The world-famous acrobat, Blondin, was born in France in 1824. His real name was Jean Francois Gravalet. Over the years, he became famous throughout Europe and America. In London he once played a violin on a tightrope 170 feet above the ground. On this side of the Atlantic, he became famous for crossing Niagara Falls on a tightrope 1,100 feet long and 160 feet above the water. One time he even pushed a wheelbarrow across the Falls while blindfolded. Another time, he stood on his head on the wire. Still another time he carried his manager across Niagara Falls on his back. When he made it to the other side, he looked into the crowd and asked a man standing near, "Do you believe I could do that with you?" The man answered, "Of course, I’ve just seen you do it." Then Blondin said, "Hop on, and I’ll carry you across." The man quickly said, "Not on your life!"