Perhaps you haven’t yet visited Croatia, but we can guarantee that there is at least one product you use everyday that originates from Croatia. We’ve presented you with some of the most significant Croatian inventors here, now we are taking a closer look at the inventions that make our everyday life so much easier. Those we often take for granted, rarely reminding ourselves how many years of dedication and hard work was invested in them. It’s hard to list each and every invention since there are so many we all should be thankful for.
Today world would be unimaginable without electricity, right? Actually you reading this right now is due to a great visionary inventor Nikola Tesla whose invention of alternating current, among hundreds of others, changed the world we live in forever. In attempt to prove his system’s safety,Tesla sent alternating current through his own body at low voltages, using it as an electrical conductor to light bulbs. Talk about a mad scientist!
The mechanical pen
If there wasn’t for Slavoljub Penkala and his further development of the mechanical pen in 1906, then called an “automatic pen”, your high school diary would be empty of those colorful hand written notes. TOZ Penkala, pen and pencil factory founded by Slavoljub still exists today. Word penkala has become a synonym for pen and is used in spoken language.
Pay-by-phone parking (M parking)
Croatian experts were the first to design and develop this unique collection system. Few months after the world launched GPRS technology in 2001, which is the basic for this service, Vipnet’s professionals presented the invention. Shortly after, numerous operators worldwide took over the same system.
MPEG-1 Audio layer 3 format was invented in 1987 but had to wait for the technology to mature enough to create the need for compression of music and other audio recordings. In 1997 Croatian programmer and student Tomislav Uzelac changed everything. He made AMP MP3 Playback Engine, which is now considered the first mp3 player. Soon after releasing AMP on the Internet, two American students, Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev, took AMP, added the Windows interface and called it “Winamp”. Remember that the next time you shuffle your iPod.
Perhaps Leonardo Da Vinci made the sketches, but Croatian inventor and bishop from Sibenik, Faust Vrancic build the first parachute. This invention transformed the horror of falling from a great height from an existential crisis into a survivable, even enjoyable experience. It is believed that Faust tested the parachute himself, jumping from the St Mark’s Campanile in 1617. Well obviously it worked, the simple parachute was born. Feel any braver to go skydiving in Croatia now?
Did you know that the tie, a universal symbol of sophistication and culture, originates from the Croats? The cravat may not be a pure Croatian invention, since the history of wearing neckties dates back to the Roman empire, but the modern version of the cravat was widely popularized and spread throughout Europe by the Croats in the 17th century – more precisely during the Thirty Years’ War. The word cravat originates from the French expression cravat, a misheard pronunciation of the French word Croate, meaning Croatian. We bet you’ll remember that binding your tie next time.
Ivan Vucetic, born and raised on the island of Hvar, moved to Argentina due to economic reasons. Soon he became a police official and was working on identifying offenders using the anthropometry, measurements of body parts. This method had a lot of disadvantages so he perfected the method of analyzing fingerprints because he noticed he couldn’t find the two that were the same. The confirmation of his theory was given in 1892 when, for the first time in the history, a double murder was solved with the help of forensic fingerprints.
A novel antibiotic, unlike any other used at the time was created by a group of researchers from Pliva (Croatian pharmaceutical company). The formula of chemical compound of azithromycin was extremely affective in bacterial infection treatments so they named the drug Sumamed “Sum sumarum medicinae” because of its specialty. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer soon recognized the value of this discovery and signed a contract with Pliva providing the US market with the medicine. Today it is still one of the most commonly used antibiotics in the world.
As you can see, Croatians had their fingers in some of the most useful inventions that we still benefit from today. Have you heard of any other Croatian inventions?
Did any of those surprise you? Tell us which one?