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The world as we know it today would certainly be different without them - Croatian inventions

The world as we know it today would certainly be different without them - Croatian inventions

Croatian inventors and their discoveries that changed the world

The world as we know it today owes a lot to innovators and inventors. Things that seem completely normal to us today and that are an integral part of modern life, are the result of the hard work of visionaries who lived ahead of their time. You might not be aware yet that some of the greatest inventions of mankind were invented by Croats who changed the world forever. In this article, we will introduce you to the greatest Croatian inventors and their inventions. So here we go.

Nikola Tesla - alternating current

Nikola Tesla is one of the greatest inventors in the history of mankind. He was born in the small village of Smiljan, near Gospic. He was a Croatian electrical engineer and inventor who applied for over 112 patents in the USA and almost as many in other countries around the world. The legendary scientist and visionary left behind a large number of discoveries over generations, which were recorded in his diaries or journals.
Tesla's most important invention of alternating current made an enormous impacton civilisation. The victory over Edison's concept of direct current enabled the mass production and distribution of electricity over long distances, without which the 20th century would not look the same. Alternating current has also enabled various other phenomena such as wireless transmission of information, radio and television. When you are in one of our beautiful villas in Kvarner or Dalmatia, we recommend you to visit the birthplace and museum of Nikola Tesla in his hometown of Smiljan.

Slavoljub Penkala - Mechanical Pencil

Writing would look very different today if there wasn't Slavoljub Penkala's most famous invention - the mechanical pencil. He was a Croatian chemical engineer and inventor with Polish origins. He was the first in the world to design and manufacture a mechanical pencil, which he called "Penkala". He patented it in 1906, in 14 countries around the world. In addition to the writing instrument, Penkala invented more than 70 items that are part of our daily lives, such as the thermos flask, the hot-water bottle, the rotating toothbrush, the gramophone record and many others.


Josip Belusic - Speedometer

The first thing we do when we see the police on the road is to look at how fast we are going. Exactly this small device that measures the speed of driving is the genius invention of the Croat Josip Belusic. He was a Croatian inventor born in Labin, Istria. In 1889, he participated in the World's Fair in Paris, where his invention, then known as the Velocimeter, attracted great interest. It measured the speed, the level of the carriage, the travel and standing times, the number of people and the time of boarding and alighting of passengers. Today, this speedometer has become an integral part of every car, taxi or lorry.


David Schwarz - Zeppelin

An interesting invention created by a Croatian inventor of Jewish-Hungarian origin, who lived in Zagreb for many years, first took off from the Tempelhof airfield near Berlin on 3 November 1897. Unfortunately, its inventor David Schwarz did not experience the day of the first take-off of his aircraft, as he had died about ten months earlier. After Schwarz's death, his wife Melanie sold the designs and patent of the aircraft to the German general Ferdinand von Zeppelin, for 15,000 marks at the time. Three years later, Zeppelin built his ship based on the designs he had bought and gained the fame of the inventor of the first airship.


Just as France is the home of fashion, Switzerland of watches and cheese, Brazil of coffee, Croatia is the home of the necktie. In the book "La Grande Historie de la Cravate" it is written that around the year 1635, more than 6,000 soldiers and knights arrived in Paris to support King Louis XIII, including the Croatian army led by the Bann, which stood out with its uniforms and scarves tied around the neck in an interesting way. This elegant piece of clothing immediately conquered the French, but also the rest of Europe. Charles II brought the new fashion detail to England, and ten years later the necktie conquered all of Europe, as well as most of the colonies in America. The word croata is present in many languages as the root of the word "tie" (in German, French, Portuguese, Italian, etc.).


Faust Vrancic - Parachute

Many fans of extreme sports consider the parachute to be their standard equipment. Although it seems a bit unbelievable, it was invented more than 400 years ago. The great visionary Leonardo da Vinci drew it, and the Croatian inventor Faust Vrancic built it and jumped with it for the first time. Vrancic made a parachute out of fabric, which he stretched on a rectangular frame. In 1617, he successfully demonstrated the parachute with a jump from a tower in Venice. He named the ingenious invention Homo Volanis (Flying Man) and published it in the book of inventions Machinae Novae, along with sketches of other advanced machines, projects and constructions, some of which came to life two hundred years later (e.g. suspension bridges).


Ivan Lupis - Torpedo

The torpedo as we know it today is the work of a former Croatian officer in the Austro-Hungarian Navy. Ivan Lupis, who was born in Rijeka on 28 January 1814, invented and built the torpedo, which was later perfected by the British mechanical engineer Robert Whitehead, at the head of the Technical Institute in Rijeka in 1860. A few years later, the world's first torpedo factory "Whitehead & Co." was founded in Rijeka. From 1880, the torpedo became the standard weapon of the more sophisticated navies. The method of warfare was transferred from air and land to sea waters.

Tomislav Uzelac - MP3 player

Music lovers simply cannot do without this device! With its appearance in 1997, it caused a revolution in playback of music. The responsibility for introducing the MP3 format lies with the renowned German technology institute Fraunhofer, which decided in 1995 to use the MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 codec for storing and playing back audio. Fraunhofer also developed the first MP3 player in the early 90s, but it didn't really become famous. But then the Croatian programmer and student at the Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Tomislav Uzelac, emerged and developed the AMP MP3 Playback Engine in 1997, which is considered the first MP3 player. Its popularity was extended by two American students who adapted the device to the Windows system, creating one of the most popular MP3 programmes - Winamp.


Besides these interesting inventions, Croatia can score with many other inventions and discoveries that have changed the world forever. Other famous inventions include: wireless power transmission (wireless charger), dactyloscopy (unique fingerprint), electric light bulb, lightning rod, hydraulic diamond drill, payment of parking fees by mobile phone, rocket engine, Sumamed and Apaurin (medicines) and Vegeta (spice mix). We believe that the next time you spend your holidays in Croatia, you will remember that Croatians have made it possible for us to make our lives easier and more beautiful :)

Ana-Marija Tot

+385 1 222 70 50