#April 2, 1887: the world’s first human cannonball

First there was an explosion, then a puff of smoke, and then, on this day, April 2, 1887 the first human cannonball was propelled into the air about 20 meters above the heads of an astonished crowd. She was Rosa Richter, a 16-year-old English girl who performed under the singular and clearly un-English name of “Zazel”. A tightrope walker and aerial acrobat, she had learnt her craft from William Hunt, a Canadian who gloried under the title of The Great Farini. He was most famous for performing a high-wire walk…

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