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Earliest jumping in the US?

 


AggieDave  (D License)

Feb 27, 2004, 9:14 PM
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Earliest jumping in the US? Can't Post

I had an interesting conversation with an older gentlemen on the airport today. We have always known that jumping has occured on Coulter Field (home of SD Aggieland) since atleast the very early '60s. Infact we had met a Texas A&M University (actually, then it was still TAM College) Skydiving club faculty advisor that had advised the club in 1964-1966, who had said the club had been around a number of years before he had come on board.

Well, this gentlemen was at TAMU from 1959-1963 (back when folks actually graduated in 4 years), his brother (also a pilot), though, was 3 years older then he was.

Whats very interesting is that we found out that his brother was flying jumpers at Coulter Field in 1957.

What about the rest of the country, I didn't think skydiving "officially" came to the US until 1956?


Premier quade  (D 22635)
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Feb 27, 2004, 10:15 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] Earliest jumping in the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess you have to define your terms.

People had been parachuting from airplanes in the U.S. since 1912. Grant Morton was the first over Venice, California that year.

"Tiny" Broadrick was the first woman to jump from an airplane in 1913. She had done so many time before from balloons.

There were plenty of sport parachutists after WWII.


(This post was edited by quade on Feb 28, 2004, 7:47 AM)


markbaur  (D 6108)

Feb 28, 2004, 6:00 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Earliest jumping in the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

In 1835, the American balloonist John Wise twice allowed his balloon to collapse upward into the retaining netting, converting it to a kind of round parachute. The fact that he did it twice means he had at least one acceptable descent.

Mark


chuteless  (D 41)

Feb 28, 2004, 6:13 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Earliest jumping in the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

The barnstormers of the 1920s made parachute jumps using one chute, often opening just above ground.

The Germans had parachutes during W W I, and the Allies wouldnt allow their pilots to use them...afraid they would leave a good plane.

After the War, many people bought urtis JN4 aircraft, and flew at shows all over America, sometimes taking passengers, sometimes flying a jumper.

Bill Cole D-41


Premier quade  (D 22635)
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Feb 28, 2004, 7:50 AM
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Re: [chuteless] Earliest jumping in the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The barnstormers of the 1920s made parachute jumps using one chute, often opening just above ground.

Or several parachutes!

Lindbergh, before he was famous for crossing the Atlantic, barnstormed a bit both as a pilot and parachutist in aerial circuses. He would do a multiple parachute cutaway gag (deploy, cutaway, deploy another).


jbrasher  (D 5166)

Feb 29, 2004, 12:30 AM
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Re: [quade] Earliest jumping in the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

cutaway back then meant with a knife. Blush


skypuppy  (D 347)

Feb 29, 2004, 4:39 AM
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Re: [quade] Earliest jumping in the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

People had been parachuting from airplanes in the U.S. since 1912. Grant Morton was the first over Venice, California that year.

"Tiny" Broadrick was the first woman to jump from an airplane in 1913. She had done so many time before from balloons.
__________________________________________________

Capt. Albert Berry, March 1st, 1912 - first plane jump
Roderick Law, April 13, 1912 - first hydroplane jump
Grant Morton, April 28, 1912 - unfortunately landed in hydrowires inland from the beach and got a bit bashed up.
Charles Saunders, May 24, 1912 - first plane jump in Canada. (Morton had been contracted but was 'sick'; Saunders was in the area doing 'smoke jumps' from a balloon and agreed to do the jump instead...

The first plane jumps were done from 1 person planes, usually with just a board across the wing for the jumper to sit on. A week before Morton's jump he and pilot Will Parmalee had made another attempt, but the plane had plunged into a big wave on take off, and Morton was thrown from his seat into the sea.

On May 30, 1913, Arthur Lapham (demonstrator for Leo Stevens Life Pack) fell from his makeshift seat on a Wright pusher flown by Harry Brown at about 300' over Staten Island. Since he was to have jumped from 5000' his static-line had not been hooked up yet. He was buried to his armpits in mud and muck, but otherwise unhurt. It was this incident that caused Stevens to invent a small lanyard that a parachutist could pull to arrest his fall after a short delay (the invention of the ripcord).

Much of this information can be found in Dwight Dwiggins book, 'BAILOUT, The Story of Parachuting and Skydiving'.
____________________________________________

Incidently, their was a jumper named Edward Allens who started as an observation balloonist during the American Civil War, who is credited with doing over 3000 balloon ascents and parachute descents in his barnstorming career in the late 1800's.


(This post was edited by skypuppy on Feb 29, 2004, 5:11 AM)
Attachments: morton.jpg (17.3 KB)


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Mar 1, 2004, 9:13 PM
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Re: [skypuppy] Earliest jumping in the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

The first parachute jump in Canada was made in September 1888, at the Sherbrooke Fair, Sherbrooke Quebec.
A fellow named Larsen jumped from a hot air balloon. The Canadian-born dare devil had spent the summer travelling from American town to American town doing demo jumps.
It was reported in "Le Pioneer" newspaper and was mentioned in Mr. Molson's (former curator of the National Aeronautical Collection in Rockcliffe, Ontario) book on aviation firsts in Canada.


Premier quade  (D 22635)
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Mar 2, 2004, 1:04 AM
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Re: [skypuppy] Earliest jumping in the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, see here I was getting picky.

If I'm correct, Berry was working for the Army, so I wasn't going to count that as skydiving any more than I would the balloon jumps during the civil war.

To me, skydiving implies doing it for the hell of it, which is why I picked Morton.

At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


(This post was edited by quade on Mar 2, 2004, 1:04 AM)


skypuppy  (D 347)

Mar 2, 2004, 4:43 AM
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Re: [quade] Earliest jumping in the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually, 'Captain' Berry was a civilian smoke or exhibition Balloonist and parachutist just like the others. The Captain title was an affectation to make him sound like he was a captain in charge of a balloon, just as some balloonists used the term 'Professor' (as in Professor of Aeronautics) to help sell their acts.... He was showing off the jump from a Benoist plane for the owner/designer, but was hired by the planes owners, not the military...

Rodman Law jumped before Morton too. He was a demo jumper for Leo Stevens...


skypuppy  (D 347)

Mar 2, 2004, 4:44 AM
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Re: [riggerrob] Earliest jumping in the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, I said Saunders made the first PLANE jump in Canada...


bravoniner  (B 8305)

Mar 5, 2004, 10:23 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Earliest jumping in the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah ... but back to AggieDave's question (which, I think, is about early skydiving -- as a sport for the common man). Dave, I've got some records for the Badger Skydivers (University of Wisconsin) stashed away somewhere that indicate they were jumping as a club 1956-'57, or thereabouts. Pretty early in the game.

Bravoniner


AggieDave  (D License)

Mar 5, 2004, 11:00 AM
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Re: [bravoniner] Earliest jumping in the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I've got some records for the Badger Skydivers (University of Wisconsin) stashed away somewhere that indicate they were jumping as a club 1956-'57, or thereabouts.

That's about what we've been able to piece together for the Texas A&M club as well.

Infact, I found a plaque on campus as a memorial for 2 guys that burned in back in 1963.

I wonder if people in college clubs back then had some sort of informal network, talking back and forth and such?


bravoniner  (B 8305)

Mar 5, 2004, 11:47 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] Earliest jumping in the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

Dunno, Dave. No evidence of that in the papers I have.

Bravoniner



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