe, snorkel fashion in case she exhausted the barrels limited air supply.
The manhole was U-shaped measuring 12 x 14". It was not circular and not at all cut to suit Annie's rather buxom contours of the stout widow. Covering the manhole was a bar of wood for inches thick. Through this lid a heavy iron screw ran. A bar dropped over this and a not placed on the screw was fastened down by a wrench.
Taylor was in the barrel one hour and 15 minutes. Taylor believed that she would not be in the barrel over 50 minutes and that she would have air enough in it to last her that length of time. It will hold about 30 square feet of air when the bicycle pump is applied. Besides, the barrel will have a valve which Taylor could open to admit more air in case the barrel should remain below the falls longer than she estimated.
A leather harness and cushions inside protected her body. Air was secured through a rubber tube connected with a small opening near the top of the barrel. It is softly padded with the usual type of netting. It is also equipped with four sets of grips so that the occupant can support herself no matter what angle it may turn in the river. Taylor said she desired to make the trip in such a way she won't have to look at the water.
She will enter the barrel a long way up the river so that she won't be aware of any potential dangers as she floats towards the falls. This will enable her to retain her nerve though she really has no fear of the coming experience. Then I shall have another pillow back of my head, another one in front of it, a belt around my waist to hold me in the center and prevent my coming in violent contact with either the head or the foot of the barrel, and metal handles fastened to the sides, to which I can hold firmly in further precaution against a collision of my head with the top of the barrel.
The foot of the barrel will be weighted to an extent of pounds, so I believe it will land feet first and on the slant, cleaving the water outward, while I am in a half reclined position. The barrel lay on its side, for the air holes near the head were over her face as she reclined within. She had her harness on. This was the belt Captain Billy Johnson, the lifesaver had advised her to use. She had sought his advice and he had tried to dissuade her from making the trip.
The device was a belt that fits around the waist with a strap running from the middle of the back of the belt down through an iron hasp in the floor of the barrel and back up in front of the belt where it fastened with a buckle.
This was designed to hold her fast to the bottom of the barrel when it was in its most upright position in the water so that her head could not bump against the top of the barrel.
Two large cushions protected the front and back of her body from the shoulders to knees, and she had a pillow to place over her head when the manhole cover was in place.
Around the edges of the manhole cover Mrs. Taylor had tacked a strip of rubber to make it fit snug. Taylor called out that she could see daylight through a crevice on one side of the cover and asked that they plug it up. They tamped a strip of cloth firmly into it. Taylor said it was all right. Although her older sister and four of her brothers were still alive, her thoughts at the prospect of death turned to another to whom she felt a closer bond: Since their old school days at Charlottesville, Jane, now Mrs.
Jane Kendall, had remained her trusted friend, and more recently her only on begrudging benefactor. After the Stunt Following her stunt, Annie made a number of appearances at local gatherings including the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo. She spoke of her experiences and sold postcards of she and her barrel along with a short biographical story she had written. Through the courts, Taylor was able to recover the barrel. Russell was by now fired. Taylor hired a new manager.
His name was William A. Banks of Youngstown, Ohio. Taylor was never able to recover her coveted barrel. From until the close of Mrs. Taylor maintained a residence on Cherry Street in the south end of Niagara Falls it was during this period that she became a familiar figure in souvenir shops and on the sidewalks where she cajoled tourists to purchase copies of her biographical sketch. For several months at a time each year she left the city to visit her older sister Mrs.
On November 6, it was reported that Annie Taylor was almost completely blind. On March 4, Mrs. Taylor, penniless broken health, despondent, and sightless was taken to the Niagara County infirmary at Lockport New York.
The examining physicians concluded her blindness was permanent and she probably had but a few weeks to live. In July of her grave was marked by a polished stone measuring 2 feet high 16 inches across. The inscription on the tombstone reads: An historical picture of Annie Edson Taylor in her barrel following her plunge over the Horseshoe Falls.
On September 18th , Captain Klaus Larsen was the only boater to show up in response to an advertisement by the Niagara International Carnival Committee promoting a boat race through the Whirlpool Rapids. As the only participant, Larsen rode his boat through the rapids to the Whirlpool. During this portion of his trip, Larsen's boat was swamped and Larsen was tossed into the water within sight of Queenston. Larsen was able to make his way to shore and finished his trip to Queenston aboard the Great Gorge Railway.
On October 28th , Captain Larsen made a successful trip through the Whirlpool Rapids in his boat. Larsen successfully repeated this same stunt on October 29th Lincoln Beachy was born in San Francisco in At the age of 18 years, Beachy built his own dirigible. He was a short man with a jutting jaw. The Curtiss biplane had an open cockpit and was a two winged plane. On June 28th at 5: Beachy continued to fly his plane just above the river surface along the length of the gorge at a speed of 50 mph before climbing back up high into the sky before he reached the two rail bridges.
Lincoln Beachy was the first person to fly under a Niagara Falls bridge. Beachy was killed on March 14th during a flying exhibition over San Francisco, California. Beachy's aircraft crashed into San Francisco Bay. Lincoln Beachy sitting at the controls of an early aircraft. Bobby Leach had a reputation in England as a circus stuntman. He had attracted attention to himself by announcing the intention of becoming the first person to complete the "triple challenge".
On July 1st , Leach jumped off the Upper Steel Arch Bridge using a parachute to become the fourth 4th person to do so. During the summer of , Leach returned to Niagara Falls to test his barrel. He attempted to ride the barrel through the Great Gorge Rapids to the Whirlpool. Leach had attached an anchor to his barrel but it was cut loose by rocks. Leach's barrel bounced from rock to rock through the rapids before becoming stuck in an eddy in the Whirlpool.
Leach was rescued by William "Red" Hill Sr.. Hill had to risk his life by swimming out to Leach's barrel and dragging it into shore. Leach was removed from the barrel unconscious.
During that summer, Leach made three 3 other successful trips through the famous Whirlpool Rapids. In addition, Bobby Leach made two aborted attempts to swim across the Niagara River down river from the American Falls.
On the afternoon of July 25th , Bobby Leach climbed into an eight foot long steel drum at Navy Island where the current of the Niagara River veers towards the Canadian shore.
The drum was released at 2: It took eighteen minutes to reach the brink of the Horseshoe Falls before going over. It took 22 minutes to recover the drum. It had become stuck in the river at the base of the falls before Fred Bender an Ontario Power Company employee tied a rope around his waist and swam to where the barrel was. Bender tied a rope to the barrel and it was hauled to the Canadian shore.
Leach was removed from the drum and rushed to the hospital suffering from two broken knee caps and a broken jaw. Twenty three weeks later, Bobby Leach left the hospital and went on tour with his barrel throughout North America and Europe. Leach did return to Niagara Falls to parachute from an airplane. He repeated this feat again on October 10th In both cases Leach landed in corn fields on Canadian soil near the Niagara Gorge.
Records are vague as to his parachute jump. While in Niagara Falls, Bobby Leach purchased and operated a restaurant. In April of , Bobby Leach died at the age of 70 years in Christchurch, New Zealand as a result of an accidental slip on an orange peel while on his daily walk. His fractured leg had become infected and was amputated. Two months later he died in hospital. Oscar Wilson came to Niagara Falls in June of Williams called himself "The Great Houdin".
He was a steeplejack by trade and lived in Niagara Falls, New York. Niagara Falls, New York - June 14th The Great Houdin, a tight-wire performer, entertained a holiday crowd this afternoon at an international carnival here, but hardly in the manner he intended. He was on the programme for a trip across the Niagara Gorge on a quarter inch diameter cable, holding fast by his teeth. His wire was stretched feet north of the Upper Steel Arch Bridge, a point where it was intended his feat would be witnessed by a crowd of 80, assembled on the State Reservation, as well as in Queen Victoria Park.
He mounted his wire and began sliding from the New York bank toward the Canadian shore. Houdin was waving the flags of both countries as he slid along the wire. A slope was planned for the wire, but the weight of his body quickly pulled the strand, making it too slack. Houdin had to stop at a point over the centre of the river approximately 1, feet from the American shore and still feet away from completing his journey.
For a few minutes the immense audience applauded his feat, but when he did not continue toward Canada It was apparent that he was in difficulties, which he indicated by waving flags. Awe-stricken, the crowds looked on while the man, diminutive in form, struggled to retain his hold on the small pulley from which he was suspended.
Houdin grabbed the cable with both his hands and then crossed his legs over the wire and hung that way for 45 minutes until he could be rescued. Houdin was not more than feet north of the Upper Steel Arch Bridge that had been closed to traffic sometime before his scheduled trip however there were several hundred people on the bridge watching as events unfolded.
Firemen were called and responded with several hundred feet of rope. A loop was tied in the rope around the cable with about feet on one side and several hundred feet on the other. One end was thrown over the bank and the foreman slid it along on the cable by walking along on the bridge. Houdin had shifted his position repeatedly and when the rope finally neared him, he almost lost his balance as he reached for it, so eager was he to accept the succor offered. When it was seen that he had grasped the rope, a cheer went up from the anxious crowd that could be heard above the roar of the great cataract.
When it reached Houdin the rope was cast off from the bank and it dropped to the lower river where the steamer Maid of the Mist observing that something was amiss picked up the lower end. The little steamer struggled with the current, but kept well under Houdin, who safely lowered himself hand over hand to reach the boat, a distance of nearly feet. Another great cheer arose when Houdin was hauled safely aboard and sank to the deck completely exhausted.
Other star performers included Lincoln Beachey and Robert Leach. A crowd of , spectators had gathered to watch the events. Leach shot the Whirlpool Rapids in a steel barrel where he became stranded in the whirlpool before being rescued.
Beachey had flown his bi-plane over the Horseshoe Falls and under the Upper Steel Arch Bridge the day before without incident. Today Beachey battling high winds narrowly escaped crashing into the river below. Houdin had undertaken to repeat his failed feat from the previous year by sliding by his teeth across the Niagara Gorge situated under the Upper Steel Arch Bridge. This time Houdin began his slide for life on the Canadian shore. Within feet of the American shore, Houdin became stranded once more because of a slack wire.
Houdin remained marooned until he was hauled ashore by rope. On October 24th , Peter Langaard successfully navigated the Whirlpool in a boat. Without power, Langaard was stranded in the Whirlpool for four hours and twenty minutes before being rescued. Stephens was a 58 year old barber from Bristol, England. He was the father of eleven children.
His wife was named Annie. He had acquired a reputation of daredevil in Europe where he made a number of high dives and several parachute jumps. Bobby Leach advised Stephens not to make his journey until Stephen's barrel was perfected. Stephens refused because he thought Leach did not want him to be a success like Annie Taylor and Bobby Leach. Leached asked William "Red" Hill Sr. The barrel was heavy and had straps for Stephens arms. As ballast, Stephens strapped an anvil to his feet while Leach and Hill Sr.
Charles Stephens was a stubborn man. He was reluctantly persuaded to take a small tank of oxygen with him. He wore only padded clothing. Because of the possibility of the police trying to stop him, Stephens decided to begin his trip over the Horseshoe Falls with little fanfare at 8: Stephens left from Snyder's point located about three miles upstream from the Falls. Leach was so certain that a tragedy was going to take place that he left not wanting to watch.
Stephens went over the brink at 8: When the huge barrel hit the water at the base of the waterfall, the anvil which was tied to Stephens feet was propelled through the bottom of the barrel taking Stephens to his death. The remnants of the barrel remained trapped at the base of the Falls until its iron rings broke away. When recovered, only the tattooed right arm of Stephens was still strapped in the harness. The tattoo read "Forget Me Not Annie".
Charles Stephens became famous for being the first of the barrel stunters to die challenging the Falls. It would be eight years before another daredevil would challenge the river again.
In , the only surviving child Viola Cogan age 81 years visited the Horseshoe Falls. Ms Cogan was present in when her father made his fatal plunge.
On July 4th , Jean Lussier a 36 year old French speaking man from Springfield, Massachusetts came to Niagara Falls and made history by going over the falls in a rubber ball and by being the first person to utilize an inflated rubber craft instead of the more conventional wooden barrel or steel drum.
His French Canadian parents moved back to Quebec shortly after Lussier was born. At age 16, Lussier returned to New Hampshire in order to learn English. Lussier was working in a grocery store when he heard about the Charles Stephens tragedy in Niagara Falls. Lussier went on vacation to Niagara Falls and to learn more about Stephens fatal ride over the falls in a barrel.
Lussier became interested in challenging Niagara Falls himself. With a design in mind, Lussier went to an Akron, Ohio rubber company to develop his idea. It was called a rubber ball being six feet in diameter with inner and outer steel bands. It was lined with thirty-two inner tubes for shock protection with an empty space in the middle for himself including an air cushion.
Lussier weighed pounds. The rubber ball had pounds of hard rubber ballast for the bottom to keep the ball from spinning head over bottom. Lussier had devised a system of valves to provide air from tanks containing enough oxygen to keep him alive for forty hours just in case he was trapped under the waterfalls.
On July 4th , Lussier managed to elude police and rowed his ball out to the middle of the Niagara River about two miles upstream of the Horseshoe Falls. Here the ball carrying Lussier was cut free and began its journey towards the falls. The pound ballast bottom was ripped out from the bottom before the ball reached the crest of the falls.
Three inner tubes burst and the frame was badly damaged. Lussier sustained only minor bruising. In order to profit from his success, Lussier began selling off pieces of his rubber ball to tourists. When he sold out Lussier began selling pieces of rubber that he would purchase from a near by tire store. At the beginning of World War Two, Lussier was rejected from service because of his age. Lussier worked in a defense factory until the end of the war. In , at the age of 61 years Jean Lussier had a dream of being the only man to ever go over the American Falls as well as the Horseshoe Falls.
Lussier began making plans for another ball device twice as big as the rubber one he had used over the Horseshoe Falls. This ball would be 12 feet in diameter and weigh with him included. The ball would have three layers made of cork, aluminium and rubber with a series of braces. The inner ball would be mounted on roller bearings in order to stay upright at all times. In addition it would have a forty-eight hour air supply and a radio system. The dream ended with Jean Lussier's advanced age.
He retired in as did his dream. Lussier died in his mid 70's while living in Niagara Falls, New York. He was a 46 years old bachelor. Strathakis was born in Greece in Before emigrating from Greece, he had become a religious mystic. With no previous experience, Strathakis saw a way of raising money for the publication of his books on metaphysical experiences. George Strathakis lived in Buffalo, New York where he was employed as a chef. Strathakis however wanted to become a professional writer.
Strathakis wrote in one of his yet unpublished books that he was born a thousand years ago on the banks of the River Abraham in Central Africa. He spoke of Niagara Falls in a mystical sense. Strathakis would often take a rowboat into the Niagara River. Each trip would take him closer to the Falls and the roar of the great thunder. The death of Charles Stephens in and the success of Jean Lussier in provided Strathakis with the desire to follow in their footsteps. Strathakis and his friends began building a barrel.
His plan called for the creation of a two thousand pound vehicle. Rather than build on the successful design of Lussier's rubber ball, Strathakis decided to construct his barrel on the basic design utilized by Charles Stephens by using lots of wood and steel. The size and strength of Strathakis' barrel proved impressive.
Strathakis rode his barrel over the Horseshoe Falls on July 5th The barrel survived undamaged. George Strathakis made one very serious miscalculation. He had taken with him an air supply for only eight hours.
Strathakis' barrel became stuck behind the Falls and was held for twenty-two hours before being released in an eddy. When the barrel was recovered and the lip opened, Strathakis had died of suffocation. Strathakis had taken his fondest friend - pet turtle "Sonny" with him in the barrel. The turtle which was believed to be years old, survived the journey. The medical examiner was Doctor W. Following his death, no one claimed the body of George Strathakis.
Of the seven human bearing barrels to go over the Horseshoe Falls, Strathakis' barrel was the only one to ever get caught behind the wall of water. One year later, Red Hill Sr. On May 30th , a large crowd estimated at twenty-five thousand lined both sides of the Niagara River from the Horseshoe Falls to Queenston - Lewiston to witness a spectacular feat performed by legendary river man William "Red" Hill Sr.
At the age of 42 years, Hill Sr. Its interior was only five feet long because Hill Sr. This barrel had a fourteen inch by eighteen inch manhole to allow entry which was covered by a sliding steel cover sealed with rubber gaskets. There were air holes on the sides of the barrel with were plugged with cork to allow them to be opened in an emergency. It was weighted by a steel keel welded to its bottom consisting of a one hundred and fifty pound section of railroad track.
The barrel was equipped with a harness system so that Hill Sr. The barrel weighed pounds and was painted bright red with gold lettering with "William Red Hill, Master Hero of Niagara inscribed on the sides.
May 30th , Hill Sr. Because of the eddies it took Hill Sr. His trip through the rapids to the whirlpool took ninety seconds. At the whirlpool, the barrel became stuck in the vortex. After three and a half hours, Hill Sr. He suffered a few minor bruises. He went back to work driving a taxi the next day. This was Hill Sr. His first performance occurred in using the barrel of Bobby Leach.
Strathakis died in this barrel while attempting to go over the Falls on July 5th Again the barrel became caught in the vortex.
Only through the heroic efforts of his son William "Red" Hill Jr. The next day Hill Sr. He received more lifesaving awards from the Canadian Government than any man before or since. He had grown up near the gorge and it was his playground. During his lifetime, Red Hill Sr. He won his first Canadian Government lifesaving medal at the age of nine years.
Shifting winds sent thousands of tons of ice from Lake Erie over the Falls into the gorge below creating a massive ice jam as thick as a hundred feet. Prior to both American and Canadian Governments tolerated persons crossing over the ice bridge or building shacks. Near noon on Sunday February 4th , in below zero temperatures, the ice bridge began to shake and groan. A short distance away he saw a small group of tourists who appeared frozen by fear.
An ice flow broke loose carrying a pair of newly weds, Mr. All three persons died as the ice flow on which they were riding reached the Great Gorge Rapids. On August 8th , a scow engaged in dredging had broken loose of its mooring above the upper rapids and drifted out of control towards the Horseshoe Falls. Gustave Luffberg and Frank Harris, both dredging employees were on board the scow. Frantically, they opened the two holes in the bottom of the scow dropping its load.
As a result the scow became caught on reef rocks only several hundred feet from the brink of the Falls. He was brought up in Ohio along with his sister who is a few years older than him. Frank has a Christian upbringing and is known to be even-tempered and sociable. He attended his high school at a local school but declined to proceed to college afterward for reasons best known to him rather, he started going about picking unique antiquated items that may have significance to a place, people, tribe or historical time.
Just like a modern-day Archeologist, Frank was interested in antiques but the only difference is that he does not have to engage in digs to gather his own treasures rather he picks them from different places.
Frank worked as a fire inspector for almost 25 years. He was known to cover the areas between Des Moines and Cedar falls in Iowa, however, the passion for collecting antiques was already burning in him and this was later identified as the reason why he did not proceed to college to pursue higher education. His interest in antique collection grew so much that he decided to quit his job as a safety and fire instructor to pursue his passion.
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