Grave of Sam Patch, First Daredevil in Recorded History
Sam Patch, born in 1807 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, became the first known recorded daredevil in history. Patch and other mill workers often jumped falls into the Blackstone River to pass the time with amusement. But unlike his fellow millhands, Patch sought out more thrill than what he was getting from these small leaps. He started jumping off higher and higher platforms, where the other mill boys dared not to follow. Despite his notoriety later in life, Sam Patch was not always in the business of taking risks. He originally worked in New England traveling from mill to mill in order to find work in a rapidly industrializing economy.