KÁROLY ZIPERNOWSKY (1853&endash;1942)

Born in Vienna, he completed his studies in Budapest. During his Technical University years he gave many lectures on the subject of electronics. In 1878 András Mechwart, the Ganz factory's managing director entrusted him with organizing their electricity department. Since Ganz was the first factory in Hungary engaged in electricity, it thus became his task to develop the power industry in Hungary. Under Ziper-nowsky's leadership the factory soon became the pioneer in AC electronics. In 1883 the National Theatre of Budapest was fitted with lights by the Ganz company: this was the first alternating current, incandescent lighting system in Hungary (the third theatre in the world). It is worth mentioning that one of their AC generators, the "giant steam lighting machine", illuminated the Keleti Railway Station for thirty years.

In the 1880s scientists were often engaged in working on the distribution of electric light. Edison had solved the problem of carrying light economically to short distances with DC (direct current). Historical credit is due to Zipernowsky and his colleagues for developing the economical transmission and distribution of light to long distances. In 1889 he developed with Miksa Déri and Ottó Bláthy the transformer and the AC (alternate current ) energy distribution system based on transformers connected in parallel shunt.

In 1893 Zipernowsky acquired the position of lecturer in the department of power electronics at the Technical University, and became a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. From 1905 he was active as the president of the Hungarian Electronic Association.

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