Franz Reichelt Day! February 4th – 100th Anniversary of Eiffel Tower “Death Jump”

Today is the 100th anniversary of Franz Reichelt’s attempt to fly in Paris on the 4th February 1912. His choice of venue to demonstrate his solo flying contraption? The Eiffel Tower. The results? Not good.

British Pathé houses the shocking video of Franz Reichelt’s “Death Jump”. You can watch the only existing High Definition version that is viewable to the public for free on the British Pathé YouTube channel here:

The original canister notes are also a fascinating read and can be seen on our archive website here:

Notes and information regarding the Franz Reichelt Death Jump.

The video was never actually issued by British Pathé, perhaps due to its shocking nature as the video shows the exact second that Franz Reichelt dies as he plummets terrifyingly to his death, and the aftermath scene is rather shocking too as Parisien press members rush forward to measure the depth of the hole left by Franz Reichelt’s body.

However today this video is one of the most viewed British Pathé videos. A plethora of low-quality stolen versions appear on YouTube, but British Pathé are proud to have the best quality version of the reel on display.

Author: British Pathé

British Pathé holds the world's finest newsreel collection. We also represent the Reuters historical collection. All 220K films are viewable on our website.

5 thoughts on “Franz Reichelt Day! February 4th – 100th Anniversary of Eiffel Tower “Death Jump””

  1. The first time I watched this video, probably four or five years ago, i was completely shocked, i even cried. But the man had this ideal that he could fly and i thought of Da Vinci. Thanks for this article.

  2. Great Guy. I think the idea itself was good. Would like to know details of his construction. Maybe it could be done nowadays.
    I know some people who should use his original construction.

  3. A brave man Franz Reichelt. Of course,a bit reckless but 2days before his jump an american guy succeded with an already open parachute to reach the ground safely, jumping from the lberty statue nyc. So, i think that Franz was overmotivated and confident in his invention. So, pioneers are always a bit crazy.Rip Franz, u will be never be forgotten.

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