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Sky Diving History

Sky Diving History

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Sky Diving History

Most people don’t know that, but sky diving is a chance offshoot of man’s attempt to conquer the sky, and in fact, it remains a moot point on whoever did the first jump in sky diving history.

You see, in sky diving history is really a product of several coexisting sciences: flight, controlled free fall and the parachute. Without the height afforded by flight into several leagues in the air, controlled free fall would be impossible and therefore sky diving. And without the afforded insurance of parachutes, no man would even entertain the notion of jumping into space.

Perhaps the first page of sky diving history should coincide with the attempts to break the free fall by primitive parachutes. It was on 852 when several recorded accounts with the Arabian daredevil Armen Firman (considered by the Arab world the true pioneer of unpowered flight) Using mostly fabric tied to wooden struts, the Muslim manage to jump from several height and glide for several distances before crashing inelegantly to the ground, but sustaining minor injuries in the process. And the Arabs were soon to honor Firman for his pioneering in unaided flight, while the Western world will still be waiting for theirs.

The great renaissance inventor Leonardo the Vinci did dabbled on ideas of flight and freefall, and among his manuscripts and drawings where mechanisms designed to fly or at least break the free fall. And though there had been considerable disputes when certain anonymous manuscripts surfaced disabled dating 1470 which depict several designs very close to his, Leonardo was still seen as the more public figure in man’s attempt to fly. And for that, he is a second candidate of the next phase of sky diving history.

The inventors Wright brothers did achieve man’s dream for the better part of his existence in 1899. And from their achievement, airplanes were now a reality, allowing man to reach higher than the tallest peak and higher still. Though balloons and lighter than aircrafts are already a mainstay, aircrafts are still unparallel with regards of what they can do. The next phase of the sky diving history solidly rest on the Wright brothers’ lapels.

Everybody then saw the next need: the necessity of man for a safe exit when several leagues from earth. So many public request regarding parachutes then became a craze for inventors, attracting scores and scores of innovators until at last Captain Albert Berry successfully jumped of a moving aircraft and used a parachute. All in all, it was the first act of sky diving and perhaps the dawn of sky diving history.

You see, so many attempts were made just to conquer the skies, or at least to fly like the birds, until you cannot discern which made the eve of sky diving history. While so many had attempt at flight (and unconsciously too, the field of free fall and sky diving), sky diving history can only be marked by these important events.

Image taken from page 106 of ‘Greek Pictures, drawn with pen and pencil’
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Image by The British Library
Image taken from:

Title: "Greek Pictures, drawn with pen and pencil"
Author: MAHAFFY, John Pentland – Sir, G.B.E
Shelfmark: "British Library HMNTS 10125.ff.7."
Page: 106
Place of Publishing: London
Date of Publishing: 1890
Publisher: Religious Tract Society
Issuance: monographic
Identifier: 002344369

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Open the page in the British Library’s itemViewer (page image 106)
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