"parachute", 1793, interdates OED3 1784--1796; "falling screen" not in OED

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 10 16:04:31 UTC 2013

I can't find the precise words but unless I'm crazy, a twentieth-century
author of the existentialist-absurdist school (if there is one) once
insisted that "Obedience to the law of gravity is the greatest crime of

If I'm wrong, then I must be that author, and I want acknowledgment in YBQ.


On Sat, Nov 9, 2013 at 9:45 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      "parachute", 1793, interdates OED3 1784--1796; "falling
> screen"
>               not in OED
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> "Mr. Brown, ...whilst preparations are making for my 46th ascension
> already announced, I propse to give an experiment of natural
> Philosophy with the parachute or falling screen ... The attraction
> and acceleration of heavy bodies towards the centre of the earth,
> will be evidently demonstrated according to the system of Newton. The
> parachute which I have invented, will prove that it is easy to evade
> this destructive law, and to secure any person against the fatal
> effects of the fall, by arresting the acceleration."
> Federal Gazette and Philadelphia Daily Advertiser, 1793 May 23, 2/3.  EAI.
> -----
> "Advertisement, on THURSDAY the 30th day of May inst. ... at the
> WITH THE PARACHUTE or FALLING SCREEN, That ever was made on the
> Continent of America, will be made by Mr. Blanchard."
> Same issue, 3/4.  EAI.
> -----
> "parachute" interdates OED3  sense 1.a.  1784 (earliest) -- 1796.
> "falling screen" not in OED.
> Joel
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