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KRAUZ, Józef Adam Antoni

* 10. 12. 1801, Zabrodzie near Krakow, Poland
† 1831, Warsaw, Poland


From 1819 to 1821 K. studied at the Faculty of Arts (Department of Mathematics and Physics) at Krakow University. Because of financial problems he had to abandon his studies and join the army, where he was named Lieutenant of the Royal Engineers of the Artillery and Engineering Corps in 1824. Serving in this corps enabled him to become involved with scientific work. His first publication discussed the field of ballistics.
Between 1825/26, under the leadership of General Piotr Bontemps, he began his first measurements of the strength of building materials in Poland. K. carried out tensile tests on poles, and on chains of forged iron; tests on iron; and pressure tests on beams made of different types of wood. The results of this research met with much interest within the Warsaw Society of the Friends of Science, at the seat of which on 21st November 1827 K. gave a comprehensive report on the state of his research.
As a constructor he assembled a speed measuring device, which was used in 1826 in pyrotechnic military weapons, and a measuring device for determining the radius of cylinders, rounded and rotating bodies. In 1829 he received a „free patent” for his construction of a hoof pump. In the same year he constructed a device for measuring the tractive force of horse teams, which was used by the army – the so-called device for measuring horsepower. Thus K. began researching the tractive force of horses, while simultaneously researching new types of road construction. Before 1830 he constructed a water transportation vehicle with a new chassis. His original construction reduced the load of horse teams. He replaced the then popular system with wheels at the ends of the axles with a system with the wheels mounted on the rear axle shaft. A movable frame was inserted between the wheels in such a way that its rotational axle and the rotational axle of the wheels overlapped.
K. also published numerous popular science essays and textbooks. His greatest work is a popular science encyclopedia of science, art, and craft. It contains understandable descriptions of various fields, with translations by French and British authors. 6 books were published in 1830. At that time it was the most comprehensive work of its kind in Poland. However, the encyclopedia of fourteen volumes remained unfinished due to the November Uprising.

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