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Alma Mann

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Alma Mann

New York Evening Call, March 3, 1922


Alma Mann (fl. 1920s), a championship female swimmer and diver, included Houdini inspired underwater escape stunts.


The daughter of an American Panama Canal Zone employee, she went to New York City with the Canal Zone Swim Team to compete in swimming events and do exhibitions at the new Madison Square Garden Pool.

Mann broke the ladies speed record of walking across the Isthmus (a distance of 50 miles) in only 16 hours at the age of 12 and was the first person to swim the Culebra Cut near the Panama Canal.

One of her stunts was to dive from a height of forty feet while bound in seventy feet of rope and remain underwater until she was completely free.[1]Another stunt she did at the age of 12 was to swim the Panama Canal chained hand and feet. [2]


  2. New York Evening Call, March 3, 1922