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Da Vinci Parachute, 1485

Da Vinci Parachute, 1485


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37.6 MB (749.7 KB compressed)

3132 x 4200 pixels

26.4 x 35.6 cm ⏐ 10.4 x 14.0 in (300dpi)

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The earliest evidence for the parachute dates back to the Renaissance period. The oldest parachute design appears in an anonymous manuscript from 1470s Renaissance Italy, showing a free-hanging man clutching a cross bar frame attached to a conical canopy. Shortly after, a more sophisticated parachute was sketched by the polymath Leonardo da Vinci in his Codex Atlanticus, 1485. Da Vinci's scale of the parachute is in a more favourable proportion to the weight of the jumper. His canopy was held open by a square wooden frame, which alters the shape of the parachute from conical to pyramidal. According to the historian of technology Lynn White, these conical and pyramidal designs, much more elaborate than early artistic jumps with rigid parasols in Asia, mark the origin of the parachute as we know it. This image has been colour-enhanced.

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