(4 February 1912, France) I have a picture of someone who may be my
relative, called Franz Reichelt. He is dressed in what looks like a huge
black overcoat, and the caption reads, "Monsieur Franz Reichelt with his
early parachute -- an outstanding example of the way in which early
aviators were as spectacular in their failures as in their successes.
"Reichelt was an Austrian tailor who sought to combine his interests by
creating a garment to serve as both an overcoat and a parachute. In 1911,
he decided to test his invention. Having told the authorities that he
wanted to make a 'dummy' drop, at the last minute he strapped himself in,
and with sublime confidence stepped from a platform off the Eiffel Tower,
and fell to his death."
"For sale cheap: one parachute, used once, never opened."
"This really was a 'dummy' drop!"
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Submitted by: Robin Reichelt