Käthe Paulus (1868 - 1954)

Käthe Paulus
Käthe Paulus (bpk Berlin, photo postcard: photographer unknown)

Katharina “Käthe” Paulus (1868–1935) was a German aerial acrobat who is credited with inventing the folding parachute (knapsack parachute). She was the first German woman to parachute out of a hot-air balloon. Fate was unkind to her on more than one occasion. Her partner fell to his death during a ballooning experiment and her young son died of diphtheria. After recovering from a period of paralytic shock, she began performing her aerial acrobatics again by the name of Miss Polly. She completed more than 165 parachute jumps in her life.