Croatia prides itself in having rolled out globally with quite a collection of handy inventions and you surely use one of them everyday without knowing it. Let’s explore and see what genius ideas fabricated in history can be credited to beautiful little Croatia.
The most recognized fashion accessory today, the necktie, actually originated from Croatia as far back as the 1600s. Croatian Vallerists wore these decorative scarfs during the Thirty Year War; officers would have silk neckties, while soldiers would were more simple fabrics. Nonetheless, the French rather liked the style and brought it back home, calling it the ‘cravatte,’ coming from ‘Croate’ meaning Croat. Later the English developed the style into what it resembles today, with the introduction of its current shape and the famed Windsor knot. That explanation sounds similar to something you’ll hear in My Big Fat Greek Wedding but Voila!… now you know the cravatte is Croatian. Croatia has also proclaimed October 18th as the ‘Day of the Cravat’ were various celebrations to the tie takes place, most famously the giant tie installation around the ancient Pula arena.
Slavoljub Eduard Penkala was a fellah who patented more than 70 inventions but he is most famed for introducing the world to the automatic pencil (known as the ballpoint pen today) in 1906. A year later, he also introduced the first solid-ink fountain pen. Mr. Penkala and his business partner Edmund Moster then founded the Penkala-Moster Company where his pens were manufactured. Penkalamania’ spread across the globe; it was amazing how a tiny gadget could help in everyday life in such a way. Today the pens are still produced by TOZ Penkala, using the same quirky logo as always, a big-eared man with a pen tucked behind it. Penkala is also to thank for curing your stomach cramps, as he also invented the hot water bottle, a.k.a. Termofor
One of the key developments in naval history is the torpedo, invented in the town of Rijeka by an officer of the Austro-Hungarian army, Ivan Lupis. Lupis’ invention of the self-propelled torpedos was brought into mass production in Rijeka under the supervision of industrialist Robert Whitehead.
Faust Vrančić (1551-1617) from the stunning Šibenik archipelago revealed his sketch of a rectangular parachute ‘Homo Volans’ in his genious book on mechanics, ‘Machinae Novae’ and demonstrated its successful design by jumping off a tower in Venice in 1617. If you are planning an island hopping trip off Šibenik, don’t miss charming little Prvić Luka featuring a Faust Vrančić Memorial Center where some of Vrančić’s inventions have been replicated, including a miniature suspension bridge and a sculpture of the inventor strapped into his parachute.
Nikola Tesla is probably one of the most famous inventors and engineers who have walked the planet and can be thanked for many genius inventions, notably modern alternating current. He came from the mountainous region of Lika in Croatia but emigrated to the US in 1884 at the age of 28 to work for Thomas Edison. The invention of alternating current presented at the 1893 World’s Expo in Chicago quite a feud between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, as to whose invention was best. Thomas Edison would demonstrate the strength of his current by electrocuting animals whereas Tesla would demonstrate the safely of his by letting it flow through his body in order to lighten a bulb. Nonetheless, it is Nikola Tesla’s system that provides power generation in modern America.
Which Croatian invention do you use everyday? Any more Croatian inventions you know of? Let us know in the comment section.