Jan Czochralski (1885–1953) – Famous Inventor of Rhinitis Medicine
Kcynia near Bydgoszcz was the birthplace of a Pole whose achievements would revolutionise the modern-day electronic industry. The man himself did not suspect what a great impact he would have on industrial development.
Stanisław Kierbedź (1810–1899) – less famous than his bridge
Warsaw was not lucky when it came to bridges. The first crossing, built at the times of King Sigismund II Augustus, linked the banks of the Vistula for thirty years before languidly drifting away with spring ice floe. All that was left was the Bridge Street, which, however, has not led to any bridge for four centuries. In the 16th century people were proud of that bridge, just as they were ashamed that they no longer had one in mid-19th century. The Kierbedź Bridge, named after its constructor, changed this.
"Dragon glass" in the territories of present-day Poland was already known over 20 thousand years ago
Obsidian, popularized as "dragon glass" in Game of Thrones, was believed to have miraculous properties. This shiny rock in the form of volcanic glass always attracted interest. In the lands of present-day Poland, it appeared as early as 20,000 years ago.
Józef Kosacki (1909–1990) – Inventor of a mine detector
The first years of World War Two brought the scourge of many military and civilian casualties on minefields. The fight for human life prompted the invention of an electric mine detector, which was designed by Lieut. Józef Kosacki, an engineer. However, the identity of the creator of the device that saved thousands of human lives was kept secret for years.
Mieczysław Bekker (1905–1989) – fly me to the Moon
He gained international fame and recognition thanks to the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), which American astronauts drove on the Moon. Mieczysław Bekker, while working for General Motors, headed a team of constructors who were commissioned by NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to design and build the LRV. Bekker designed the vehicle’s chassis.
Rudolf Modrzejewski (1861–1940) – building bridges
An average American found his surname impossible to pronounce. To get around this problem, he would always introduce himself as Ralph Modjeski. Even so, this famous constructor never denied being Polish, and always signed his letters home with his real name.
Abraham Stern (1769–1842) – Does anyone have a calculator?
What a strange paradox that a computing machine, a device that was inconceivable at the beginning of the 19th century, was not constructed by a mathematician, but by a phenomenal self-taught mechanic. This brilliant mechanic was a Polish Jew named Abraham Stern. He began studying mechanics as a watchmaker’s apprentice in Hrubieszow. At that time, watchmaking was the height of precision mechanics.
Stefan Drzewiecki (1844–1938) – on land, under water and in the air
The first man to fly a heavier-than-air machine was Otto Lilienthal, but the first one to consider such flight possible was Stefan Drzewiecki. He was the one to develop a gliding flight theory, proving that it was possible to fly without flapping wings, merely by giving them a proper shape.
Jan Józef Baranowski (1805–1888) – Renaissance Man
The most prolific author in Polish literature was Józef Kraszewski, who wrote over 220 novels. As regards inventions, it is Jan Szczepanik and Jan Józef Baranowski who have left the largest legacies.
Ignacy Łukasiewicz (1822–1882) – Polish pharmacist and Prometheus
Even though we rarely realise this in our daily busy life, we need light as much as we need food, drink or sleep. The main source of light is naturally the Sun, but people started looking for other solutions to disperse darkness very soon. The break-through in the history of lighting came with the kerosene lamp .
Kazimierz Prószyński (1875–1945) – Inventor who preceded the Lumière brothers
In April 1902, a unique attraction awaited the residents of Warsaw who decided to take a stroll through the Saxon Garden. In the Summer Theatre a young man was presenting photographs of daily life in the capital city. Since the art of photography was not new to Warsaw dwellers, one might think that it was nothing exceptional, but... the photographs were moving! People in the photos were walking, dancing and jumping.