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Hungarian Inventors & Scientists II


Írta és összeállította / by:
Kerkayné Maczky Emese

Angolra fordította/Translated by:
Felsővályi Klára
Kertész Kinga
Sziráki Dorottya

Rajzolta / Drawings by:
Benkő Andrea Veronika

Kiadta / Published by:
Passaic, New Jersy, 2001


When Nobel Laureate, Enrico Fermi, nuclear physicist, was asked if he believed in extraterrestrials, he replied – „They are already here…they are called Hungarians!” Fermi’s Martians called Hungarians enriched the world with over a hundred thousand inventions, not to mention their countless scientific discoveries. Last year the Szent István Hungarian School published a booklet about a few Hungarian inventors and the list of Nobel Laureates of Hungarian descent as a class project. The booklet was so well received by the public that we decided to publish another one. The researched inventors and scientists included in this booklet do not even represent the tip of the iceberg, but we hope it will be informative and you will enjoy reading about them.
It was a difficult task for our 15 year old students to translate the complicated Hungarian texts into English. To do this, they had to master the Hungarian language, and this booklet proves that they passed the test remarkably well. And 15 year old Hungarians amaze us constantly. Gábor Bernáth, winner of the Philadelphia Science Olympics, invented the ScanGuru at age 15. This 3D scanner is able to copy stereoscopic forms into a computer and can be used in areas ranging from plastic surgery to shoe design. Two 15 year old Hungarian girls (mentioned in this booklet) are among the nine winners out of the 10,000 from 44 countries who participated in the Planetary Society’s competition… and the list goes on.
We are thankful to Andrea Veronika Benkő who did all the portrait drawings as a gift to the Hungarian School.
We are happy to serve our Hungarian Nation with this humble work in making people aware of a few of the many contributions the Hungarian genius gave to the world.

Passaic, May 15, 2001 Emese Kerkay

BARÉNYI BÉLA (1907 – 1997)
BARÉNYI BÉLA (1907 – 1997)


(1907 – 1997)



Béla Barényi, designing engineer, was born in Hirten­berg, Austria, and died in Sindelfingen, Germa­ny. He studied in Hungary and Vienna. From 1939 he worked at Daimler Benz AG. He was the company’s head engineer from 1965 until his retirement in 1972.
In 1925, he designed the famous Volkswag­en Beetle. Because Porsche was later credited with the invention (1938), Barényi took legal action. The German Courts and the State Patent Office in Mannheim acknowledged that Barényi had in­vented the concept and the main compo­nents of the Volks­wa­gen. Baré­nyi only asked for 1DM (one Ger­man Mark) as com­pen­sa­tion.
The passive safety of cars was designed by Barényi as well. Out of his 2500 inventions for the automobile industry, dividing cars into three collision zones was the most significant one (1951). The rigid passenger cell is enclosed by deformable front and rear ends which absorb the impact of collision. In order to mass-pro­duce his design he had to replace the rigid undercarriage with a floor plate, patented in 1943. Since 1959, Daimler Benz (and today every automobile com­pany in the world) man­ufac­tures cars – ac­knowl­edged for their safety world­wide – based on Baré­nyi’s de­sign. Crash tests are also associated with his name.
Barényi’s inventions completely changed the world’s automobile production. In recognition of his achievements he was admitted to the Auto­motive Hall of Fame in Detroit, USA. With his ideas he has saved the lives of millions on the roads.



(1904 – 1993)

Scientific discoveries:


Madeleine Forró Barnóthy, astrophysicist and university professor, was born in Zsámbok, Hungary, and died in Chicago, Illinois, USA. She studied in Budapest and Göttingen, Germa­ny. In 1928 she was the first woman to earn a doctorate in physics in Hungary. From 1928 to 1948 she was a physics professor at the Buda­pest University. In 1948 she settled in the USA with Jenő Barnóthy, her husband and fellow scien­tist. First she taught physics at the Barat College in Lake Forest, Illinois. In 1955 both Barnóthy’s were asked to lead a company which man­ufactured radiological research instruments. At the same time (1953–1959) Madeleine Forró Barnóthy was also teaching physics at the Uni­versity of Illi­nois.
She specialized in cosmic radiation, astro- and nuclear physics and biomagnetism. She was the author of over 150 scientific papers and editor of the two-volume book Biological Effects of Magnetic Fields (1964). Already in 1964 Dr. Madeleine F. Barnóthy determined that the magnetic field will in due time develop into a powerful new analytic and therapeutic tool of medicine. Her last scientif­ic article concerning astronomy (What is Time?), co-written with husband Jenő Barnóthy, was published in 1991, two years before her death. She was a member of numerous American and international scien­tific associations.
Forró Barnóthy was a pioneer in the re­search of the phenomena of cosmic radiation, a prerequisite for conquering the universe.

BÉRES JÓZSEF (1920 – 2006)
BÉRES JÓZSEF (1920 – 2006)


(1920 – 2006)



Dr. József Béres, agro- and biochemist and cancer research­er was born in Záhony, Hunga­ry. He completed his studies in Gödöllő, Keszt­hely and Budapest. In 1989 he found­ed the Béres RT (Corporation) and in 2000 the Béres Pharmaceutical Company. In 1992, he estab­lished the Béres Foundation for a Full Life, an organi­zation helping the poor. Annually it dis­tributes over 70 million Forints worth of prod­ucts (1000 bottles of Béres Drops and other Béres prod­ucts) to the needy.
József Béres invented the Béres Drops in the early 1970’s. This product is made of miner­als, trace elements and organic nutrients, which strengthen the immune system and are essential to good health. His invention saved the lives of thousands of critically ill cancer patients. It eased the pain of those suffering from advanced forms of cancer and even cured ma­lignant tu­mors. Since he wasn’t a licensed physi­cian he didn’t accept any money for his Drops and soon became bankrupt. The communist government also harassed him, ransacking his laboratory and confiscating his research materi­als. But, because thousands of sick stood in line to obtain his medicine in Hungary, the govern­ment was forced to authorize the continuation of Béres’ research. Today millions take Beres Drops as a preventive medicine. Accord­ing to Dr. Béres: “The progress and improvement of a sound world is unimag­inable without the health of body and soul. We serve this purpose.”
As of January 27, 2000, the Béres Drops is registered as a medicine. Besides the Béres Drops he has many other pat­ented inven­tions.

BOLYAI FARKAS (1775 – 1856)
BOLYAI FARKAS (1775 – 1856)


(1775 – 1856)

Scientific discoveries and invention:


Farkas Bolyai, mathematician, was born in Bolya and died in Marosvásárhely (Transylva­nia), Hungary. He studied in Nagyenyed, Ko­lozsvár (Hungary), Jena and Göttingen (Germa­ny). From 1804, he was a teacher at the Maros­vásárhely College. He could fluently read, write and speak eight languages. At the age of ten, he was able to find the cube root of 14-digit num­bers mentally. Besides being a mathematician, he was interested in painting, music, drama, poetry, literature, astronomy, forestry…
Because of his isolated life, the scientific world did not take notice of his numerous math­ematical discoveries. In his most well-known book TENTAMEN (1832) written in Latin, he published these independent discoveries. Yet his discoveries were attributed to others, who pub­lished these new theories years later.
Bolyai’s best known theorem defines two areas of the plane equal, if they can be partion­ed into a finite number of paired congruent sections. The so-called Bolyai-algorithm calcu­lates the asymptotic solution of the equation xm=a­+x with a series of roots.
One of Bolyai’s important inventions was the heating and cooking (baking) furnace, fa­mous in Transylvania. It was extremely efficient in the heating and ventillation of rooms and even utilized the heat of waste gases.

BOLYAI JÁNOS (1802 – 1860)
BOLYAI JÁNOS (1802 – 1860)


(1802 – 1860)

Scientific discoveries:


János Bolyai, military engineer, philoso­pher and the most ingeneous mathema­tician of all time, was born in Kolozsvár, and died in Maros­vá­sárhely, Transyl­vania. He began his education under the tutorage of his father Far­kas Bolyai, and studied in Marosvásárhely, Ko­lozsvár and at the Mili­tary Academy of Engi­neering in Vien­na. He spoke nine languages, Chinese and Tibetan includ­ed. Bolyai was the Aust­ro-Hungarian royal and imperial army’s primary mathematician, violin virtuoso, fencer and dancer.
In 1823 Bolyai already informed his father in a letter about his Theory of Absolute Space: Out of nothing I have created a whole new world. He rejected Euclid’s parallel postulate. Bolyai’s discoveries introduced a new age in the history of geometry. He had solved a 2000 year old problem! His world-famous discovery was pub­lished as “Appendix” in his father’s book, Ten­ta­men… Albert Einstein must have studied Bolyai’s disco­veries before developing his theory of rela­tivity in 1905. Bolyai writes regarding the rela­tionship between the gravitational force field and geometrical space: The theory of gravitational space is also in close connection and continuation with the size, being and quality of space. Tibor Toro, physics professor wrote a 1000 word thesis on this statement proving that Bolyai had deter­mined, before Einstein, the basis of the theory of relativity.
The recent study of the over 20,000 pages of his unpublished manu­s­cripts kept in the Teleki Téka in Maros­vásár­hely (Transylvania) dis­closes Bolyai’s true genius.

FEJES JENÕ (1877 – 1952)
FEJES JENÕ (1877 – 1952)


(1877 – 1952)



Jenő Fejes, automobile and motor designer, was born and died in Budapest. He completed his studies at the Technical School. He was the designing engineer of Westinghouse, France, from 1902–­1909. From 1909 he lived and worked in Hungary. Fejes was instrumental in the development of the Hungarian automobile and air­plane industry. He was the director of the Fejes Platemotor and Machine Factory.
His well-known invention is the Fejes plate-engine and automobile. The main characteristic of this invention was that all the heavy iron, steel and aluminum castings were replaced with cold-formed, pressed and torch- or spot-welded iron and steel plates. This technique was also used on the engine-house, steering gear, rear axel and the motor block. The dead weight of vehicles de­signed by Fejes was 30% to 35% lighter, and they were 20% less expensive. The operational safety of the motors was also in­creased, because in case of impact it was only dented rather than broken.
In 1927, Fejes founded The Fejes Patents Syndicate Ltd and the Ascot Motor and Manu­facturing Co. Ltd. in England. However mass­production was prevented by the Austin facto­ry, which controlled England’s car man­ufactur­ing industry. It viewed Fejes’ factory as a threat and was afraid that the success of the low-cost cars would harm Austin.
Fejes’ inventions were ahead of their time. They were put into practice, mainly in the USA, only from the 1970’s.

GERGELY PÉTER (1936 – 1995)
GERGELY PÉTER (1936 – 1995)


(1936 – 1995)

Scientific discoveries:


Péter Gergely, architect and structural engi­neer, was born in Budapest and died in Ithaca, New York. He completed his studies in Hunga­ry, Canada and the United States and received his Ph.D. degree in 1963. For 32 years he was a professor at Cornell University. From 1983–88 he was chair of the Department of Structural Engineering and from 1985–88 director of the School of Civil and Envi­ronmen­tal Engineering. He fought as a University National Guard in the Hungarian Freedom Fight of 1956 and es­caped to the US from the Soviet invasion.
Gergely’s research and discoveries, pub­lished in over 100 scientific papers, led to sig­nificant advancements in understanding the mechanics of reinforced and pre-stressed con­crete and its application to building codes. He also made pioneering contributions in struc­tural dynamics and earthquake engineering. His discoveries provided answers to many previous problems that occured in areas of moderate seismicity. His improved building codes for struc­tures, especial­ly nuclear plants in earth­quake zones are used on a national level. Much of his discoveries were realized through the National Center for Earth­quake Engineering which he helped found. He volunteered in many scientific associations and received six interna­tional awards.
In 1992, Gergely, a dedicated Hungarian, received an honorary doc­torate from the Techni­cal University of Budapest for his int­ernational activities in the advancement of the con­struction industry and improvement of rein­forced concrete.


(1898 – 1954)



György Jendrassik, mechanical engineer and inventor, was born in Budapest, Hungary and died in London, England. He completed his studies in Hungary and Germany and worked in the re­search department of the Ganz-Danubius Ma­chine Factory.
Jendrassik patented the Ganz-Jendrassik engine in 1927. This was a high-speed, four-cycle Diesel-engine, without compres­sion and with a mixing chamber. In his designs, Jend­rassik took into full account the require­ments of railway haulage: the engine should work with an appro­priate torque at every speed. In railway opera­tion the engine has to start immediately, even in cold weather. With his invention, Hungary be­gan to use Diesel power in the railway system and the Danube-ocean shipping. His engine received a world patent and was manufactured in several countries.
Jendrassik built the world’s first usable, efficient, 100 horse powered gas tur­bine with its own furnace chamber. New about his inven­tion was the method in which the vari­ous impor­tant elements, such as the compressor, the tur­bine and the heat exchanger were de­signed. The cor­rect operation of these elements ensured higher efficien­cy. The peri­odical, Engi­neering (London), claimed that the Jendrassik turbine was the first of its kind to run consistently and satisfactorily.
Jendrassik’s merit was that he recognized the future of gas turbines in aviation, with­out which military or long-distance aviation is un­imagin­able. Jendrassik had nearly 100 accepted patents in Hun­gary and Great Britain.

KABAY JÁNOS (1896 – 1936)
KABAY JÁNOS (1896 – 1936)


(1896 – 1936)



János Kabay, pharmaceutical chemist and inventor, was born in Büdszentmihály, Hungary and died in Budapest. He obtained his diploma at the University of Budapest in 1923.
Kabay researched the extraction of poppy alkaloids directly from the plant. Until then morphine was produced from opium. Kabay was the first in the world to succeed in producing morphine directly from the immature poppy plant. In 1925, he applied for a patent under the title Procedure for the production of opium alkaloids from immature poppy plants. Based on this pat­ent, he founded the Alkaloida Chemical Plant in Büdszentmihály (today Tiszavasvári, Hunga­ry) in 1927. He struggled with finan­cial problems to maintain his plant for years. De­spite these difficulties he continued his research and in 1932 he was able to extract morphine from dry trashed poppy straw using a new pro­ce­dure. By this time the government acknowl­edged the significance of Kabay’s discoveries and provided financial support for his research of morphine produc­tion. Soon his plant satisfied the needs of the country and even manufac­tured morphine for export.
In 1934 he was invited by the Drug Con­trol Committee of the League of Nations to Geneva to introduce his methods. Today, these meth­ods are used throughout the world.

KELP ILONA (1897 – 1970)
KELP ILONA (1897 – 1970)


(1897 – 1970)


Ilona Kelp, chemist, was born in Hunga­ry and died in Australia. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Budapest in 1923. SHer knowledge of chemistry was so outstanding that she was allowed to go to Géza Zemp­lén’s de­partment at the Technical Univer­sity of Buda­pest, where fe­male students were accept­ed only in extraordi­nary cases.
After completing her studies, she married János Kabay. Together they founded the Alka­loida Chemical Plant in Büdszentmihály (now Tiszavasvári). Ilona Kelp was Kabay’s equal in solving scientific and practical problems. After János Kabay’s death in 1936, she became the plant’s professional director. Consequently the League of Nations asked her to prepare the scientific description titled Classification of Morphine in Poppy-Straw Using János Kabay’s Method.
In 1997, for the 100th anniversary of her birth, Ilona Kelp’s portrait was placed in the Portrait Gallery of Famous Chemists. This is a perma­nent exhi­bition of Hungary’s Museum of Che­mistry which displays the portraits of the most prominent chemists. Ilona Kelp is the first female chemist to be awarded a place in the Portrait Gallery.
Along with Kabay it is her merit that Hun­garian morphine production came to be and that the Alkaloida Vegyészeti Gyár Rt (Chemistry Plant) was established.

MIHÁLY DÉNES (1894 – 1953)
MIHÁLY DÉNES (1894 – 1953)


(1894 – 1953)



Dénes Mihály was born in Gödöllő and died in Berlin (Germany). He earned his diplo­ma in mechanical engineering at the Technical Uni­versi­ty of Budapest. At age 16 he wrote a book about automo­biles (and motorcy­cles) which went through 8 editions.
During his studies at the university he experi­mented with the concept of sound motion pic­ture and telebroadcasting. In 1916 he completed suc­cessful experiments in this field, and is therefore regarded the inven­tor of sound mo­tion picture. One of his most signifi­cant in­ven­tions in con­nec­tion with the sound motion picture was the Pro­jecto­phon, patented in 1918.
Another one of Mihály’s inventions, the Telehor (picture-telegraph), was able to transmit still pictures over distances of many kilometers. Since he wasn’t able to perfect his inventions in Hungary, he accepted the invi­tation of the Allge­meine Elektri­zitäts Ge­sell­schaft in Berlin, where he could research under favorable conditions.
In 1928, at the Berlin Radio Show he pre­sented the Nipkow-dial he had modified and applied semi-incandescent lamps as a light relay. On March 8, 1929, the Berlin-Witzleben radio­station broad­casted the first moving televi­sion program in history, based on Mi­hály’s pat­ent. Mihály founded a company called TELEHOR AG to manufacture television sets. In 1935, he devel­oped with physicist E.H. Traub the Mihály – Traub re­ceiver with a revolving mirror.
Under Hitler’s rule he was sent to a con­cen­tration camp for hiding the persecuted. In 1953, he died from tuberculosis he acquired there.

NÉMETHY GYÖRGY (1934 – 1994)
NÉMETHY GYÖRGY (1934 – 1994)


(1934 – 1994)

Scientific discoveries:


György Némethy, bio- and physical chemist, was born in Budapest and died in New York. He completed his studies in Hungary, Germany and the United States, earning a Ph.D. at Cornell University in 1962. He served both science and the youthmovement throughout his life.
His main field of research was the interac­tion of water and proteins. For his achievements in the study of Molecular interactions in Hydrogen-Bonding Solvents, in 1972 he received the Pius XI Gold Medal of the Pon­tifi­cal Academy of Sci­ences in recogni­tion of his great merits as a scien­tist. Némethy helped develope the ECEPP com­puter program, which is used for de­termining the con­figuration of protein mole­cules. He ac­quired remarkable results in the field of calculat­ing the atomic structure of collagens – the charac­­teristic proteins of connec­tive an sup­portive tis­sues. He introduced the con­cept of the allosteric effect.
Némethy wrote close to 300 scientific arti­cles, and is one of the most quoted authors in the field of biochemistry. He wrote, taught, lectured and researched in five languages in numerous universi­ties in Europe and the US. From 1988 he was professor of Biomathe­matical Sciences at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Since 1994 the department has hosted the annual Némethy Me­morial Sympo­sium titled „Advances in Protein Folding”. It also offers a Némethy scholarship to candi­dates who work in his field.
Némethy also devoted his life to the youth move­ment, passing on his love for nature, Hun­garian lan­guage, culture and art. For 20 years he was presi­dent of the Hungarian Scout Associa­tion.


(1897 – 1954)



Ferenc Okolicsányi, physicist and inventor, was born in Budapest, Hungary and died in London, England. He studied at the Technical University of Budapest and earned his Ph.D. in physics in Erlangen, Germany.
Because of the dire conditions in Hungary after World War I, Okolicsányi could not real­ize many of his signifi­cant inven­tions in prac­tice. In 1926, he conducted re­search in Berlin, and worked in the field of television with Dénes Mihály. From 1936, he worked in London. He developed the convex mirror scanning system, and was able to produce high quality pictures on television using an ultrasonically generated liquid grid system. This system was used to project large pictures at the British Radio Show in 1938.
After World War II, he worked on color television. His colored cathode ray tube, patent­ed in the USA, was mass-produced. It preceded the Lorentz-tube.
Until his death, he was the chief engineer of a company in London which produced and sold his successful electron­ic seed-sorting device throughout the world.
Okolicsányi was a significant pioneer of television.

SELYE JÁNOS (1907 – 1982)
SELYE JÁNOS (1907 – 1982)


(1907 – 1982)

Scientific discoveries:


Hans (János) Selye, physician, biochemist and physiologist, was born in Vienna, Austria and died in Montreal, Canada. He studied in Komárom (Hungary), Paris, Rome and Prague, where he received his Ph.D. He came to Ameri­ca on a scholarship in 1931. From 1941 to 1945, he held a professorship at McGill French Uni­versity in Montreal, Canada. From 1945 he was director-professor of his own school, the Institut de Medicine et de Chirurgie Expérimenta­le. He lec­tured in ten languages, and received honorary doctorates from universities of nine coun­tries. 110 acade­mies invited him to be a mem­ber.
Based on his research, Selye recognized and in 1936 defined the concept of stress. He named the many depressing factors stress-series, realiz­ing their harmful effects and their potential to cause disease. This revolutionary concept opened up entirely new methods to cure illness­es such as coronary trom­bosis, brain hemorrage, hardening of arter­ies, certain types of blood pressure, kidney fail­ure, arthritis, peptic ulcers and, to a certain degree, even cancer. He sum­ma­rized the result of his many years’ research in a dissertation titled The Physiology and Pathology of Exposure to Stress. From his observations, he derived his concept of a common reaction me­chanism in response to the most varied type of injury and called this the general adaptation syndrome.
Selye, the father of stress theory, pub­lished dozens of books and hun­dreds of scientif­ic pa­pers in 10 languages. He helped devel­op the computer system based medi­cal data banks.

TELKES MÁRIA (1900 – 1995)
TELKES MÁRIA (1900 – 1995)


(1900 – 1995)



Mária Telkes, scientist, inventor and profes­sor, was born and died in Budapest, Hungary. She completed her studies in Hungary and obtained her Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of Budapest. In 1924, she traveled with her uncle, the Hungarian Consul, to Cleve­land, Ohio.
In Professor Dr. George W. Cryle’s biophys­ical laboratory in Cleveland, she demonstrated that the prepared surface of the brain gives off infra­red rays. To measure this, she developed an extrem­ely sensitive detector and an infrared cam­era. From 1939, as a professor at the Mas­sachu­setts Institute of Technology, she re­searched the utilization of solar power. Based on her design, the first house heated with solar energy was built in 1948. By building several more sun houses, Telkes called attention to the study of solar energy. From 1950 she was the Institute’s director of research. Her im­portant, patented method for the desalini­zation of salt water utiliz­ing solar pow­er was used in the tropics. The heat storage equip­ment de­signed by Telkes is able to store heat energy for an ex­tended amount of time. Telkes discov­ered how to store cold as well, using the principles of heat storage. A patent, received at age 90, dealt with new possibilities for the storage of cold.
Telkes obtained over 20 patents, and had written over 100 scientific articles. She received 12 international awards.

TIHANYI KÁLMÁN (1897 – 1947)
TIHANYI KÁLMÁN (1897 – 1947)


(1897 – 1947)



Kálmán Tihanyi, physicist and inventor, was born in Üzbég, Hungary and died in Budapest. He studied in Pozsony and Buda­pest.
Tihanyi patented the iconoscope used for television first in 1926, then in 1928. The prede­cessor of the modern picture tube, the iconos­cope is a high efficiency charge storing elec­trode. In his 1929 English and French patents, he applied the lengthening tube with the elec­trode. This made possible the scanning on the picture side, which is the basic requirement for the modern iconoscope.
For a long time, his invention’s precedence was not acknowledged, even though the Ameri­can Patent Office refused Zworykin both in 1930 and 1931, aluding to the precedence of Tihanyi’s invention; Tihanyi had received two American patents in 1928. People are now starting to acknowledge that this significant discovery was invented by a Hungarian.
From 1929, Tihanyi worked on a televi­sion guid­ed arial defense system. He developed the pro­totype of the torpedo for the British Royal Airforce and the Italian navy.
In 1940 he completed his prototype of the ultrasound radiating device, developed a few years earlier. This device had a range of 5-8 km and was used for the extermination of harm­ful insects.
He also had numerous other inventions.

ZEMPLÉN GÉZA (1883 – 1956)
ZEMPLÉN GÉZA (1883 – 1956)


(1883 – 1956)

Scientific discoveries:


Géza Zemplén, chemist, was born in Tren­csén and died in Budapest. He completed his studies in Hungary, earning a Ph.D. at the Bu­dapest Uni­versity of Sciences in 1904. For two years he researched the chemistry of enzymes in Berlin on a scholarship. In 1913 he was asked to organize and chair Hungary’s first Organic Che­mistry Department at the Tech­nical Univer­sity. He played a vital role in the estab­lishment of the organic chemi­cal industry of Hungary.
His major accomplishments include the developement of a method for the saponifica­tion of acetylized carbohydrates whith sodium mety­late, the new method for the Zemplén sugar decom­position, and the determination of the struc­ture and synthesis of several glycosides using the mercury acetate technique. He began dealing with industrial prob­lems During World War I, when he became advisor in chemistry for Chi­noin, the major chemical plant of Hunga­ry.
His more than 200 scientific articles deal mainly with the chemistry of carbohydrates. His book, Enzymes and their Practical Application, published in 1915, shows his advanced biochem­ical insight. Shortly before his death he wrote another book, Organic Chemistry.
O.Th. Schmidt’s portrait of Zemplén was: If we consider the entire field of his re­search efforts, the picture of a mastermind of experi­menta­tion, a sharp-eyed, energic and com­prehensive chem­ist, and a man of indefatigable will power emerges …Zemp­lén al­ways emphasized pure sugar chemistry. It is this that repre­sents his impor­tance in research, this is where he developed these meth­ods, which made him fa­mous.

ZSOLNAY VILMOS (1828 – 1900)
ZSOLNAY VILMOS (1828 – 1900)


(1828 – 1900)



Vilmos Zsolnay, ceramic artist, industrialist, was born and died in Pécs, Hungary. He studied painting in Vienna and in 1853 he took over the company his father Miklós Zs. had founded. He studied chemistry and technology on his own. With his innovations he became the pioneer of modern ceramics.
Zsolnay developed the family industry into a many-faceted ceramic factory. He regularly examined and experimented with the clays of the region. He brought the decorating of ceram­ics to an artistic level. At the Paris World Exhi­bition of 1878, he introduced his newly de­vel­oped decorative porcelain faience, which was com­pletely different from other known clay products. He used a lead-free glaze on ivory colored pottery. In the process of decorating, the colored glaze melted slightly into the base glaze at the third firing. With this technique, Zsolnay, the artist, was able ot make the finest decoration; many of his creations were like oilpaintings.
Zsolnay invented a new building-ceramic, the carvable, frostproof pyrogranite, which decorates many of Hungary’s famous buil­dings (Mátyás Church, Parliament, Museum of Ap­plied Arts, St. Erzsébet Dom of Kassa, Castle of Vajdahunyad).
The Ceramic Factory in Pécs is also fa­mous for its iridescent metallic Eosin maze, which Zsolnay codeveloped with Vince Wartha, a pro­fessor at the Technical University. At the time of Zsolnay’s death in 1900, his family fac­tory was successful in all fields of manufac­ture.