Štefan Banič

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Štefan Banič
Štefan Banič.jpg
Born(1870-11-23)23 November 1870
Jánostelek, Austria-Hungary (today part of Smolenice, Slovakia)
Died2 January 1941(1941-01-02) (aged 70)
Known forParachute

Štefan Banič (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈʂcefam ˈbaɲitʂ]; 23 November 1870 – 2 January 1941) was a Slovak inventor who patented an early parachute design.[1]

Born in Jánostelek (Slovak: Neštich, Smolenická Nová Ves), Austria-Hungary (now Smolenická Nová Ves, a part of Smolenice, Slovakia), Banič immigrated to the United States and worked as a coal miner in Greenville, Pennsylvania. After witnessing a plane crash in 1912, Banič constructed a prototype of a parachute in 1913 and was granted US patent, No. 1,108,484.[2]

The design which was radically different from others - it was a kind of umbrella attached to the body - but it is sometimes claimed that he successfully tested it in Washington, D.C. jumping first from a 15-story building and subsequently from an airplane in 1914.[3][4] He donated his patent to the U.S. Army - but there is no evidence that it was ever used.

After World War I Banič returned to Czechoslovakia where he helped to explore the Driny karst cave in the foothills of the Little Carpathian Mountains, close to his hometown of Smolenice.[4]


In 1997, US skydiver Slavo Mulik, also born in Slovakia, created the Stefan Banic Parachute Foundation[5] which offers bronze, silver and gold medal awards to individuals involved in events, promotions and/or celebrations of skydiving, in memory of Banic.[6]

In 2006, Slovak military paratroopers installed a memorial plaque at his birthplace in Smolenice.[7]

In 2020, Slovakia issued a €10 silver coin depicting Banič.[8]

Trnava - Boleráz airport, near Smolenice, carries Banič's name.


  1. ^ "Famous Slovaks - Stefan Banic". Heartofeurope.co.uk. 2009. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
  2. ^ "Patent US1108484 - Parachute". Google Patents. Google.com.au. 1914-06-03. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
  3. ^ "100 years ago Banic received a patent for his parachute" ("Pred 100 rokmi získal Štefan Banič patent na svoj padák"), 24.08.2014, cas.sk (Slovak)
  4. ^ a b "Štefan Banič, Konštruktér, vynálezca-(Stefan Banic, Designer, Inventor)" (in Slovak). Slovenská akadémia vied, obituary. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  5. ^ "Radoslav "Slavo" Mulik, obituary
  6. ^ "11th annual Banic Memorial Boogie set", June 27, 2002
  7. ^ "Banic: The inventor of the parachute", osobnosti.sk (Slovak)
  8. ^ "Slovakia: New silver collector coins issued in honour of Štefan Banič, inventor of the parachute | Coin Update". news.coinupdate.com. Retrieved 2022-12-31.

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