The first practical parachute was invented in 1783 by Louis-Sébastien Lenormand. What the fuck were dudes using parachutes for before airplanes? You know it was dudes too because women don’t participate in outrageous shenanigans that us guys do to prove we are worthy and are MEN. They wait until its proven to work like smartypants, because they have brains and stuff.
Based off of my extensive research on the matter, Leonardo Da Vinci is said to of drawn up the concept of the first parachute but never actually followed up on the idea.
No fucking shit, a wise man once said, “Drones should get their own lane in traffic. Like how there is a bike lane, there should be a drone lane that flies above vehicles as they commute, to deliver alcohol and food” – ME.
You think I’m gonna invent that system and become a billionaire? Not a chance. But when that person enacts that shit, attach my name to history because I wrote about it and drew some pictures. Get the fuck out of here Da Vinci, you got a Ninja Turtle, don’t try to claim Parachutes from the grave.
If Leonardo walked into the Shark Tank pitching Mark Cuban and Mr. Wonderful a concept without any proof of market value or success, they would “And for that reason, I’m out” him so fast he’d be an afterthought.
Fausto Veranzio is also rumored to of tested the first parachute jump in 1617 at 65 years old because he’d probably die soon, I expect. However there was no proof of the jump until a book came out 30 YEARS LATER. Aka I smell BS because a feat so awesome doesn’t get written about in the history books 3 decades later, it happens within the same year.
The fucking Bin Laden raid was written about a year after shooting Bin Laden in his face. That was one of the most iconic and classified missions in US military history. You would think the first successful parachute landing would receive the same fate.
Apparently not, that’s why I’m calling BS on Fausto. Ever play telephone? Anybody ever win at that game? No you haven’t because some doofus wanted to ruin it and change the narrative. That’s why I’m always skeptical of history that isn’t well-documented because history can’t fact-check information. Then again I believe in aliens, but I digress.
So after all that rambling, let me introduce THE TRUE inventor who coined the name parachute from para meaning “against” and chute meaning “fall” as well as successfully landing it after deployment, Louis-Sébastien Lenormand (Lou for short because his name is a paragraph long). Lou was also known in France as a chemist, physicist and innovator. A pioneer of modern parachuting and a world class human.
Lou is such a legend he completed the jump himself. He could of just sent off some peasant to die if it failed. Not Lou, that’s not the man that he is, a man of honor and integrity made the jump himself because he knew he’d earn his spot in history.
Nobody cares about the guy who came up with the idea, EVERYBODY cares about the guy who accomplished the impossible.
Lou probably didn’t have to buy a beer or a glass of wine for the rest of his life afterwards. He suddenly became the most influential person in town. People probably called him every proper English/French curse word in the book before the fact for being so idiotic he’d jump off of a building with a bed sheet.
Middle fingers across the board as Lou skipped his way down the street and straight into the Human Hall OF Fame.
It also should be noted that TWO years later some badass tried jumping from a Hot Air Balloon with a dog as passenger. Reminding us all that dogs as co-pilots are awesome as hell.
Some history on how parachutes evolved
In 1907 parachutes were deployed more frequently from Hot Air Balloons at fairs by a man named Charles Broadwick. He would attach a pulley system from the balloon to the pack on his back so when he jumped the parachute would be pulled from the pack and deploy. This practice is known as static-line jumping and is used most often today in military airborne units and wild land firefighting crews.
In 1911 Grant Morton made the first successful parachute landing from an airplane. In 1913 Georgia Broadwick became the first woman to parachute jump from a fixed-wing aircraft. In 1914 Broadwick deployed her parachute manually, earning her the title as the first person to jump free-fall. *Remember when I said women waited until it proved to be successful?*
In 1918, Otto Heincke, a German airship ground crewman, introduced the first parachutes to be included in a military’s air service. British, French, American, and Italian air services mimicked the design.
World War I was the first combat theatre where parachutes were implemented.
Pilots began carrying parachute packs as means of last resort. No more going down with the ship, more falling in style like Woody and Buzz from Toy Story.
In modern combat HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) and HAHO (High Altitude High Opening) jumps are conducted by Special Operations forces to combat terrorism around the world.
Soon I will be making my first tandem skydive and if I like it enough I might just try to get my license. And in the back of my mind I’ll be thinking about old Lou, who made this terrifying deed a reality.
Leonardo is my favorite Ninja Turtle by the way and to be honest I’d rather be friends with Ninja Turtle Leo over Polymath Leo because he’d want to dicuss Art 24/7. Don’t get me wrong I’m an intellectual and love learning new things, but I also love video games, action and pizza. Beggars can’t be choosers, just one man’s opinion.