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Women in History - The Story of Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse

The parachute patent, made by Jeanne's husband, Andre Gamerin
Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse was a French woman who lived from 1775 to 1847. Why is she important, you might ask? She was the first woman to jump from a balloon with a parachute, from an altitude of 900 meters.

Why on earth would she jump? Well, she did marry André-Jacques Garnerin, a hydrogen balloonist and inventor of the frameless parachute!

Though she started flying on a balloon on her own in 1798, she is most famous for being, on October 12, 1799, the first woman to make a parachute descent (in the gondola), from an altitude of 900 meters.

She was one of the earliest women to fly in a balloon but keep in mind, she wasn't the first; Élisabeth Thible had made a free flight in 1784, and Citoyenne Henri had flown with Garnerin on July 8, 1798, four months earlier to Jeanne's attempt in 1798.

On October 11, 1802, she filed a patent application on behalf of her husband for:
"a device called a parachute, intended to slow the fall of the basket after the balloon bursts. Its vital organs are a cap of cloth supporting the basket and a circle of wood beneath and outside of the parachute and used to hold it open while climbing: it must perform its task at the moment of separation from the balloon, by maintaining a column of air."

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