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History - parachute jump

The first real parachute jump

In 1797, led André-Jacques Garnerin, the inventor of the parachute, performed the first real parachute jump from a balloon in Paris. A few years later he repeated this performance in Clermont-Ferrand in front of a large crowd and caused a sensation.

On August 5, 1812, the Puy de Dome newspaper published the following announcement: “Mr. Garnerin, known for his numerous balloon rides, will be seen during the fair with his strange aerostatic experiments in front of the great Emperor Napoleon and under the eyes of Tsar Alexander of Russia. ... "

Garnerin in Clermont-Ferrand!
The enthusiasm of the people of Clermont was immense when they learned that the world famous inventor of the parachute would stay within the walls of their city…. His name alone was of such brilliance that everyone saw himself crowned when he was named in one go with this demigod, who with a simple piece of cloth was able to dare the most difficult ascent from the balloon and that from dizzying heights.

André-Jacques Garnerin Born on January 31, 1769 in Paris, he made his first flight in 1790 in a hot air balloon he had designed himself. However, his efforts to make money from balloon flights were suddenly interrupted.
With the outbreak of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, he followed the call of the fatherland, as a result of which he was taken prisoner in 1794. Garnerin was charged with negotiating with the allies who threatened France from all sides. However, since the French Republic was not officially recognized by its enemies, he was imprisoned in the Buda fortress for three years. During his imprisonment in a fortress, he turned the idea of ​​a parachute into reality as an escape route. Unfortunately, his jailer found this structure ... and he now had to wait until his release in order to fully realize his idea.

On October 22nd, 1797 the time had come when he tried his first parachute jump from a balloon. The learned astronomer Jérôme Lallandewho had witnessed this later wrote with enthusiasm:
“In the first year of Brumaire VI * at the 5th hour and 28 minutes in the evening, the citizen rose Garnerin in Parc Monceau (in southern Paris, Editor's note) with a balloon. There was deep silence among the assembled crowd. Curiosity and concern showed on their faces. When the balloon exceeded the height of about 350 meters, it cut (Garnerin) through the rope that connected his parachute to the balloon. A violent bang, the parachute seemed to tear, opened and Garnerin sank very quickly. Made while opening Garnerin such a frightening pendulum motion (which was due to the fact that there was no opening at the top of his parachute and the compressed air flowed over the edge of the parachute, Editor's note) that an outcry of horror went through the rows of the audience, and some sensitive women felt sick.
Garnerin however, went down a little to one side in a field in the plain of Monceau, mounted the horse he had brought to him and returned to the Parc Monceau and showed himself in the midst of the huge crowd, which gave free rein to their admiration for the skill and courage of the young aeronaut . The citizen Garnerin is the first to undertake this dangerous venture ... "
Memorial plaque at Parc Monceau in Paris.
Incidentally, brought Garnerin five years later, at the suggestion of this astronomer, made a vertex opening on the parachute.
The popularity Garnerin's grew with every new daring and successful parachute jump and thus his arrival in Clermont-Ferrand was a real triumph.

In order to calm the population, the parachute was opened for inspection in the gardens of the Grand Seminar. Word of this got around to the last bedroom, and all of Clermont "rushed" into the garden of the seminary, where it was possible for the price of 2 francs to watch the balloon jump. Even though phosphor lighters and innovative padlocks were on display for the first time at the Clermont trade fair ... next to Garnerin's Parachuting from the balloon, it all became a minor matter.

Garnerin died on August 18, 1823 in an accident while filling a balloon in Paris, in which he was hit in the head by a beam.

His wife Jeanne-Genevieve Garnerin, born Labrosse was the first female skydiver and was the first woman in the world to do a skydive on October 12, 1799. She jumped from 900 m and once in England from 8,000 feet (2,438 m) height. Later Garnerin's niece Elise Garnerin continued this tradition.

*) The Brumaire (German also fog month) is the second month of the republican calendar of the French Revolution. It follows the Vendémiaire, it follows the Frimaire. The name is derived from the French brume (fog). Brumaire is the second month of the autumn quarter (mois d’automne). It starts around October 22nd and ends around November 21st.