Google on Tuesday dedicated an interactive doodle on its homepage to celebrate the 216th anniversary of the world's first parachute jump by Frenchman André-Jacques Garnerin.
The doodle is based on Garnerin’s feat on October 22, 1797, at Parc Monceau in Paris. The then 28-year-old rode a basket below a balloon and jumped from a height of 32,00 feet, using a frameless, seven-metre silk parachute. The parachute was Garnerin's own invention.
He was appointed the Official Aeronaut of France Following this daredevil stunt.
Users can relive the magic of this historic feat with today's doodle, as they can control Garnerin’s balloon by using the left and right arrow keys or by tilting to the right or left on a smartphone.
Born on January 31, 1769, Garnerin studied physics and became an inspector in the French army in 1793. He started parachuting in 1797 in Paris.
In 1798, he announced a parachute flight with a female passenger on board and this caused a lot controversy as many thought that a woman would not be able withstand the air pressure. However, Garnerin successfully completed the demonstration on July 8, 1798, with Citoyenne Henri on board with him.
He was married to Jeanne Genevieve Labrosse, who was his student and a celebrated balloonist herslf. Labrosse the first ever female parachutist who took part in a tour of England in the early 1800s.
Garnerin passed away on August 18, 1823, in an accident when he was hit by a beam while making a balloon in Paris.