202nd anniversary of Ignacy Lukasiewicz’s birth

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12. Ignacy Łukasiewicz (1)

March 8 of this year marks the 202nd anniversary of Ignacy Lukasiewicz’s birth. He was the inventor of the kerosene lamp, co-founder and director of the world’s first oil mine (in Bóbrka near Krosno), pharmacist, innovator, entrepreneurial politician and Polish patriot.

He was born in Zaduszniki near Mielec. He was the son of Józef Łukasiewicz and Apolonia née Świetlik.

Around 1830 he moved with his family to Rzeszow, where he received his education at the Piarist gymnasium. After its completion in 1836, he began his career as an apothecary, first as an apprentice at the pharmacy of Antoni Swoboda in Łańcut. Here he first encountered the national liberation movement. After returning to Rzeszow, he worked at Hübel’s pharmacy and developed conspiratorial activities, which landed him in an Austrian prison in 1846. He was released at the end of 1847 and settled in Lviv. Here he created the world’s first kerosene lamp in cooperation with Jan Zeh. In the meantime, he studied pharmacy at the Jagiellonian and Vienna Universities. He then continued his pharmacy activities in Gorlice and Jaslo. In 1857 he married his niece, Honorata Stacherska.

In 1854, Lukasiewicz entered into a partnership with Titus Trzecieski and established the world’s first oil mine in Bóbrka near Krosno on the land of Karol Klobassa. He also became its director. He and his wife settled in Chorkówka near Krosno. The Bóbrka mine became profitable over time, and Lukasiewicz became involved in more oil-related ventures. At the same time, he took an active part in social and political life.

He contributed significantly to the reduction of the so-called “Galician poverty,” through which he earned the respect of the local community. In 1876 he was elected as a deputy of the fourth term of the National Sejm in Lviv.

He died on January 7, 1882 of pneumonia and was buried in the cemetery in Zręcin.