André-Jacques Garnerin, the first parachute jump

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Today’s Google Doodle is celebrating the legacy of André-Jacques Garnerin, the first parachute jump was performed by him exactly 216 years ago today. The Google Doodle tells the story of André-Jacques Garnerin, and the first parachute jump. If you open your local Google Search pages today you will find the Doodle André-Jacques Garnerin, a student of the ballooning pioneer professor Jacques Charles, was involved with the flight of hot air balloons, and worked with his brother Jean-Baptiste-Olivier Garnerin (1766–1849) in most of his ballooning activities. Eventually he was appointed Official Aeronaut of France.

Andre Jacques Garnerin the first parachute jump

Today when looking back in history it is actually very interesting to read how chauvinistic and sexist our forefathers have been.  André-Jacques Garnerin wanted to take a woman on one of his balloon flights and as a result he had to appear before a panel to decide if it would be appropriate for a female to go on a balloon. Politicians and Police debated about if the female body would be able to handle the ascending and descending of the balloon, and also if it would be appropriate if a man and woman goes together on a balloon flight! Looking back today it is actually simply ridiculous to think that people have thought that way.

In the end André-Jacques Garnerin was allowed to take a female passenger onboard when it was determined that it is no less appropriate for a man and woman to get into a carriage or coach than it is for a man and a woman to fly in a balloon.

On 8 July 1798 a large number of spectators gathered in the Parc Monceau to witness the ascent. By all accounts Citoyenne Henri was young and beautiful, and she and André-Jacques Garnerin took several turns around the park to the applause of the crowd before she was assisted into the basket of the balloon by the astronomer, Jérôme Lalande. The balloon trip passed without incident and the journey ended at Goussainville about 30 kilometers to the north of Paris.

In the scope of thing André-Jacques Garnerin did a great deal helping fight for equal rights for men and woman with his first balloon flight to have a woman passenger onboard.

André-Jacques Garnerin began experiments with early parachutes based on umbrella-shaped devices and carried out the first parachute descent (in the gondola) with a silk parachute on October 22, 1797 at Parc Monceau, in France Paris. Still today because of that jump many airplane pilots only have a parachute to rely on when things go wrong.

André-Jacques Garnerin, first parachute jump resulted into a proper parachute being designed and developed to provide pilots with some safety, but it also developed into one of the most exciting and thrilling sports.

André-Jacques Garnerin’s first parachute resembled a closed umbrella before he ascended, with a pole running down its center and a rope running through a tube in the pole, which connected it to the balloon.

André-Jacques Garnerin rode in a basket attached to the bottom of the parachute; at a height of approximately 3,000 feet (900 m) he severed the rope that connected his parachute to the balloon to make the first parachute jump ever. The balloon continued skyward while André-Jacques Garnerin, with his basket and parachute, fell.

The basket swung violently during descent, then bumped and scraped when it landed, but André-Jacques Garnerin emerged uninjured, creating the first device making it safe for man and woman to parachute jump from something in the air!

Amazing and very interesting indeed!

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