The Parachute. A machine by which aeronauts may descend from a balloon to the ground in safety. It bears a general resemblance to an umbrella, and consists of a strong but light surface, a a, from which a car, b, is suspended. When it is detached from the balloon, it descends at first with an accelerated velocity ; but this is soon checked by the resistance of the air, and the machine then falls at a rate nearly uniform, and very moderate. A very simple experiment will enable any person to illustrate the principle of the parachute. Take a piece of paper about three feet square, and attach a piece of thread to each corner of it; then fasten a proportionate weight to the lower part, and let it drop from a window, or even from your hand, held as high as you can. It will descend slowly to the ground.

The Parachute 232