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Although the first parachute jump took place in 1797 when Frenchman Andre Jacque Garnerin jumped from a hot air balloon using a umbrella-shaped parachute with rigid supporting ribs. The first successful jump from a plane did not take place until 1912, after American A.L. Stevens had invented a limp canopy parachute carried in a pack. When the wearer pulls the rip cord, the pack's flaps opens, releasing a small pilot parachute. As this pilot parachute fills with air, it drags the main canopy from the pack.

Parachutes only became regular equipment after 1922 when the Post Office made them available to airmail pilots. This parachute pack was used by Corvallis airport pilots and aerobatics instructors from 1948-1952.


Irvin Standard Air Chute, May 1945


© 2015 Benton County Historical Society & Museum
Philomath, Oregon

Oregon State University Horner Museum Collection
sponsored and supported in part by the
Horner Museum Fund