When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Sources

A Century Before Felix Baumgartner, Eiffel Tower Parachutist Not So Successful (Video)

NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR (France)

Worldcrunch

One hundred years before Felix Baumgartner, there was … Franz Reichelt.

According to French magazine Nouvel Observateur, this tailor from Vienna had moved to France as a young man and become a French citizen -- and an inventor. Reichelt created a prototype parachute that he believed could save the lives of aviators.

Although his tests mostly failed, Reichelt believed that this was because they were conducted from too low a base. He finally received permission to carry out a test on a dummy at the Eiffel Tower on February 4, 1912. To the surprise and dismay of his friends, instead of using a dummy, he insisted on jumping himself in his parachute suit, from only the first level of the tower, 200 feet above the ground.

A crowd was present and several cameramen filmed Reichelt’s attempt to float down. Unfortunately, a parachute needs more than 200 feet to deploy, and Reichelt was killed upon impact.


You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

This Happened—January 26: Happy Birthday To Hockey's Great One

On this day in 1961, Wayne Gretzky was born.

Get This Happened straight to your inbox ✉️ each day! Sign up here.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest