Some think that a form of a primitive parachute was mentioned by Chinese texts 21 centuries ago. In 9th century Abbas Ibn Firnas and Ali Ben Isa (of Arabic origin) also created one of the earliest versions of a parachute which John H. Lienhard described as "a huge winglike cloak to break his fall".
A conical parachute appears for the first time in the 1470s in an Italian manuscript, slightly preceding Leonardo da Vinci's conical parachute designs. It was intended as an escape device to allow people to jump from burning buildings, but there is no evidence that it was actually ever used.
Many think that the first modern conical parachute design had been imagined and sketched by Leonardo Da Vinci in the 15th century.
Leonardo's parachute design consists of sealed linen cloth held open by a pyramid of wooden poles, about seven metres long. The original design was scribbled by Da Vinci in a notebook in 1483. An accompanying note read: "If a man is provided with a length of gummed linen cloth with a length of 12 yards on each side and 12 yards high, he can jump from any great height whatsoever without injury."