Slavoljub Eduard Penkala
Slavoljub Penkala in 1920
20 April 1871
Kingdom of Hungary, Austria–Hungary
|Died||5 February 1922
Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
|Cause of death||Pneumonia|
|Alma mater||Dresden University of Technology|
|Occupation||Inventor, aviation pioneer, entrepreneur|
|Known for||Inventing the mechanical pencil|
Eduard Penkala was born in Liptovský Mikuláš (in what is now Slovakia), to Franciszek Pękała, who was of Polish heritage, and Maria Pękała (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 in the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, also part of Austria-Hungary) and to mark his loyalty to his new homeland he took on the Croatian name Slavoljub (the equivalent of slavophile), 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.
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.
- (Croatian) "Google obilježio 141. godišnjicu rođenja Slavoljuba Penkale". Nova TV. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- (Croatian) HINA (2012-04-20). "Google se sjetio Penkale". Business.hr. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- (Croatian) Gradska groblja Zagreb: Slavoljub Eduard Penkala, Mirogoj RKT-78-I-117
- "About Eduard Slavoljub Penkala"—Biography of Eduard Slavoljub Penkala at the web site of the book Penkala Writing Instruments, by Miroslav Tischler.
- "History of Croatian Science: Eduard (Slavoljub) Penkala"—from the web site "Croatia - Overview of History, Culture and Science", by Darko Zubrinic.