First Lady of Parachuting           with Dan Poynter, D-454.                            © 2012
Georgia Ann ThompsonHistory and a tribute              
Smoke Balloon      
The Balloon Attracted Crowds           
CharlesBroadwick And hisCoatpack  
Tiny’sFirst Jump   
She Sat on the Trapeze Bar          
The Balloon Invertsas the jumper Falls Away         
Charles & Tiny       
Broadwick Adjusts  Tiny’sCoatpack  
Frequent Water Landing        
Glenn MartinCongratulatesTiny
Broadwick Repairing the Canopy            
1912 – Dominguez Hills, CA.           
Tiny Saw Another Potential              Wind           
Martin Promoted the New Act          
1913 - First Woman to Jump        from a Plane          
Tiny’s First Landing from a Plane              
In the Cockpit       
Outside the Cockpit
Broadwick giving TinyLast-Minute Instructions         
Tiny Sitting Next to Glenn Martin              
See the Static Line.        
Canopy Deploying    
Tiny was Famous    
Charles Broadwick Adopted Tiny            
Martin Float Plane      
Tiny in 1913     
1914       After jumping for the       Army at North Island       in San Diego.     
She Activated the Parachute           
After her   separationfrom Broadwick
Tiny’s Career: 1913-1922         
Tiny was a Pioneer      
Tiny & Daughter Verla        
Bill Booth with Tiny        
1893 - 1978    
Broadwick Street     
Georgia "Tiny" Broadwick               Historical               Marker Near               Gravesite                  ParaP...
Tiny Broadwick Firsts         st woman to jump         1         from an airplane         st person to jump         1     ...
Contributions to Jumping Parachutes could beused repeatedly. A person could pull aripcord without passingout in freefall S...
We owe a lotto this smallwoman ofimmensestature anddetermination.
Why not Invite Dan to Speak to        your Group?            More than 15            aviation and            parachute pro...
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Tiny Broadwick


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Aviation Pioneer

Tiny Broadwick was an exhibition jumper who traveled with air shows making more than 1,000 jumps between 1908 and 1922.

Tiny made her first jump at age 15 in 1908 at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. She was the first woman to jump from an airplane, the first person to jump from a floatplane, the first person to make an intentional water jump and was the first person to open a parachute manually.

A tribute to a fascinating parachuting pioneer.

Dan Poynter is past president of the Parachute Industry Association, past chairman of the Board of the U.S. Parachute Association and past president of the International Hang Gliding Commission. He has written more than 120 books; seven on parachutes and skydiving. A pilot, skydiver and master parachute rigger, this Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) is a frequent speaker at aviation and other events.

S-13 Keynote, Multimedia with historic videos, maps and sound. 30 Minutes.

Published in: Sports
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  • Hello Dan,

    Thank you for the great pictures and homage to my great grandmother. When I was young and knew her I did not consider her more than my great grandmother. I was limited to the thoughts of four generations living. Great grandmother, grandmother, father, and me and my brothers. It was not until long after her death that I had to give a speech at a genealogy meeting for my mother did I learn the depth of her daring.

    Teresa Poythress Floyd
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  • Tiny Broadwick was a pioneer.She accomplished a lot of firsts.She did things most men would not do.And Tiny developed skydiving techniques that we still use today.Georgia Ann Thompson was born in 1893 on a farm in Granville County, North Carolina. The youngest of seven daughters, she weighed only 3 pounds at birth. Her parents named her "tiny" and she never grew taller than 4' 1" and 80 lbs. Tiny Broadwick was a pioneer.She performed a lot of firsts.She did things most men would not do.And, Tiny developed jump techniques that we use today.
  • Life on the farm was hard and Tiny had to work as soon as she could walk. The family raised chickens and pigs but Tiny usually worked in the tobacco fields.
  • When Tiny was 12, her family moved to Henderson so her father could work in the Harriet Cotton Mill. Child labor not only OK, it was expected back then.Also at the age of 12, Tiny married William Aullsie Jacobs and gave birth to a daughter she named Verla.When questioned about marrying at such a tender age, she replied with a twinkle in her eyes: "Honey, that's the way it is done down south".
  • Shortly thereafter, Tiny's husband abandoned her so she went to work in the mill. She had to walk back and forth from home to the mill several times each day to nurse her daughter. She worked 12- hour shifts.
  • Then, one day, the Johnny Jones Carnival came to nearby Raleigh. A main attraction was a man who ascended in a balloon and then parachuted back to earth. She found someone to take her to Raleigh.The parachutist was Charles Broadwick. His smoke balloon was 92' high, 56' in diameter and open at the bottom. He would build a fire in a pit and let the hot air chimney through a horizontal trench to the base of the balloon. Hot air would make the cotton envelope lighter than air.
  • Someone would have to go inside the envelope with a bucket and a bunch of sponges to put out the fires. Cinders would rise and start burning the cotton envelope so he would have to throw wet sponges to put out the fires. Where is OSHA when you need them?
  • Broadwickwould ascend over the crowd in the balloon, slip into the parachute and release from the balloon. During the descent, he would light a cigar and wave to the crowd below.  Tiny was in love—not with Broadwick--but with parachuting. She argued that she would be a better attraction being a young girl and would land easier being smaller. Broadwick saw the potential. Tiny's mother agreed to take care of the grandchild if Tiny sent money home to support her.  
  • Tiny's first jump was when she was 15, in 1908 at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. Broadwickdressed her as a doll with ruffled bloomers with pink bows on her arms, ribbons in her long curls and a little bonnet on her head. Tomboy Tiny preferred to wear pants—especially for tree landings. But she dresses as a little girl for the show.
  • The trapeze bar was common. Tiny sat on it. Photo shows how she did it. KathePalus of Germany is pictured. Some put on an act.See her canopyTiny later used the Coatpack.
  • At altitude, a release cord is pulled. As the jumper and parachute fall away, the balloon rolls over to release a cloud of smoke—and heightens the dramatic effect.
  • Charles with Tiny
  • Equipment. Broadwick developed the Safety Pack Vest or coatpack with a 6 lb silk canopy. It looked like a knapsack attached to a snug-fitting canvas jacket with harness straps. This was the first "Pack on Aviator" or "Automatic Attached Back Type Parachute".It was static line activated.
  • Equipment. The static line pulled off the cover breaking the breakcords and pulled out the canopy as she fell away. Broadwick's parachutes were the first to be used repeatedly from airplanes.
  • Broadwick taught her everything he knew. Since she did not have an altimeter, she would wait for his signal—he would fire a blank from a pistol. Or, she would wait until the air cooled and the balloon began to descend.
  • To make the event more exiting, Tiny would do a series of cutaways. Sometime they would add fireworks. Tiny normally made 6 jumps per week. Tiny was spectacular! Newspapers described her as the most daring female aeronaut ever seen and, in spite of her frail size, she performed like a veteran.
  • Tiny did not make a lot of money. Broadwick was a great showman but not a good businessman. She was promised $250/week, plus expenses.Often, all she got for a jump was a Coke. But she loved the excitement and it sure beat working in the mill for a 40 cents a day. Q: What is the difference between a skydiver and a camel?A camel can go 7 days without a drink.
  • Tiny mastered water landings. She ended up in rivers three times a week.
  • In 1912, 9 years after the Wrights Brothers’ fight, Tiny and Charles traveled to Los Angeles to participate in air competition at Dominguez Field. Tiny met Glenn Martin. Martin instantly recognized Tiny's potential for drawing a crowd to his aviation act.
  • Tiny got attention and ink wherever she performed. .
  • Glenn Martin and Tiny watch Broadwick sew the canopy.Broadwickfailed to file for a patent on his parachute and didn’t benefit from the huge profits it would eventually generate.
  • Tiny married again briefly in 1912 to a Schooner Master names Andrew Olsen. Tiny did not like home life. They separated and she went back to jumping. SeeTiny’s Balloon
  • Tiny saw a new potential. Form an airplane, she could land in front of the spectators. She had been taking off in from the spectators, pushed downwind until he reached jump altitudeAnd then carried further downwind to land a long way from the spectators.The plane toke off in front of the spectators, fly up-wind. She would jump and float down to land in front of the spectators. She learned to spot.  From a plane, she would not have to worry about landing on poles, steeples, buildings, trees, or in rivers.  She could land in front of the crowd.
  • Glenn Martin promoted their new act.
  • Tiny set records
  • Tiny’s first landing from an airplane. Griffith Field, Los Angeles, June 21, 1913.She put on quite a show.
  • Tiny and Glenn Martin were in great demand.
  • Sometimes she rode up in the cockpit.
  • Sometimes, Tiny was suspended on a trap seat just behind the wing, outside the cockpit. The canopy was on a shelf above her. Martin would ascend to 2,000' at 70 mph and Tiny would pull the lever beside the seat to drop the seat. She descended into Griffith Park in Los Angeles.
  • Charles and Tiny
  • Tiny with Glenn Martin
  • See Tiny under plane (laser)
  • See the static line
  • Canopy deploying
  • Tiny received a lot of publicity
  •  Broadwick adopted Tiny and she changed her name. Her family did not object because the social mores of the day dictated that it was improper for a young girl to travel around the country with an older man. Today, of course, younger women with older men is accepted—IF he is rich.
  • The same year, Tiny traveled to Chicago and became the first person to jump from a float plane. She landed in Lake Michigan. Tiny presented a bouquet to the mayor and then Wilbur Wright came over to shake her hand. She was also the first to make an intentional water jump from an airplane. Tiny set one record after another.
  • She jumped at North Island, San Diego on 12 and 14 September 1914 from an Army Martin plane flown by Oscar Brindley.
  • Tiny was making demo jumps for the Army in San Diego.On her fourth jump, her static line hung up briefly on the tail of the Martin Trainer.Fearful it might happen again and not wanting to spoil the demonstrations, She cut the static line.On the last jump, he pulled the line herself and made history.The first jump on a manually-operated parachute. .
  • In 1916, Tiny married for the 3rd time to Harry Brown, a man who helped pioneer the Greyhound Bus company in Los Angeles to SLC. Tiny retired as Brown did not approve of her jumping. That lasted 4 years. The marriage dissolved and once again, Tiny came out of retirement.
  • Tiny and Charles Broadwick went their separate ways during WWI. The airshow business was becoming tougher. He died in a veteran's hospital in California in 1943.
  • 1920 in Sacramento. (Corbis photo: Sept 17, 1920, Sacramento.)
  • The parachute came to be referred to as a "Life preserver of the air". It was thought to be similar to the life preserver on a ship.
  • Finally, in 1922 and 1,100 jumps, Tiny retired for the last time. She was 29.Once asked if she ever had a reserve parachute, Tiny said "yes, home in the garage in case I tore the one I was using."  
  • Georgia Ann Thompson "Tiny" Broadwick was a true pioneer. She paved the way for us. This little woman showed us what could be done.
  • Tiny with daughter Verla showing she could still get into the BroadwickCoatpack.
  • Bill Booth with Tiny.
  • Tiny passed away in California on August 25, 1978; she was 85. She was laid to rest in Sunset Gardens in Henderson, NC. Members of the Golden Knights served as pall bearers.
  • A street was named after her
  • Historical Marker near her grave site in Henderson, North Carolina.
  • Everyone is amazedWhen someone does something No one would do.She is credited with a lot of first.
  • 1. Parachutes could be jumped over and over.2. Tiny demonstrated that a jumper could pull her own ripcord, activating the parachute. There was no need for a static line. Would not pass out in freefall. 3. She figured out where to exit the plane so as to land in front of the crowd.that escape from a damaged airplane was possible, 4. She could do things most men would not do.
  • Cover of Life magazineEveryone is amazed whenSomeone does something thatNo-one in their right-mind would do.Tiny was amazing. She was a pioneer. She entered the unknown and did it first. She blazed a trial for us.We owe a lot to this small woman of immense stature and determination.
  • Tiny Broadwick

    1. 1. First Lady of Parachuting with Dan Poynter, D-454.© 2012
    2. 2. Georgia Ann ThompsonHistory and a tribute
    3. 3.
    4. 4.
    5. 5.
    6. 6. Smoke Balloon
    7. 7. The Balloon Attracted Crowds
    8. 8. CharlesBroadwick And hisCoatpack
    9. 9. Tiny’sFirst Jump
    10. 10. She Sat on the Trapeze Bar
    11. 11. The Balloon Invertsas the jumper Falls Away
    12. 12. Charles & Tiny
    13. 13.
    14. 14.
    15. 15. Broadwick Adjusts Tiny’sCoatpack
    16. 16. Cutaways
    17. 17. NotMuchMoney
    18. 18. Frequent Water Landing
    19. 19. Glenn MartinCongratulatesTiny
    20. 20.
    21. 21. Broadwick Repairing the Canopy
    22. 22. 1912 – Dominguez Hills, CA.
    23. 23. Tiny Saw Another Potential Wind
    24. 24. Martin Promoted the New Act
    25. 25. 1913 - First Woman to Jump from a Plane
    26. 26. Tiny’s First Landing from a Plane
    27. 27.
    28. 28. In the Cockpit
    29. 29. Outside the Cockpit
    30. 30. Broadwick giving TinyLast-Minute Instructions
    31. 31. Tiny Sitting Next to Glenn Martin
    32. 32. Jumping
    33. 33. See the Static Line.
    34. 34. Canopy Deploying
    35. 35. Tiny was Famous
    36. 36. Charles Broadwick Adopted Tiny
    37. 37. Martin Float Plane
    38. 38. Tiny in 1913
    39. 39. 1914 After jumping for the Army at North Island in San Diego.
    40. 40. She Activated the Parachute
    41. 41. 1916
    42. 42. After her separationfrom Broadwick
    43. 43.
    44. 44. Tiny’s Career: 1913-1922
    45. 45.
    46. 46. Tiny was a Pioneer
    47. 47. Tiny & Daughter Verla
    48. 48. Bill Booth with Tiny
    49. 49. 1893 - 1978
    50. 50. Broadwick Street
    51. 51. Georgia "Tiny" Broadwick Historical Marker Near Gravesite
    52. 52. Tiny Broadwick Firsts st woman to jump 1 from an airplane st person to jump 1 from a float plane. st person to make 1 an intentional water jump
    53. 53. Contributions to Jumping Parachutes could beused repeatedly. A person could pull aripcord without passingout in freefall She learned to “spot“the exit point A woman could dosomething most men wouldnot do.
    54. 54. We owe a lotto this smallwoman ofimmensestature anddetermination.
    55. 55.
    56. 56. Why not Invite Dan to Speak to your Group? More than 15 aviation and parachute programs