Peter Florjančič

Peter Florjančič (born 5 March 1919) is a Slovenian inventor and former Olympic athlete.[1] His successful inventions have included the perfume atomiser, plastic injection molding machines and the plastic photographic slide frame.[1]

Peter Florjančič
Born (1919-03-05) 5 March 1919 (age 100)


Florjančič was born in the Alpine town of Bled in present-day Slovenia. At sixteen, he was the youngest member of the Yugoslav skiing team in the 1936 Olympic Games.[2]

In 1943, during Nazi German occupation of Slovenia, Florjančič—knowing he would be called up to serve in the German Army on the Eastern Front—decided instead to join a friend and they took a skiing trip to Kitzbuehel, Austria. He faked his own death on Hahnenkamm, escaping on over the border into neutral Switzerland.[1] He met his wife in Zurich and they have been married for over 65 years.[3]


While held in an internment camp as a refugee, he invented a loom that could be used by disabled servicemen.[1][2]

In 1950, he moved to Monte Carlo where he lived for 13 years, invented the perfume atomiser, and appeared in an uncredited role in the film The Monte Carlo Story.[1] He subsequently lived in a number of countries, including Monaco, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany.

His other successful inventions include a work-out bed and plastic ice skates. He also invented the plastic zipper (1948), and the airbag (1957), neither of which were successful at the time because of the quality of the materials available.[1] Both were perfected at later dates by other inventors.

In 2007, Florjančič published his biography, Skok v Smetano (Jump into the Cream). He describes himself thus: I’ve had five citizenships, 43 cars and the longest passport. The profession of inventor forced me to spend 25 years in hotels, four years in cars, three years on trains, a year and a half on airplanes and a year on board of ships.[2]

In 2011, at 92 years old, and almost blind, Florjančič is still working, and sketches his inventions. He has made and lost several fortunes over the course of his career.


In 2002, a documentary film by Slovenian film director Karpo Godina was made about Florjančič's life story.[4]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Phil Cain, Peter Florjancic: Slovenian inventor extraordinaire, BBC news (2011-04-12)
  2. ^ a b c Marjan Žiberna, Peter Florjančič, inventor[permanent dead link], A Cosmopolitan and Vivid Life, Slovenian Times, (2010-03-08)
  3. ^ Slovenia: The Innovators on YouTube November 05, 2009 Deutsche-Welle
  4. ^ Book reviews: Peter Florjančič, MMC RTV Slovenija, 29 August 2007