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Richard Reineccius <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 19 Mar 2010 03:25:03 -0700
text/plain (37 lines)
Jan Szczepanik (correct spelling, with the usual noun clusters) was indeed
Polish, but there was no Poland in the period 1795, when Russia, Prussia and
Austria divvied it up,  to 1918. The Tarnow area was legally part of
Austria, so to genealogists he would be Austrian, but never Czech. Born in
present-day Ukraine, then also partly Austrian. So also was Krakow (Cracow
in British English) in the Austrian kingdom, but speaking and writing in
Polish was allowed, whereas in schools and publishing in the native language
was banned in the Prussian and Russian areas. Never heard of Szczepanik
being labeled as the Austrian Edison, but will look it up. 

Translations version of the Polish text below the sketch is pretty accurate,
with just a couple confusing words intruding. query found this:
Jan Szczepanik (born June 13, 1872 in
Rudniki (near Mostyska), Ukraine - April 18, died 1926 in Tarnow, Poland)
was a Polish inventor.

Szczepanik held several hundred patents and made
over 50 discoveries, many of which are still used today, especially in the
motion picture industry, photography, and television.

Some of his ideas influenced the development of television, such as the
telectroscope (an apparatus for distant reproduction of images and sound
using electricity) or the wireless telegraph, which greatly influenced the
development of telecommunications.

Mark Twain met Szczepanik and described him in two of his articles: "The
Austrian Edison keeping school again" (1898) and "From the London Times of
1904" (1898).

References    * entry at Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website*
(Polish) Andrzej Pilipiuk, Zapomniany geniusz

--Richard R. in San Francisco (now a Sister City to Krakow)