Things that made me laugh today, and some that have intrigued me.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Google Doodle Celebrates Slavoljub Penkala
Croatia can be justly proud of Eduard Slavoljub Penkala, the extraordinary inventor and innovator. He was a man with great energy and enthusiasm, whose aim was to make practical devices simpler, more useful and of a higher quality. In this book we pay tribute to him and to the legacy he left behind.
Penkala was born on 20 April 1871 in Liptovsky St Mikulas (today in the Slovak Republic), to a Polish father and a Dutch mother. As a young boy he already showed great interest in solving technical problems and was always repairing something at home in his own small workshop. His parents urged him to become a doctor, and he enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine in Vienna. But he felt he had made the wrong choice, and eventually moved to Dresden where he studied chemistry and met his future wife, Emilija, a music student.
The year following his graduation the young couple were married, and in 1900 they moved to Zagreb. Penkala found the city stimulating, and he soon became a high ranking official in the Austro-Hungarian Ministry of Finance. He was later appointed Royal Technical Controller. To mark his loyalty to his new homeland he took on the Croatian name Slavoljub.
In spite of his responsible job and growing family, Penkala spent many hours working on a variety of inventions, and on 24 January 1906 he registered the patent for an automatic pencil, a truly revolutionary innovation among writing instruments. more