Hermann Lattemann

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Hermann Lattemann (September 14, 1852, Gebhardshagen near Braunschweig - June 17, 1894, Krefeld) was a German balloon pilot and inventor who experimented with an early prototype of a parachute.

Together with his wife Käthe Paulus, Lattemann designed a parachute prototype in an attempt to make balloon flights safer. The main invention was to have parachutes folded and packed in bags.

Lattemann died during a test.[1] At age 42, his parachute failed to open, although his wife's parachute did open, when they both jumped out of a balloon named "Fin de Siècle", and she watched his fall in horror. Little or no money was made from this invention following his death, but during World War I improvements made by his wife and sold as Paula's parachute, made her a fortune, lost later on due to inflation.[2]


  1. ^ Soden, Garrett (2005). Defying Gravity: Land Divers, Roller Coasters, Gravity Bums, and the Human Obsession With Falling, New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-32656-X
  2. ^ Early Parachutes including images of the Paula's Parachute. She had patented the improvements in 1910, and in 1912 opened a company in Berlin manufacturing 7000 parachutes. (South African Military History website)

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