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Images from the Footlight Notes Collection Picture Archive are available on request
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FOOTLIGHT NOTES
no. 573

updated
Saturday, 6 September 2008

FOOTLIGHT NOTES
images of theatre and other popular entertainment
1850s-1920s

Adelaide Bassett
a cabinet photograph of Adelaide Bassett (1859-1895),
English balloonist and parachutist

(photo: Laroche & Co, Poplar, London, early 1890s)

'MDLLE. ADELAIDE BASSETT, Double or Single Descents, the Great and Marvellous Parachutist, and Captain ORTON, who has eclipsed all others, will be pleased to Arrange with Gentlemen of Fêtes, Galas, &c. For terms and dates, apply to the Experienced Aeronaut, Captain ORTON, 7, Venue-street, Bronley, E.'
(The Era, London, Saturday, 2 August 1890, p. 22c, advertisement)

'WEAVERS' FETE AT KIDDERMINSTER.
'The usual fête and sports of the Kidderminster and Stourport carpet weavers took place yesterday, at the Copse and Aggborough Ground, Kidderminster. The caprice of the weather somewhat interfered with the fête, and at one period of the afternoon a hailstorm interrupted the sports for a time. This, however, did not seem to have much untoward effect on the attendance, which was very large. The several attractions of the fête included a parachute descent from a balloon by Captain Alfred Orton and Mdlle. Adelaide Bassett, and there were gymnastic performances, comicalities, and music by several bands.'
(The Birmingham Daily Post, Birmingham, Tuesday, 4 August 1891, p. 7g)

'FEMALE PARACHUTIST KILLED.
'Miss Adelaide Bassett, a London parachutist, was killed in Peterborough yesterday evening. In connection with a fete there had been arranged a balloon ascent and a double parachute descent by Captain Orton and Miss Bassett. The latter's parachute was broken by a telephone wire on the balloon being released, and as she had consequently no means by which to descend, she jumped from the balloon to the ground and was killed.'
(The Aberdeen Weekly Journal, Aberdeen, Scotland, Tuesday, 6 August 1895, p. 6c)

See ballooninghistory.com for further information about Adelaide Bassett and Alfred Orton.

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