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Early Aeronaut - Aviator - Acrobat

Ivy Baldwin was born William Ivy at Houston, Texas, July 31, 1866, then later changed his name to Ivy Baldwin. With very little education, at age ten he ran away from home with a boyhood companion. They worked their way to San Antonio where they sold papers, ran errands, and became bootblacks, sleeping in parks and roughing their way. 

When the circus came to town the boys slipped in and the trapeze acts amazed Ivy. He practiced these tricks in back alleys and became very proficient. Eventually a circus saw him practicing and as a result he joined the circus and in time became an artist. For [[strikethrough]] 13 [[/strikethrough]] thirteen years he traveled the world as a headline circus performer.

During that time, in 1883, Ivy saw Thomas S. Baldwin perform an unusual high wire act in another circus and made his acquaintance. Baldwin tutored Ivy in wire-walking and they developed an act together, later developing the Japanese "Slide-for-Life" performance on an inclined tight wire. During that association, Ivy adopted the name Ivy Baldwin, which he retained for the rest of his life. This partnership was dissolved in 1885, and each went their own way for the time being. 

Later, Thomas Baldwin turned to making balloon ascensions and devised the parachute drop. While touring the British Islands making exhibitions he met Ivy on tour with a circus, and as a result Ivy joined Baldwin in Scotland where he started making ascensions and jumps for Baldwin, who by that time had become heavy, weighing 210 pounds.  Ivy traveled with Baldwin through the East until they reached Japan.  From there they returned to the United States where Ivy made some ascensions and jumps at San Francisco in 1889.  Apparently, Ivy and Baldwin parted there and Ivy went on his own.  He later walked a tightwire between Cliff House and Seal Rocks at San Francisco as a stunt.
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