Jeanne Genevieve Labrosse, First Woman Parachutist

On 12th October 1799, Jeanne Genevieve Labrosse, a young french woman of 24, jumped from a balloon from an altitude of 900 meters.. She was the first woman parachutist, and the second parachutiste ever. Indeed, the first jump was made by André-Jacques Garnerin (one of the first balloonist), the 22nd October 1797. That day, Jeanne was among the fascinated crowd watching his performance. Jeanne became his student, and his wife soon after. Their niece, Elisa Garnerin jumped from an altitude of 1,000 meters on 22nd October 1799; she later became the first professional parachutiste and the first female aerialist.

Jeanne did not only jump, she was also a balloonist. Even though she was not the first one flying (the opera singer Elisabeth Thible made it in 1784), she was the first woman flying alone on the 10th November 1798. In 1802, she filed her husband’s patent application  for the first frameless parachute. The couple made many demonstrations throughout Europe, Jeanne own’s record being a  jump of 8,000 feet over London.

André-Jacques Garnerin died in an accident in 1823. After her husband’s death, she met another unusual woman: Marie-Thérèse Figueur, better known as Madame Sans-Gene – due to her bold and straightforward way to speak. Born in 1774, Marie-Thérèse was one of these women soldier who fought in the revolutionary army, and after became a dragon of the Empire. Her soldier career started in 1793 and ended in 1815. At some point both women met, and decided to open a table d’hôte restaurant. Jeanne herself died in 1847.

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