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nedjelja, 2. siječnja 2011.

Slavoljub Penkala

Slavoljub Eduard Penkala (April 20, 1871 – February 5, 1922) was a naturalized Croatian engineer and inventor of Polish-Dutch ethnicity from the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia in Austria-Hungary and later the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

Eduard Penkala was born in Liptovský Mikuláš (in what is now Slovakia), to Franjo Penkala, who was of Polish heritage, and Maria Penkala (née Hannel), who was of Dutch heritage. He attended the University of Vienna and Technische Universität Dresden, graduating from the latter in 1898 and going on to earn a doctorate in organic chemistry. He then moved with his wife and family to Zagreb (which was then also part of Austria-Hungary) and subsequently added "Slavoljub" to his name, becoming a naturalized Croat.

He became renowned for further development of the mechanical pencil (1906)– then called an "automatic pencil" – and the first solid-ink fountain pen (1907) Collaborating with an entrepreneur by the name of Edmund Moster, he started the Penkala-Moster Company and built a pen-and-pencil factory that was one of the biggest in the world at the time. This company, now called TOZ-Penkala, still exists today. TOZ stands for "Tvornica olovaka Zagreb," which means "Zagreb pencil factory."

He also constructed the first Croatian two-seat aeroplane in 1909, which Dragutin Novak, the first Croatian pilot, used for his first flight. He constructed and invented many other products and devices, and held a total of 80 patents.

Among his patented inventions were:

* a hot water bottle – his first patented invention, the "Termofor"
* a type of bluing detergent
* a rail-car brake
* an anode battery

He also founded another company called the Elevator Chemical Manufacturing Company, which produced various chemicals such as detergents, sealing wax, and "Radium Vinovica", a patent-medicine-like product that was billed as curing rheumatism.

Penkala died in Zagreb at the age of 51, after catching pneumonia on a business trip.

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