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František Křižík

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František Křižík
František Křižík (most likely in 1902)
Born(1847-07-08)8 July 1847
Died22 January 1941(1941-01-22) (aged 93)
Resting placeVyšehrad cemetery
Occupation(s)Engineer, entrepreneur
Known forArc lamp

František Křižík (Czech: [ˈfraɲcɪʃɛk ˈkr̝̊ɪʒiːk]; 8 July 1847 – 22 January 1941) was a Czech inventor, electrical engineer, and entrepreneur.


František Křižík Baptismal certificate

Křižík was born into a family in Plánice. In spite of his background, Křižík managed in 1866 to study engineering at the Technical University of Prague ČVUT.

Křižík is considered the pioneer of practical electrical engineering and in electrification of Bohemia and Austro-Hungarian empire. At the time he was often compared to Thomas Edison. In 1878 Křižík invented a remotely operated signaling device to protect against collision between trains.[1] Křižík's cores are magnetic solenoids cores shaped so as to ensure an approximately uniform pull in different positions in the solenoid.

His first experiments in Plzeň resulted in the invention in 1880 of the automatic electric arc lamp, the so-called "Plzen Lamp" which was displayed at the International Exposition of Electricity in Paris in 1881. This lamp, with self-adjusting brushes, won the gold medal from among 50 similar devices.[1] Later he successfully defended his patent against Werner Siemens claim to have created it first. His lamps were successfully used in many cities for street lighting. The restored and fully functional patented arc lamp with automated electrode adjustment can be viewed at the Museum of Pilsen. In 1894, he designed an electric musical fountain illuminated by coloured lamps, one of the most popular attractions at the General National Exhibition in Lviv.

In 1884 Křižík set up his own company building city lighting, tramway lines, street cars, power stations, and various electric equipment. In 1895 Křižík built one of first electromobiles in the Austrian Empire.

He was active freemason since 1881 when he joined masonic lodge Harmonie in Plzeň. He was later active as member of lodge Jan Amos Komenský and later lodge Sibi et posteris in Prague. In 1923 František Křižík was one of the founders nad patrons of the National Czechoslovak Grand Lodge.[2][3]

A Prague street and subsequently near subway station were named after František Křižík – Křižíkova.

Electrified railway Tábor–Bechyně


František Křižík built the first electrified railway in the Austro-Hungarian empire from Tábor to Bechyně in 1903. The track gauge was 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge. The maximum speed was 50 km/h (31 mph).



The main belt asteroid 5719 Křižík was named in his honor.[4]


  1. ^ a b František Křižík
  2. ^ Vaindl, Ladislav (25 October 2022). "K zednářům v Plzni patřili loutkář Josef Skupa i vynálezce František Křižík". iDNES.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 21 September 2023.
  3. ^ "František Křižík (1847–1941)". www.lmost.cz (in Czech). Lóže Most. Retrieved 21 September 2023.
  4. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser". NASA. Retrieved 2008-05-03.