Brave old world


Lwów, Kopernika 1.


Chopin: Concerto No. 2. Op. 21. 3: Allegro vivace. Artur Rubinstein, 1958


In this house – at that time on Szeroka street – already at the middle of the 19th century there was a pharmacy, called Apteka pod Złotą Gwiazdą, “Golden Star”, in the property of the Moravian Piotr Mikolasch. In this pharmacy Ignacy Łukasiewicz and Jan Zeh, of Hungarian origin, invented on 30 March 1853 the kerosene lamp. Their invention is today commemorated by the Kerosene Lamp Café and Museum in the Armenian quarter. (Thanks, Pawel!)








If we estimate well, the destroyed court wing – as its beautifully carved Romantic stone fragments attest it – must have been exactly this pharmacy.






7 comentarios:

Pawel dijo...

Do you know that on March 30, 1853, in the house at Kopernika Street (then called Szeroka Street) the first kerosene lamp (paraffin lamp) was constructed? It was ivented by two pharmacists from Lwów: Ignacy Łukasiewicz and Jan Zeh. The latter was of Hungarian origin. And the house,as nowadays, was the seat of a pharmacy.

Studiolum dijo...

Yes, I knew the story, including the Hungarian origins of Jan Zeh (while Łukasiewicz was of local Armenian origin, wasn’t he?), and also that they had a common pharmacy on Szeroka, where the invention was made. But I did not know in which house the pharmacy was. Thank you very much for the information! I will include it in the text itself. Do you have any reference to it?

Pawel dijo...

I have read about the invention in the book of Jerzy Janicki - a Polish well-known expert for Lwów - "Ni ma jak Lwów. Krótki przewodnik po Lwowie", published in 1990. There is a snippet view of the book on google books:
http://books.google.pl/books/about/Ni_ma_jak_Lw%C3%B3w.html?id=TJcyAAAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y
And the information about the pharmacy and invention is on the page 36. In the times of Łukasiewicz and Zeh the pharmacy was called "Apteka pod Złotą Gwiazdą" - "Pharmacy Under the Golden Star" and belonged to Piotr Mikolasch of Moravian origins. You can also find information about the pharmacy on this web site: http://www.lwow.home.pl/pasaz/pasaz.html If you need help in translation, please, don't hesitate to contact me. With regard to the Armenian origin of Ignacy Łukasiewicz the matter is just a bit complicated. Some sources in the web and some authors of popular books described him as a born in the family of Armenian origins. But the truth is that although in powiats (counties) Zaleszczyki, Borszczów, Horodenka, in nowadays Ukraine, lived Armenian family of Łukasiewiczs but Ignacy Łukasiewicz had nothing in common with it. He was born in Zaduszniki, near Mielec (north-west of Rzeszów in nowadays Poland), in the family of petty Polish nobles.

Studiolum dijo...

Thank you very much for recommending the book. I wanted to order it from some Polish online bookshop, but it is out of print; now I try to find it in some web antiquary. I also ask you to recommend me any book (or article) you consider as important on Lwów and on the Kresy in general. I do have some, as each time I go to Kraków I try to buy the most recent ones, but surely there are a lot more.

Thank you for the web article on Pasaż Mikolascha, too! It is a shocking story, what it was and what it became. I will prepare a summary of it and add it to this post. I read well Polish (you might remember that I have published some translations) but in case of any problem I will gratefully avail of your help.

Pawel dijo...

As concerns the Janicki's book if you have any problems with getting it, I can buy it here in Kraków and send you (I have seen in it on some Polish auction sites) or give it you during your visit in Kraków. In my opinion the best books about Kresy are actually guidebooks published by the Polish publishing house Rewasz. I would like to recommend you especially books written by Grzegorz Rąkowski (also a guidebook of Lwów). It is not only interesting but also thorough writing. Here I put a link to it: http://www.rewasz.com.pl/php/strony/dane_szczegolowe.php?do_kosza=lwowr&rozdzielczoscX=1280&rozdzielczoscY=800
There is also quite monumental "Encyklopedia Kresów" by the publishing house Kluszczyński. Unfortunately it is just a bit outdated. I know it because I participated in writing it. Actually I am just writing a chapter about culture of Kresy to the book concernig history of these lands. If you have any problems with buying books or questions concerning Kresy, please, write me and I will always try to help you.

Studiolum dijo...

Thank you very much for your kind offer. Yes, I would be really grateful to you for obtaining Janicki’s book. I saw the Rewasz series, but did not give a closer look: now I will order Rąkowski’s volumes. I have used the Bezdroza volume on Lwów, which was informative but nothing more.

Don’t you want to regularly write on Lwów and Kreszy for Río Wang, on anything else you think would fit the blog? You know well the profile of the blog and what our readers are accustomed to – if you like it, join us! You can write in Polish, and we’d also translate it at least to Hungarian, English and Spanish – languages in which there is not much written about those forgotten parts of the world!

Pawel dijo...

I will inform you about the Janicki's book in an email. I really apreciate your invitation to write for Río Wang. It is a great idea! And it will be pleasure and honour for me to participate in such a great and valuable project. I hope to write something about Kresy for Río Wang in a few weeks. Thank you!