SIESC 2007 in CROATIA
European Federation of Christian Teachers
VELLETRI'S VOLSCIAN ACADEMIC
THE CITY OF VELLETRI
Filip Vezdin, portrait from 1793 probably
by J.H. Cabott (1754-1841),
once in cardinal Stefano Borgia's library in "Palazzo Altemps", Rome,
now conserved in "Propaganda Fide", Rome
(many thanks to Dr Luca Leoni, Velletri)
Vezdin's research gave a great impetus to investigation of culture and civilization of India in Europe. In 1999 Vezdin's image was carved into the white marble memorial plaque in the City Museum of Trivandrum, the capital of the Indian state of Kerala. Furthermore, the following text was written in the Sanskrit, Malayalam, Croatian and English languages on memorial tablet in the museum:
|Ivan Filip Vezdin, Burgenland Croat, Discalceate Carmelite, with the monastic name Paulin of St. Bartholomew, a missionary in Malabar from 1776 to 1789. The author of the first printed Sanskrit grammar and forerunner of Indian and Indo-European studies to the great honour of his homeland and the Croatian and Indian people.|
|Ivan Filip Vezdin, gradiscanski Hrvat, bosonogi karmelicanin, 1776. - 1789., misionarski je djelovao na Malabaru. Pisac prve tiskane sanskrtske gramatike i preteca indijskih i indoeuropskih studija na veliku cast svojoj domovini te hrvatskom i indijskom narodu.|
Among scientists studying seismology the famous Moho-layer (or Moho-discontinuity) of the Earth is well known. It was named after the great Croatian geophysicist Andrija Mohorovicic (born in Volosko, 1857-1936), professor at the University of Zagreb. His discovery was essential for understanding the inner structure of the Earth and the behavior of seismic waves. Together with the theory of forces due to Rudjer Boskovic, this is probably the greatest achievement in the history of Croatian science.
Let us cite a part of his biography from Willard Basom's monograph A hole in the Bottom of the Sea, The story of the MOHOLE project, 1959/61, Doubledays, USA (p. 143):
...As a boy of 15 he spoke Italian, French, and English as well as his native Croatian, later added German, Czech, Latin, and old Greek. He studied physics at the University of Prague under some famous professors including E. Mach and did his graduate work at the University of Zagreb, from which he obtained a Ph.D. In 1894 Dr. Mohorovicic became Director of the Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics and Professor at the University of Zagreb in 1897, where he remained until his retirement in 1921. His special interest was the precise measurement of time for both astronomical and seismical events, but his reputation mainly rests on his classic paper in the field of seismology, The Earthquake of October 8, 1909, which contains the news of his discovery of a major discontinuity at a depth of 55 kilometers. This discontinuity, now generally known as the Moho in his honor, defines the crust of the earth. Professor Mohorovicic died in 1936 in circumstances approaching poverty.
Photo from an article by Mete Oner: Deepest borehole ever drilled
Two Croatian names appear on the map of the Moon. The name of Rudjer Boskovic was given to a mountain on the visible side, and the name of Andrija Mohorovicic to a mountain on the dark side of the Moon.
William Feller (Zagreb, 1906 - New York, 1970) is outstanding Croatian - American mathematician. He graduated in mathematics from the University of Zagreb (1925), and earned his PhD in Göttingen (1926).
Vilibald Srecko Feller in 1907 (?), Zagreb;
with kind permission of prof. Marta Zdenkovic, Zagreb
Feller was university professor in Kiel, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Lund. Since 1939 he lived in the USA, employed at Universities of Brown, Cornell, and Princeton. He is considered as one of the founders of the Theory of Probability as a scientific discipline, alongside with Moivre, Laplace, Poisson, Chebishev, Wiener, Kolmogorov and others.
Vilibald Srecko Feller (bottom right), the youngest among eight brothers
The First Gymnasium in Zagreb (now the Mimara
where Vilibald Srecko Feller finished his secondary shooling (1922/23);
Feller is one of the founders of Probability Theory as a scientific discipline. He is best known for his two volume monograph An Introduction to Probability Theory and Its Applications, Princeton 1950, which is considered as one of the best mathematical textbooks of the 20th century.
A recent Chinese edition of Feller's monograph (first Chinese edition appeared in 1964)
William Feller (1906-1970),
photo by Paul Halmos (1916-2006) from his book
I have a photographic memory (Providence, 1987)
Many mathematical notions bear his name:
Vilim Feller, photo from [Vranic]
William Feller was a member of several national academies, including National Academy of Sciences, USA, and Croatian Academy of Sciences. He is recipient of the National Medal of Science from the President of the USA.
Fran Bosnjakovic (1902-1993), born in Zagreb, was one of world's leading experts in technical thermodynamics. Educated in Zagreb, where his scientific career started in 1926, he moved to Dresden, Germany, in 1928. In 1931 he became university teacher at Dresden High Mechanical Engineering School. After a short stay in Belgrade, he moved back to the University of Zagreb in 1936. After 1945, during the Yugoslav communist regime, he was degraded to two years of forced labor. In 1951 he became rector of the University of Zagreb.
Since 1953 he started lecturing at the High technical school in Braunschweig in Germany, where he became head of the Department for thermodynamics and director of the Thermotechnical institute. In 1961 he founded the Institute of Thermodynamics for Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, that he led until his retirement in 1968. He also established groups for Irreversible Thermodynamics, Mass Transfer and Thermokinetics, Radiation and Plasma, and Heat Transfer. It is interesting that his textbook Technische Thermodynamik, published already in 1935 in Dresden, had seven improved and extended editions in Germany, and was translated into English (Technical Thermodynamics) and Russian (Tehnicheskaya termodinamika). The Croatian translation had five editions (Nauka o toplini). See his list of publications held at the University of Stuttgart.
Professor Bosnjakovic obtained honorary doctorate from High Technical School RWTH Aachen, Grashof's medal from the German Society of Engineers VDI in 1969, gold medal from the Associazione Termotechnica Italiana in Padova in 1966, another gold medal from the Institut français des combustibles et de l'énergie in Paris. On the occasion of his 80'th birthday in 1982 the German Society of Engineers VDI issued a special publication devoted to his scientific work. In 1987, on the occasion of his 85'th birthday, a solemn colloquium was organized by the Technical University of Stuttgart. Also, he was a member of
Denn das Ingenierwessen is vor allem auch ein Beruf des Könnes und der verantwortungsvollen Gestaltung, wofür wissenschaftliche Grundlagen nur einen, wenn auch beachtlichen, notwendigen Teil bilden.
Lavoslav Ruzicka (1887-1976, born in Vukovar, of a Czech father and a Croat mother, attended the gymnasium of Osijek), obtained the Nobel Prize for discoveries in organic chemistry, professor at the Technische Hochschule in Zurich, Switzerland 1939; see Ruzicka links.
Vladimir Prelog, (1906-1998, a Croat born in Sarajevo, studied in Zagreb), obtained the Nobel Prize for discoveries in organic chemistry, worked at the Technische Hochschule in Zurich, 1975. As a young boy he was a stipendist of Napredak, Croatian cultural society in Bosnia and Herzegovina. See Prelog links. He wrote his authobiography, Vladimir Prelog: My 132 Semesters of Studies of Chemistry, American Chemical Society, Washington DC 1991 (second edition by Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998). Prelog was among 112 Nobel Prize winner who signed and appeal For Peace in Croatia in 1992.
Professor Andrija Stampar (1888-1958) was our leading authority in the field of epidemiology and a pioneer in preventive medicine. As an expert of the League of Nations he spent three years (1933-1936) in China, developing the health service there. During the WW2 he was arrested by the German Nazis and kept in custody in Graz in Austria. He was one of the founders of the World Health Organization (WHO) and very active in promoting the health service in Afghanistan, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. He wrote the introductory declaration of the Statute of the WHO and was the first president of this organization. In 1948 Andrija Stampar was the chairman of the first WHO General Assembly in Geneva.
In 1955 he was awarded the medal of Leon Bernard, which is the most prestigious international acknowledgement in the field of social medicine. For more details see his book The first ten years of the World Health Organization, Geneva, 1958.
The most outstanding representative of the Croatian medicine, our specialist of international reputation in the field of othorhinolaryngology, was Ante Sercer (1896-1968). Due to his efforts a faculty of medical science was founded in Sarajevo in 1944. He was the editor in chief of our Medical Encyclopedia (the first edition appeared in ten volumes, over 700 pages each, in 1957-1965), which was one of the first in the world.
It is interesting to mention that the famous jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong-Satchmo was professor Sercer's patient in Zagreb, and was treated carcinoma of his lower lip in the sixties. He also cured Mario del Monaco and Giuseppe di Stefano.
Mirko Drazen Grmek (1924-2000), born in Krapina near Zagreb, was professor of history of medicine at the University of Zagreb, where he founded Institute for History of Science, and directed the first Croatian Medical Encyclopedia. Since 1971 he has been full professor at the Sorbonne in Paris, then associate professor of many European and American universities (Berkeley, Cambridge-Masachusetts, Geneva, Lausanne, Bologna, Rome, Zagreb), and finally Director of Studies at the École Practique des Hautes Études, Sorbonne, Paris.
He was director of International school for history of science in Naples, Ischy, Annecy, president of European center for history of medicine in Strasbourg, editor or editor-in-chief of several professional international science lexicons, author of about thirty books. He introduced the concept of pathocenosis ("the ensemble of pathological states present in a specific population at a given moment in time") in 1969.
In 1996 the international scientific journal Eureka called him physician of the century. The journal portrayed him with the following words:
Mirko Grmek is as famous among scholars throughout the world as he was unknown to the wider public. This Croat lived supporting the ideals to which he dedicated his entire life, namely that medicine must be practiced with full sense of conscience, and that science is simply another word if it is not accompanied by humanism.His particularly important books are
His books (more than 30) are published in several languages: French, Italian, German, Polish, English, Croatian.
The SUVAG center for voice transmission for reeducation of speech disorders and deafness has been founded in Zagreb in 1961 by Academician Petar Guberina (1913-2005). The name of SUVAG is coined from Systeme Universel Verbotonal d'Audition Guberina.
Visit the Croatian SUVAG center where professor Guberina works, and where his verbo-tonal system has been created, now in use throughout the world, on all five continents. His books were translated into many languages, including Arabic and Japanese. In France, he was awarded the Legion of Honour:
Petar Guberina earned his PhD in 1939 at Sorbone in Paris, and the title of his thesis was Valeur logique et valueur stilistique des propositions complexes en français et en croate.
Antun Lucic (americanized name is Anthony F. Lucas; born in Split 1855, died in Washington 1921) discovered the first major gusher in Texas, The Lucas gusher, flowing at the rate of 80,000 to 100,000 barrels per day. It blew in January 1901. About 50,000 people came to see it. This meant the earliest massive exploitation of oil and petroleum in the world. Antun Lucic, known as Anthony F. Lucas (F. = Francis is after his father Franjo, mariner and shipbuilder from the island of Hvar) believed that the nearby Spindletop hill, near the town of Beaumont, covered a vast pool of oil. His company became one of the first oil companies in Texas. Antun Lucic was a mining engineer who completed his studies at the Polytechnic institute in Graz, Austria, where also his fellow countryman Nikola Tesla later studied. By 1902, as many as 285 wells were operating on Spindletop Hill and over 600 oil companies had been chartered (the population of Spindletop sprang from 8,000 in 1901 to 60,000 in 1902, i.e. in just a year!). In this way Captain Anthony Lucas enabled the United States to surpass Russia as the world's leading oil producer. With the Lucas gusher, a black-gold rush began, and fortune-seekers from all over the world poured into Texas. Over time, Houston became a center of the oil industry, and a captive of the British-dominated global oil cartel.
Anthony Lucas (Antun Lucic) invented the so called "Christmas tree", which is the system of valves and pipes installed on the wellhead to harness a gusher. The "Christmas tree" is connected to the piping for transportation or storage of oil.
Christmas tree invented by Anthony Lucas
in order to harness a gusher (photo from [McBeth])
Anthony Lucas and drilling crew,
photo from Math/Science Nucleus for children
Spindle Top, congestion of derrics in 1901-1902 (photo from [McBeth])
Antun Lucic (Anthony Lucas) on the left (photo from [McBeth])
The naval fuel board program adopted by the USA Government in 1901 specified that all the vessls should be equiped for the burning of oil as fuel. Railroads in increasing number were using it, and manufacturers were substituting it for coal and gas. At that time the automobile industry just began to develop, and the importance of Lucic's discovery for its further expansion was enormous.
Spindle Top in 1902
Antun Lucic is also considered to be the founder of modern petroleum reservoir engineering. He was consulting engineer in USA, Russia, Mexico, Algeria, and Romania. As an expert in mining he was elected the life long chairman of the American Committee for Oil and Gas (later called Petroleum Division, more information). In 1936 The American Institute for Geological and Metallurgical Investigations founded a prize named after him: Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal.
A museum with 18 m high granite obelisk was built in honour to the Lucas gusher in Spindletop. There is also 1,5 m granite monument of Lucic with inscription saying that his discovery revolutionarized industry and transport,... and changed lives of people in the whole world.
18 m high granite obelisk, built in honour
to the Lucas gusher, Spindletop, contains the following lines:
|On This Spot
on the Tenth Day of the
a New Era
in Civilization Began
In 1943 Lucas' son and daughter-in-law established charitable foundation in his name.
Antun Lucic (Anthony F. Lucas) is placed among 200 of most deserving Americans in the course of the entire history of the USA. There are a street and an Elementary school bearing his name in the City of Beaumont, Texas.
As to his nationality, it is often mistakenly described as Austrian, and sometimes even Italian (like in Who is Who in America, where there is also another mistake - that he was born in Trieste). On his grave in Rock Creek, Washington, he is said to be of Illiric origin, where Illiric is a standard name for Croatian. For more information about Anthony Lucas see here.
David Schwarz, a Zagreb Jew (1852-1897), invented steerable metal airship that is today unjustly bearing the name of the German count Zeppelin. Indeed, Zeppelin bought the complete project from Schwartz's wife, shortly after his premature death. It is true that in 1897 the `Zeppelin' constructed by Schwartz fell down during its trial flight near Berlin, due to a small technical error in the propeller, having reached the height of 460 m. It was 47.5 m long and had 35 tons.
While preparing the project of his flying ship, which for the first time was predicted to be metal made, he had to resolve many technical and technological problems. This led to the discovery of the special aluminum alloy now known under the name dural, also called the Schwartz aluminum.
Photos from David Schwarz web site by Ante SucurThe American Israel Numismatic Association issued two nice plaquettes in honour of David Schwarz, see here.
The Croatian Jews left truly remarkable traces in arts, music, science and architecture.
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), born in Croatia (at that time within Austria-Hungary), is well known and need not be particularly introduced. We feel it is necessary to cite his words that he was equally proud of his Croatian motherland and Serbian descent. He completed his elementary and secondary school education in Croatia (in Gospic and Karlovac), and studied in Graz and Prague. He is the father of alternating electrical current technology and the three phase system. He is equally known by his contribution to the high frequency technology and wireless communications. The impact of Tesla's numerous inventions (112 patents during his work in the USA) on the development of modern civilization is immeasurable. The unit for magnetic induction Tesla, was named after him (Conference general des poids et mesures, Paris, 1960). He refused to receive the Nobel prize which he had to share with T.A. Edison.
Windows of the building of Electricité de Strasbourg in France, where Tesla had worked for some time, have inscriptions with names of outstanding scientists. There you can see his name surrounded with Laplace, Planck, Bohr, Einstein and Rutherford (click on the left). In front of the building of International Union for Telecommunications in Geneva there is a statue of Nikola Tesla. When his mother died, he paid a visit to Croatian capital Zagreb in 1892, where he gave a lecture about alternating current. On that occasion he said:
As a son of my homeland I feel it is my duty to help the city of Zagreb in every respect with my advice and work (Smatram svojom duznoscu da kao rodjeni sin svoje zemlje pomognem gradu Zagrebu u svakom pogledu savjetom i cinom; photo),
and suggested to build alternating current power plant. There is no doubt that by saying "homeland" he meant Croatia. In 1931, at the age of 75, Tesla received birthday greetings from Lee de Forest and Albert Einstein.
Eduard (Slavoljub) Penkala (1871-1922), born in Slovakia to a Polish/Dutch family, became naturalized Croat when after his marriage his family immigrated to Zagreb. He invented the mechanical pen in 1906 and fountain pen in 1907 which are bearing his name and now they are in everyday use.
Indeed, the name of "pen" is derived from his family name, and the name of "penkala" is also in use today for the chemical pen. The patent was registered in thirty-five countries throughout the world.
His first invention was a rasin bottle filled with hot water, called Termofor (hot water bottle), used in bed as "central heating" during cold nights.
Mario Puretic (1917, born in Croatia in Sumartin on the island of Brac), revolutionarized the technology of pulling out fishing nets from the sea by his construction of what is now known as the Puretic Power Block in 1950s. Until then fishing nets had to be manually drawn by eight to ten people, which was an extremely difficult job. The Marco Seattle company developed Puretic's idea, and it soon became a standard mean of fishing in the whole world. In 1975 the United States Patent Office conferred him a special recognition for his patent which revolutionarized the fishing technology worldwide. He was elected among hundred greatest inventors of the 20th century in the USA. In 1972 the National Bank of Canada issued a new series of 5 dollar banknotes with the Puretic Power Block on a fishing boat drawn on the reverse side! For more details see
Adam Eterovic: Mario Puretic, the King of Purse Seine Fishing
From Marco Seattle web site: No single invention has contributed more to the success of purse seine net hauling than Marco's extensive line of Power Blocks. First introduced in the 1950's the Puretic Power Block line became the linch-pin in the mechanization of purse seining. Combined with fluid hydraulic power technology and new large synthetic nets, it changed the whole character of purse seine fishing. From those early days the Marco Power Block has undergone many design improvements to provide the widest available range of sizes and power options to match changing requirements.
Anthony Maglica, holder of hundreds of patents and trademarks, founded Mag Instrument, Inc, in Los Angeles in 1955, and designed Mag-Lite flashlight, which is now an American product icon, among 100 top products that "America makes best". The Maglite products have been honored by the Japan Institute of Design and the Museum for Applied Art in Germany. Mag Instrument donated thousands of flashlights to aid in the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001. Born in New York, and as a child raised in Croatia, Tony Maglica has plenty of other interests which include also Zlarin, Croatia, where he grew up.
Agabekov SA is world's famous company seated in Geneva, Switzerland, dealing with exterior lighting design. Mr Youri Agabekov, the founder of the company, has Croatian roots: his father is Ladislav Zerjavic, from Hrvatsko Zagorje near Zagreb. His products have been used to cover with soft lighting such buildings like (photos by kind permission of Mr. Youri Agabekov):
Mr Youri Agabekov is a Croat born in Russia, living in Switzerland (Geneva) and in Croatia (Zagreb). His company, Agabekov SA, has 80 representatives throughout the world. Here is the logo of the company devoted to his wife Branka:
Light fixture, United States Patent 4158221 by Youri Agabekov; some of his patents are also held in Japan
Palace of Sponza, Dubrovnik
Ralph Tony Sarich (born in 1938) is an Australian Croat who developed the Orbital Engine in 1972. He is a recipent of several prestigeous ingeneering awards like Australian Inventor of the Year 1972, Sir Lawrence Hartnett Inventors Award 1972, Churchill Medal, British Society of Engineers 1987 and Clunies Ross National Science and Technology Award 1991. His parents are Croatian immigrants to Australia.
Miss Australia Michelle Downes visited Ralph
where she was shown his revolutionary orbital engine in 1972.
The service of buying parking tickets via mobile phones is today widespread worldwide. The service has been conceived and developed in Croatia.
Marin Soljacic is the author of the new Wireless Power Transfer Technology, conceived in 1996. It attracted a substantial interest of the press (more than 200 articles in leading newspapers and radio-reports in numerous countries around the world, including: USA, Germany, Australia, Iran, India, Croatia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, UK, Poland, Canada, the Netherlands, Thailand, Dominican Republic).
He is a young Croatian physicist born in the City of Zagreb, where he finished his secondary school education. Dr. Marin Soljacic is employed as researcher at the Department of Physics, Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. His father, Dr. Ivo Soljacic, is a very active member of HKDPD in Zagreb.
Croatia - France, an overview of cultural and historical relations - a sketch