It once seemed outrageous to think a ship made of heavy steel could ever float on water. Imagine the reaction if a painter told you a contraption of wood could let you toss yourself from any height and drift safely to earth. The parachute was one of the many inventions from the always-bubbling brain of Leonardo da Vinci.
The invention was way ahead of its time. In the 15th century, a good day was avoiding The Black Death or Typhoid Fever. Nobody had time to be constructing a pyramid of wooden poles with sealed linen between them and “hoping” they land like a little bird. “I’ll take my chances with the Diptheria, thank you very much.” Leo would be long gone before anyone actually made a practical parachute. The late 1700s were a more “devil-may-care” time, it seems. But even then, there really wasn’t a big need for parachutes.
That story would repeat itself many times with many of da Vinci’s inventions. The idea preceded the time. But by their very nature, new ideas usually do come before the need arises.
What ideas might be hiding away in your mind’s filing cabinet?
Maybe the only difference between you and da Vinci is the act of writing it down. The act of literally putting a pencil on a piece of paper can activate those sleepy neurons and turn a flickering notion into tomorrow’s da Vinci-chute. How and when it will be used may not be apparent right now. But one thing we know for sure, those ideas aren’t doing anybody any good locked away in your beautiful brain.
At Custom Powder Systems, we see our jobs as solving problems that haven’t yet happened. Bins and lifts and gloveboxes and containment systems are made to fit your facility. Having done this more than a few times, we’re able to see around the corner and find solutions to things before they become an issue.
As for Leonardo’s bold design: He got it right! In June of 2000, Adrian Nicholas of Great Britain dropped from a hot air balloon 10,000 feet in the air. Experts told him (as they told da Vinci) he would jump to his certain death. Instead, Mr. Nicholas came back to the earth beneath a 187-pound contraption that was just a sketch for 500 years, saying the ride was actually smoother than a modern parachute.
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