Credit for the invention of the parachute goes to Sebastien Lenormand in 1783. In 1495, Leonardo da Vinci designed a pyramid-shaped chute. J. P. Blanchard (1753-1809), a Frenchman, is said to have been the first to use a parachute. In 1785, he dropped a dog in a basket, to which a parachute was attached, from a balloon high in the air. Blanchard claimed to have descended from a balloon in a parachute in 1793.