Banič, Štefan

The inventor of a parachute and co-discoverer of the cave “Driny”. He was born to a poor family living in Neštich, where he was working on Pálfy's estates already as a young boy. He was apprenticed as a bricklayer and later on, he cooperated on reconstruction of Smolenice Castle. In 1907, he left for America as many others and settled in Pennsylvania. He worked in a factory where he designed several technical improvements thanks to his craftsmanship. However, it was the aviation, which was developing a lot in that period that represented his big hobby. He accidentally witnessed a plane crash during which its passengers died. Thus, he started to think about a solution which could help pilots during such situations. He studied all contemporary inventions and finally he came up with a parachute, which was fastened to a body via belts. He tested his invention himself in 1914, when he jumped down from a fifteen-story building in Washington. Two month later, he had his parachute patented by American authorities. Nonetheless, the United States air force did not use parachutes in the World War I. In 1920, he returned to Smolenice, where he lived very simply until the end of his life. He was also interested in nature thanks to what he discovered the cave “Driny” together with Imrich Vajsábl in 1929. He died in his home village.


Detailed information

Date Of Birth
23. 11. 1870

Date Of Death
2. 1. 1941



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