Slavoljub Eduard Penkala

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Slavoljub Penkala
Slavoljub Eduard Penkala.jpg
Slavoljub Penkala in 1920
Born Eduard Pękała
(1871-04-20)20 April 1871
Liptovský Mikuláš, now Slovakia, before
Kingdom of Hungary, Austria–Hungary
Died 5 February 1922(1922-02-05) (aged 50)
Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
Cause of death Pneumonia
Nationality Croat (naturalized)
Alma mater Dresden University of Technology
Occupation Inventor, aviation pioneer, entrepreneur
Known for Inventing the mechanical pencil

Slavoljub Eduard Penkala (Croatian pronunciation: [slâʋɔʎuːb ɛ̂duard pɛŋkǎːla]) (20 April 1871 - 5 February 1922) was a Croatian engineer and inventor of Dutch-Polish-Jewish descent.[1][2]

"Penkala-Moster" pen and pencil company in Zagreb

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)[3] - then called an "automatic pencil" - and the first solid-ink fountain pen (1907).[4] 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 aircraft to fly in the country, the 1910 Penkala Monoplane, flown by Dragutin Novak, who was also the first Croatian pilot. He constructed and invented many other products and devices, and held a total of 80 patents.

Among his patented inventions were:

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 50, after catching pneumonia on a business trip. He was buried at the Mirogoj Cemetery.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Google obilježio 141. godišnjicu rođenja Slavoljuba Penkale" (in Croatian). Nova TV. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  2. ^ HINA (2012-04-20). "Google se sjetio Penkale" (in Croatian). Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ (in Croatian) Gradska groblja Zagreb: Slavoljub Eduard Penkala, Mirogoj RKT-78-I-117

External links[edit]