Johann Schmidlap

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Diagram of a two-stage and a three-stage rocket from Schmidlap's book.

Johann Schmidlap of Schorndorf was a 16th-century Bavarian fireworks maker and rocket pioneer.

He published a book on fireworks, Künstliche und rechtschaffene Fewrwerck zum Schimpff ("artful and well-made fireworks for entertainment"), printed in Nuremberg in 1561 (reprinted 1564, new edition by Katharina Gerlachin in 1590, 1591).

He may have been the first to successfully fly staged rockets, although the concept is also discussed in the work of Conrad Haas, which was a direct influence on Schmidlap.[1]


  1. ^ Doru Todericiu, 'Raketentechnik im 16. Jahrhundert', Technikgeschichte 34.2 (1967), 97–114 (107f.)