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SLAVOLJUB EDUARD PENKALA  (APRIL 20, 1871 – FEBRUARY 5, 1922) BORN     EDUARD PENKALA APRIL 20, 1871 LIPTOVSKÝ MIKULÁŠ, AUSTRIA–HUNGARY DIED     FEBRUARY 5, 1922 (AGED 50) ZAGREB, KINGDOM OF YUGOSLAVIA ALMA MATER     DRESDEN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY OCCUPATION     INVENTOR, AVIATION PIONEER, ENTERPRENEUR KNOWN FOR:     - INVENTOR OF FIRST MECHANICAL PEN (PROPELLING - SLING -PEN), THE "PENKALA" , FOUNTAIN-PEN (1906), - CONSTRUCTOR OF THE FIRST TWO-SEAT AEROPLANE IN CROATIA (1909)

Photo of Slavoljub Eduard Penkala, inventor of the mechanical pencil and the fountain pen; photo taken in 1920.

Slavoljub Eduard Penkala

(April 20, 1871 – February 5, 1922)
Born     Eduard Penkala
April 20, 1871
Liptovský Mikuláš,
Austria–Hungary
Died     February 5, 1922 (aged 50)
Zagreb,
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Alma mater     Dresden University of Technology
Occupation     Inventor, aviation pioneer, enterpreneur
Known for:    
- inventor of first mechanical pen (propelling - sling -pen), the "penkala" , fountain-pen (1906),
- constructor of the first two-seat aeroplane in Croatia (1909)

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)[1] – then called an "automatic pencil" – and the first solid-ink fountain pen (1907)[2]. 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."

SLAVOLJUB EDUARD PENKALA  (APRIL 20, 1871 – FEBRUARY 5, 1922) BORN     EDUARD PENKALA APRIL 20, 1871 LIPTOVSKÝ MIKULÁŠ, AUSTRIA–HUNGARY DIED     FEBRUARY 5, 1922 (AGED 50) ZAGREB, KINGDOM OF YUGOSLAVIA ALMA MATER     DRESDEN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY OCCUPATION     INVENTOR, AVIATION PIONEER, ENTERPRENEUR KNOWN FOR:     - INVENTOR OF FIRST MECHANICAL PEN (PROPELLING - SLING -PEN), THE "PENKALA" , FOUNTAIN-PEN (1906), - CONSTRUCTOR OF THE FIRST TWO-SEAT AEROPLANE IN CROATIA (1909)

He also constructed the first Croatian two-seat aeroplane in 1909 (Penkala's aeroplane, nicknamed Leptir (Butterfly) was 11 metres long, had a 11 metres wingspan, weight of 330 kg, had a 25hp engine and a maximum speed of 57kph), which Dragutin Novak, the first Croatian graduated pilot, used for his first flight. He constructed and invented many other products and devices, and held a total of 80 patents.

SLAVOLJUB EDUARD PENKALA (APRIL 20, 1871 – FEBRUARY 5, 1922) SLAVOLJUB PENKALA ZA UPRAVLJAČEM SVOG AVIONA OCCUPATION     INVENTOR, AVIATION PIONEER, ENTERPRENEUR KNOWN FOR:     - INVENTOR OF FIRST MECHANICAL PEN (PROPELLING - SLING -PEN), THE "PENKALA" , FOUNTAIN-PEN (1906), - CONSTRUCTOR OF THE FIRST TWO-SEAT AEROPLANE IN CROATIA (1909)

S. Penkala with version of Leptir (Butterfly)

SLAVOLJUB EDUARD PENKALA (APRIL 20, 1871 – FEBRUARY 5, 1922) PILOTS AND MECHANICS WITH FIRST VERSION OF THE LEPTIR (BUTTERFLY)

Pilots and mechanics with first version of the Leptir

SLAVOLJUB EDUARD PENKALA (APRIL 20, 1871 – FEBRUARY 5, 1922) S. PENKALA I D. NOVAK WITH A SECOND VERSION OF LEPTIR (BUTTERFLY), AS THE AEROPLANE WAS NICKNAMED

Second version of Leptir (Butterfly), as the aeroplane was nicknamed

Penkala also invented the first hotwater bottle, vacuum-flask, detergenta, rotating toothbrush, pen clip-holder, vhich enabled pens to be secured in the pocket, railway car brkes, anodic batteries, the ksilolite preparation against parasites in railway sleepers, the flow-meter device for liquids, pressure gauge, dynamometer, ebonite plastic mass used for manufacture of gramophone records, special microphones and listening devices, tens of chemical preparations and mechanical devices. He patented over 80 inventions. He calculated turbines and propellers for helicopters. While studying the airflow over an wingfoil, he found a new lift source, and in 1908 made his first design of a hoovercraft. He graduated chemistry in Dresden in 1898. He was "Higher Banski measures superviser" ( Ban was the elected ruler of Croatia since the death of the last ing of Croatian origin in 1097). His amateur aeroplane workshop was in his vestibule, at No. 17 King Tomislav Square (then Emperor Franz Jozef Square, later (1904) he built the first hangar in Crnomereca, at then military practicing field, ad so opened the first airfield in Croatia. He died in Zagreb from pneumonia, at his creative peak, in 51st year of his life.

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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