By Peter Kennedy
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” – 1 Corinthians 3:19.
Franz Reichelt was born in Austria, but he moved to Paris in 1898, at the age of 19. A tailor by trade, he opened a successful dressmaking business in the center of the city that catered to Austrians visiting Paris. But by the early 20th century, he’d begun to dream of a more utilitarian garment.
The world of aviation was being tested and expanded at a steady clip, leading to such milestones as the Wright brothers’ famous first flight in 1903. Amid all that adventurous experimentation came a number of tragic airplane accidents. Reichelt got it in his head to do something to help improve the safety of these early aviators. Thus was born his vision of the “parachute suit”.
On Sunday, February 4, 1912 he demonstrated to the world his “parachute suit.”