Stefan Drzewiecki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Stefan Drzewiecki
Stefan Drzewiecki.jpg
Stefan Drzewiecki
Born July 26, 1844
Died April 23, 1938
Nationality Polish
Occupation Engineer, constructor and inventor
Known for Submarine design

Stefan Drzewiecki (July 26, 1844 in Kunka, Podolia, Russian Empire (today Ukraine, formerly Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth) – April 23, 1938 in Paris) was a Polish scientist, journalist, engineer, constructor and inventor, working in France, and in the Russian Empire during the partitions of Poland.

Drzewiecki was born into Polish szlachta family of national patriots. His grandfather Józef Drzewiecki served under Kościuszko and Dąbrowski against the foreign invaders. His father Karol Drzewiecki took part in the November Uprising. Young Stefan was sent by him away from partitioned Poland to complete his education in France. With a knack for creativity and invention, Stefan Drzewiecki invented such useful tools as the kilometric counter for taxicabs. At the special request of Grand Duke Konstantin and his financial insentives, Drzewiecki moved to Saint Petersburg in 1873. While in Russia he made an instrument that drew the precise routes of ships onto a nautical chart.[1][2]


Drzewiecki-designed submarine built in 1881 and now in the Central Naval Museum, Saint Petersburg

Drzewiecki distinguished himself mainly in aviation and ship building. Beginning in 1877, during the Russo-Turkish War, he developed several models of propeller-driven submarines that evolved from single-person vessels to a four-man model. He developed the theory of gliding flight, developed a method for the manufacture of ship and plane propellers (1892), and presented a general theory for screw-propeller thrust (1920). He also developed several models of early submarines for the Russian Navy.

His work Theorie générale de l'hélice (1920), was honored by the French Academy of Science as fundamental in the development of modern propellers.

See also[edit]

Media related to Stefan Drzewiecki at Wikimedia Commons
  • Blade element theory designed by William Froude (1878), David W. Taylor (1893) and Stefan Drzewiecki to determine the behavior of propellers.



  • Słownik polskich pionierów techniki pod redakcją Bolesława Orłowskiego. Katowice: Wydawnictwo „Śląsk”, 1986, s. 57. ISBN 83-216-0339-4.
  • Alfred Liebfeld, Polacy na szlakach techniki. Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Szkolne i Pedagogiczne, 1985, s. 215–225. ISBN 83-02-01574-1.
  • Krzysztof Kubiak, Wielki błękit wynalazców, biuletyn „Rzeczpospolitej” 11 grudnia 2010, Nr 47
  • Jerzy Pertek, Polscy pionierzy podwodnej żeglugi, seria wydawnicza Wydawnictwa Morskiego Miniatury Morskie zeszyt 3: Polskie tradycje morskie, s. 26–49.