The Parachute Cape
February 4, 1912 - It was on this day that an Austrian tailor/inventor fell to his death from the Eiffel Tower. Franz Reichelt was demonstrating his latest invention, a parachute cape.
He wasn't as crazy as history remembers him to be. Reichelt had successfully tested some of his parachute designs on dummies that he threw from his 5th floor apartment.
He grew frustrated with a lack of high-altitude places to test his designs, so he convinced the Parisian authorities to let him do a demonstration from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
When the big day came Reichelt shocked his friends and the authorities by using himself as the test dummy. Despite pleas to reconsider, Reichelt climbed up on the railing and stood there for what seemed like a very long time. No doubt he was saying to himself, "this is a really bad idea."