JF Ptak Science Books Post 1670
In the history of dropping things--as distinguished from simple falling things--it must be said I think that this is the easiest of all human activities ever invented, and people have been trying to improve on this creation ever since. After all, almost anyone can do it and--if you include pushing things over a ledge so that they might fall--most complex life forms can do it, too.
Of course there have been intellectual and technological adaptations, particularly when you include throwing and shooting things so that the objects have been charged with a "created height" so that they will be dropped in the designated location. Cannons have been particular benefit to this aspect of advanced dropping. And then of course there are the "Galileos" of dropping--like Galileo--and Jonas Moore and David Letterman and of course Seinfeld's Kramer, and to a lesser extent there's also every other person from the Boston area who represent hundreds of millions of people who drop a letter from somewhere in their spoken vocabulary. There are people who drop their accents altogether, and of course politicians who drop the truth, and the tantilizers who drop suggestions, and paid-for pharmaceutical consultants who drop the untoward test results and their accountants who drop a zero when necessary.
[Image source: June, 1936, Popular Mechanics.]
People drop options, they drop in and out and off, pennies and dimes, lawsuits and dumplings, coverage and names and the f-bomb. They also drop dead and bombs, the last two being closely related, though more people "drop dead" when bombed because they are killed.
Bombs seem to be the biggest of all dropped things, especially bombs dropped by airplanes, and especially those bombs dropped on collections of people, which are called cities.
Perhaps one of the strangest things to be dropped, though, is the following, found in the September 1935 issue of Popular Mechanics
This was a model of sorts for a critical-care-parachute-gurneystretcher, or something, for when a crew member of a U.S. Army Air Force aircraft was injured and needed care, though the article doesn't specify where the person would be dropped. Overall it seems not the height of workable ideas, and suffered no doubt from its model using a baby doll, which just looks altogether wrong.
And the last part of this episode is another strange bit: dropping women on Manhattan. The image comes from 1904 and--when taken out of context--it seems as though Manhattan is in for the worst of it, with a view in front of the Flat Iron Building of an aerial bombardment of women. This is probably one of the few bad things that weren't done with/at women, and would actually significantly predate the first use of explosives being dropped from aircraft. Unfortunately the original, intended image was a poke at crinoline and featured women being blown up into the air rather than the other way around, though I like my interpretation better.