Franz Reichelt: The Parachuting Pioneer and His Infamous Stunt

I do wish that ArtLark had found a different way to repeat their posts because I have to re-reblog every time as the previous year’s outing then no longer links to the content. Hence this reblog of a reblog today!


51BjddXgkXLOn the 4th of February 1912, Austrian-born inventor and tailor Franz Reichelt, also known as the Flying Tailor, died tragically by jumping from the Eiffel Tower, whilst trying out his own creation, a coat parachute. Even though, having worked on the prototype for two years, and having had it rejected numerous times by aeronautic organisations and competitions, Reichelt had so much foolish confidence in his design that he decided to go ahead with his plan; he said: “I want to try the experiment myself, and without trickery, as I intend to prove the worth of my invention.”

“Reichelt’s pride and joy was a wearable parachute, so that airline pilots could deploy it to increase their chances of survival if they needed to eject from their aircraft (because that happens all the time?).Tests with a prototype from his fifth-floor balcony on dummies proved successful, but those prototypes weighed 150…

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Victor Lusting: The Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower… Twice!


51qwwZqxSALOn the 11th of March 1947, Victor Lusting, a Czech con artist, best known as ‘The man who sold the Eiffel Tower’, died in Springfield, Missouri. At the time of his death, he was still serving his sentence of twenty years in Alcatraz Island for major money forgery. A glib and witty man, he spoke several languages and gained fame for his audacity and fearlessness, but, most of all, for his knowledge of human psychology. He could judge a man in an instant, discovering their weak points and using them for his own benefit. “Lusting knew that most men build up defences against crooks and other troublemakers. The con artist’s job is to bring those defences down. One sure way to do this is through an act of apparent sincerity and honesty. Who will distrust a person literally caught in the act of being honest?” (Robert Greene, The…

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