And their use in war

When they were first used:

The first known written account of a parachute concept is found in da Vinci's notebooks. The sketch he drew consisted of a material pulled tightly over a rigid structure. Although da Vinci never made the device, he is given credit. Fauste Veranzio constructed a device similar to da Vinci's drawing and jumped from a tower in 1617. Over a century would pass before further developments would be made by the famous, Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier. They succeeded in lowering animals to the ground from rooftops 1783.

How it works:

The parachute creates a drag that slows down someone or something from falling. Drag is the push or pull on something from the air or water. Air is much thinner than water but it doesn't have as much drag. The larger the surface area, the more of the drag. A parachute is very light in weight and has a very wide surface area. It catches lots of air as it falls down, thereby creating drag.

Importance in war:

In World War I parachutes were used to drop loads on enemy bases. Also to drop supplies to our own bases. It was important when pilots were about to crash or were getting shot at. It was an ideal plan for a quick and safe escape. It saved many lives and helped drop soilders over enemy territory.