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* 6. 10. 1852, Wiłkomierz, Lithuania
† 29. 08. 1900, Parc-St. Maur near Paris, France

Engineer of electrotechnology, mathematician, inventor

Between 1870 and 1874, A. studied at the Faculty of Engineering of the Technical College in Riga. He concluded his studies in 1974 and obtained the title civil engineer. A year later he began working at the Technical College in Riga as an assistant at the Chair of Civil Engineering Structures. He habilitated in 1875 with the scientific work On the Typical Forms of the Railway Industry in Different Countries. In 1875, he moved to Lwow, where he published the work The Elastic Line and its Use in Continuous Beams at the Technical Academy. A year later, as an assistant professor, he lectured on graphical statistics and the geometry of position, and from 1878 onwards also on construction mechanics. At that time, he was occupied with improving the structure of computer devices, e.g. the planimeter and integration devices. He also researched the field of electrotechnology. In 1879, he invented the integration apparatus (integraph) – an instrument for mechanical integration on a graphical path, which was later used in physics, electricity, mechanics, and geodesy, and also aroused the interest of the Academy of Sciences in Krakow, where A. presented it in 1880. The several publications and debates on the integraph, which were issued by the Paris Academy of Sciences in 1881/1882, testify to the great importance of the invention. The device started being manufactured by the Swiss company Coradi, which marketed it as »Abdank-Coradi integraph«. In co-operation with Julian Ochorowicz, A. was dedicated to constructing telephones, microphones, galvanometers, and to television transmissions. From 1881 onwards, he lived in Parc St. Maur near Paris. There he opened his own electrical laboratory, where he worked on new discoveries. He developed a new type of electric lamp and electromagnetic bell for long-distance signalling, which was later used on railways. He also developed a new method for winding electric machines. His devices were exhibited at an exhibition in Vienna in 1883, and again in 1889 in Paris. In Vienna, he presented his electric lamps and electric current generators. Having many acquaintances in the USA, he was visited by many representatives of the American industry at the international exhibition of electrotechnology in Paris. Thus, until his death, A. was the director of the electrotechnical company „Compagnie française Thomson-Houston” in Paris, which had been established in 1893 for marketing American patents in the field of electrotechnology. However, during his stay in France, he lost touch with his homeland. Around 1884 he established the „Electrotechnical Bureau B. A. and Ges." in Warsaw, which marketed his inventions in Poland. A. founded scholarships for young Poles, was friends with the Polish writer Henryk Sienkiewicz, and wrote many discussions and essays for the popularisation of natural sciences. He published his works in Polish newspapers renowned at the time, such as Kozmos and Teden. In 1879/80, he regularly wrote scientific reports for the Warsaw newspaper Ateneum. In 1883, he became a member of the editorial board of the oldest Polish electrotechnical newspaper La Lumière Electrique, in which he published contributions relating to his inventions, and reports from international electrotechnical exhibitions. In his work Discussions and Reports by the Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the Academy of Sciences from 1884, he reported on a new method of manufacturing coils and dynamo-electric machines. A. was considered the first Polish electrical engineer with an international reputation.

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