Tiny Broadwick

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Georgia Ann Thompson Broadwick (April 8, 1893 in Oxford, North Carolina – 1978 in California), or Georgia Broadwick, was an American pioneering parachutist. She was nicknamed 'Tiny', as she weighed only 85 pounds (39 kg) and was 5 feet (1.5 m) tall.

Biography[edit]

She was born Georgia Ann Thompson on April 8, 1893.

At the age of 15 she saw Charles Broadwick's World Famous Aeronauts parachute from a hot air balloon and decided to join the travelling troupe. She later became Broadwick's adopted daughter.

Among her many achievements, she was the first woman to parachute from an airplane, which she accomplished on June 21, 1913, over Los Angeles, with aviator Glenn L. Martin as the pilot.[1] These early jumps included a well-publicized jump on January 9, 1914, from a plane built and piloted by Martin, 1,000 feet over Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California.[2][3][4] She was also the first woman to parachute into water.

In 1914, she demonstrated parachutes to the U.S. Army, which at the time had a small, hazard-prone fleet of aircraft. On one of her demonstration jumps, the static line became entangled in the tail assembly of the aircraft, so for her next jump she cut off the static line and deployed her chute manually, thus becoming the first person to jump free-fall.

By the time of her retirement from jumping in 1922, she was said to have made over 1,100 jumps. She is one of the few female members of the Early Birds of Aviation.

Tiny appeared on You Bet Your Life episode 55-07 on November 10, 1955.[5]

She died in 1978 and was buried in Sunset Gardens in Henderson, North Carolina.

Legacy[edit]

In February 2006, Vance County, North Carolina, commissioners decided to name a portion of the Henderson Outer Loop highway after her.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elizabeth Whitley Roberson, Tiny Broadwick: The First Lady of Parachuting (Pelican Publishing, 2001) p48; Thomas C. Parramore, First to Fly: North Carolina & the Beginnings of Aviation (University of North Carolina Press, 2003) p181
  2. ^ "Steps From Plane In Air; Woman Leaps From Martin Craft With Aerial Life Preserver.". Warsaw Daily Union (Warsaw, IN). January 10, 1914. p. 5. Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ Harnisch, Larry (July 28, 2007). "Rewriting history". The Daily Mirror (Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Times). Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ Welch, Rosanne (1998). Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space. p. 27. 
  5. ^ Available on Groucho Marx: You Bet Your Life: The Best Episodes - Disc 2.

Further reading[edit]

  • Roberson, Elizabeth Whitley (May 31, 2001). Tiny Broadwick: The First Lady of Parachuting. Pelican Publishing. ISBN 1-56554-780-2. 

External links[edit]