SPOTLIGHT

Interesting info & fun facts

Feast for trivia buffs

by Branka

Croatia's top inventions

I don’t care that they stole my idea…
I care that they don’t have any of their own.

Nikola Tesla

 

Undoubtedly the most famous inventor of all times was Croatian-born Nikola Tesla, best known for his contributions in AC electricity and Tesla coil. Although responsible for many inventions – dynamos, induction motor, radar and X-ray technology, remote control, the rotating magnetic field etc.— most of these were officially patented by other inventors. Without brilliant ideas of his genius mind the world that we know today simply wouldn’t be the same.

 

Croatia is a proud home of the necktie! This inevitable accessory of modern business outfits traces back to Croatian mercenaries serving in France in the 17th century. They wore traditional small knotted neckerchiefs that aroused the interest of the Parisians and they called it cravate – which is French word for Croats.

 

Quarantine was first introduced in mediaeval Dubrovnik in 1377. This forty-day period proved to be an effective formula for handling outbreaks of the plague and quarantine site was set up in the Lazzarettos where arriving ship personnel were held.

 

Eduard Slavoljub Penkala, the extraordinary inventor and innovator, invented the automatic mechanical pencil in 1906, as well as the first solid-ink fountain pen in 1907. He was a partner in the Penkala - Moster Company, one of the biggest pen & pencil factories in the world. Think of him next time you grab a pen!

 

Šibenik-born Faust Vrančić contributed to the world with his most famous invention – the parachute or how he called it “Homo Volans”. He was actually the first to test the invention by jumping from a tower in Venice in 1617. How sure he must have been of his idea to test it that way!

 

The most visited island of Croatia is a birthplace of one of Hvar’s most famous personalities and criminals’ worst enemy – Ivan Vučetić. He’s been called the father of modern dactyloscopy for developing the analysis and classification of fingerprints. In the 19th century he emigrated to Argentina where a bloody handprint in a murder case propelled Vučetić to global prominence.

 

When we talk about the invention of a light bulb, everybody’s first thought is Thomas Edison. But, did you know that a Croatian inventor was responsible for inventing the world’s first commercially viable electric light bulb? Franjo Hanaman and his assistant developed the first light bulb with tungsten (wolfram) filament independently of their contemporaries.

 

The first prototype of the torpedo as we know it today was invented by a Croat Ivan Lupus Vukić from Rijeka, the Commander of the Austrian Frigate “Venus”. He designed and manufactured it in 1860 by name “Spasilac obale”, meaning the “Coast Guard”.

 

Born to Croatian family in Alaska, John Mišković already as a young boy worked in gold mines. This hard work inspired him to invent the intelligiant - water cannon that is now used worldwide in firefighting, large vehicle washing, riot control and mining.

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