Having witnessed a plane crash in 1912, Banič constructed a prototype of a parachute in 1913 and tested it in Washington, D.C. before U.S. Patent Office and military representatives, jumping first from a 15-storey building and subsequently from an airplane in 1914. Banič donated his patent, No. 1,108,484 to the U.S. Army. He received little fame or fortune for his invention.
Although the idea of parachutes was known long ago, and Banič's invention is a radically different type of a parachute from the type known today (it was a kind of umbrella attached to the body), it was the first parachute known to be actively used, saving the lives of many American aviators during World War I.
- "Famous Slovaks - Stefan Banic". Heartofeurope.co.uk. 2009. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
- "Štefan Banič, Konštruktér, vynálezca-(Stefan Banic, Designer, Inventor)" (in Slovak). Slovenská akadémia vied, obituary. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "Patent US1108484 - Parachute". Google Patents. Google.com.au. 1914-06-03. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
- US1108484 Parachute patent