Niagara Falls, the magic at the US-Canada border

Neither the biggest .. Neither the longest .. nor the most powerful .. After all, it is the most famous waterfall in the world. Why? One of the clues owes to Hollywood productions and above all to the flow barrels. But let’s start from the beginning. It was here that films such as Superman II, Niagara (first Merlin Monroe movie) and Bruce Almighty’s beloved Americans were created.

Waterfall is not only a filmmaking stage, it is also a giant source of energy. At the turn of the fifties and sixties the demand for electricity increased with the development of industry. It needed not only production bands, but increasingly demanding households. The power of the waterfall is ideally suited to the dynamic history of the development of the United States and Canada. The nearby factories produced papers, rubber, plastics, petrochemicals and abrasives. Interestingly, not only the city of Niagara Falls used the opportunity of the Niagara River. The excess power generated was transferred to a distant, over six hundred kilometers, New York City. To make full use of the hydroelectric potential of the river, New York City planners Robert Moses, built power plants in nearby Lewiston.

So the waterfall attracted thousands of people to work. A small settlement of Niagara Falls, turned into a lively 130,000 city (50,000 on the American side, 80,000 on the Canadian side).

By the way, you should know the creative use of the waterfall. It awakened not only the imagination of entrepreneurs but also the ordinary inhabitants thirsty for extreme sensations. There was an unusual sports competition. Really? Yes, jump in the barrel. Sounds like a comedy script? I thought it was a joke or a kind of local legend. For the unbelievers I present tangible evidence which may also encourage you to listen to a further story.

The first jump was made by the teacher, Annie Edson Taylor. On the day of her sixty-third birthday she decided to make something crazy. The effect did not make long wait. She prepared a barrel with a thick mattress (some say it was a quilt). To compensate for the pressure in the center, air is injected into the center using bicycle pumps. This ensured the stability of the structure, and the sensational Annie could feel safe. On the margins, I wish I could had such ideas in mind in my sixties.

In the first place Taylor sent a cat to check the reliability of the structure. The cat survived and two days later on the 21st of October.1901 barrel with a courageous American fell down. Annie came out on top and proved that with will one can do anything. Not long after, Annie has been imitated. A collection of barrels, both original Annie’s and later, can be viewed in the city center at the Niagara Daredevil Exhibit in the cinema vaults (Imax Theater, Niagara Falls, 6170 Fallsview Blvd., Niagara Falls, ON L2G 7T8, Canada).
Part of the jump ended tragically, so in 1951 categorically banned similar feats.

Good to know:

  1. 1. In the summer, if the state of the water allows it, cruises are organized in the lower part of the river.
  2. In the mentioned cinema Imax we can see the movie “Maid of the Mist”. It tells about the history of the waterfall and the legends associated with it. This is a good place to kill time if you decide to wait for the fireworks display at 9pm.
  3. Every day at dusk the waterfall is decorated with light fixtures, and every Friday there is fireworks display, free admission (20:30 or 21:00 depending on the time of the year).
  4. If you decide to spend more than one day in the area, you can go to the casino, the botanical park or shopping.
  5. An interesting experience is the entrance to the waterfall and the tunnel hollowed 50 meters under the main fall. Through the small windows we can look at the water wall.
  6. It is interesting that the waterfall retreats about 30 cm a year. For 50,000 years Niagara will cease to exist.