Subscribe to e-news

Social networks


This project is funded by the European Commission. The content is the responsibility of the author and in no way represents the views of the European Commission.


* 23. 3. 1875, Naples, Italy
† 26. 4. 1954, Porto Ronco, Switzerland


Anton III. C. was the last male descendant of the Italian-German noble family, which in the 16 century resided in Slovenia and since 1700 in Ljubljana. He was born on 23rd March 1875, when his parents lived in Naples, Italy. In 1907 he gained the title of engineer in the Vienna branch of a Telefunken AG joint-stock company, with which he was also involved later in his life. In 1898 he received the first patent for the ignition system for automotive engines and tried to combine the advantages of the two at the time known ignition systems – the glow and electric ignition. The same year he brought the first car, »Benz Comfortable« to Ljubljana. In 1900 he attended the car race from Salzburg to Vienna with »Daimler Viktoria« car model dating from 1898 and came third among 18 participants. In the following years he was engaged in inventing, especially in the automotive field. He designed the planetary driving wheel, which also operated as an internal brake. In 1906 he built a rotary internal combustion engine, invented an air torpedo and patented a miniature refrigerator. Among practically useful inventions there was a »technically utopian« things, such as a metal-hulled air vessel, which could transport up to 20,000 passengers. After the turn of the century C. also contributed to the early radio engineering. Around 1900 he in Ljubljana compounded the first radio apparatus for receiving timing signals in collaboration with physicist Albin →Belar. Between 1907 and 1910 he invented a radiotelegraph circuit between the Austrian Navy ships in the Adriatic Sea and command centers at the coast. From there you could call Vienna, and thus be able to centrally manage a fleet directly from the Austrian capital. In 1911 he received an order to establish a radio link between Berlin and German colony in Africa (Togo). To do this, he built a three-kilometre long road in the forest, narrow railway line, several workshops, housing and management facilities, power plant with a 1000 hp steam engines and radiotelegraph station with nine 75 to 120 metres high antenna towers. After the beginning of World War I it all had to be destroyed on the orders of Berlin and C. faced internment. He lived in France and Switzerland and was able to return to Ljubljana only in 1920, while most of his ethnographic collections from Togo were lost. When dealing with the project in Africa C. was also involved in the film industry. Between 1912 and 1914 he invested approximately 46,000 gold marks in German traveller and film director Hans Schomburg's projects, resulting in 6000 minutes of a documentary and feature film. The fact that C. was a film producer and that he took part in making films is mostly forgotten today. Always following technical innovations, C. showed a lot of interest in television technology in the early 1920s. The recording and receiving part of his television system were based on optical and electromechanical technique, while electronics was supposed to be used only for wireless signal transmission. Between 1928 and 1930 he patented his invention in at least eleven countries. He in 1930 successfully assembled prototype, manufactured by Telefunken company in Ljubljana, but there was insufficient commercial interest for his invention of electronic television. His attempt to gain support from the American multimillionaire Morgan was not successful either. C. married three times and was unlucky in his private life. His sons died in unfortunate circumstances, leaving the family without male descendants. After the Second World War he emigrated to Switzerland, where he died on April 25 1954 and was buried there as well.

24. 05. 2011 - Opening of CESA in Košice

On 25th May, 2011 we will open the Central European Science Adventure in Slovak Technical Museum in Košice. The game will be accessible for school groups till 30th June. For more info ...

More >>

20. 04. 2011 - Opening of CESA in Budapest

On 4th May, 2011 we will open the Central European Science Adventure in Magyar Műszaki és Közlekedési Múzeum in Budapest. The game will be accessible for school groups ...

More >>

Izdelava spletnih strani:  Positiva