Eduard Slavoljub Penkala

Eduard Penkala was a Croatian engineer and inventor of Dutch-Polish-Jewish descent, born in Liptovsky Mikulaš, Slovakia. He moved to Zagreb, Croatia in 1898 with his wife and family, and to mark his loyalty to his new homeland he took on the Croatian name Slavoljub, becoming a naturalized Croat. He became renowned for further development of the mechanical pencil (1906) then called an “automatic pencil” – and the first solid-ink fountain pen (1907). 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 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.

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