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A Prometheus on a Human Scale – Ignacy Łukasiewicz

Piotr Franaszek, Paweł Grata, Kozicka-Kołaczkowska Anna, Mariusz Ruszel and Grzegorz Zamoyski

This book is dedicated to the life and work of Ignacy Łukasiewicz, Polish pharmacist whose world-renowned achievements include construction of the world’s first oil refinery and invention of the modern kerosene lamp. The authors also portray the history of the Galician oil industry and set it in the context of political, social and technological changes taking place in the 19th-century Central and Eastern Europe.

"The work adds substantially to existing scholarship in English. As the author of the only English-language academic monograph devoted to a general history of the Galician oil industry, I can attest that this manuscript adds significant and important information, details, depth of investigation that is not provided in my book or any other book. It therefore makes a novel contribution that will be very valuable to anyone looking for a truly detailed account of Ignacy Łukasiewicz’s contribution within the context of the Galician oil industry in general."

Alison Frank Johnson

Professor of History and of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Harvard University, Center for European Studies


"The authors sketch the profiles of two outstanding Poles, pioneers of the oil industry – Ignacy Łukasiewicz, MSc. in Pharmacy, and mining engineer and geologist Witold Zglenicki, called the Polish Nobel (...) This scientific work is an interesting and captivating read. It can be used not only by scientists and students, but also by everyone who is interested in industrial cultural heritage (...)."

Krzysztof Broński

Professor and Head of Department of Economic and Social History

Economic University in Kraków

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About the authors


Piotr Franaszek is Professor in the Department of Economic and Social History, Jagiellonian University in Kraków. His main research areas are social and economic history of the 19th and 20th centuries. His academic interests also include the problem of surveillance of Polish universities by political secret services in the communist era.

Paweł Grata is Professor in the University of Rzeszów and Head of the Section of Economic and Social History in the Institute of History. His scientific interests include economic history, social history, social policy, economic policy and regional history.

Anna Kozicka-Kołaczkowska is the author of a series of articles on history of the energy sector (Ignacy Lukasiewicz Energy Policy Institute), columnist, novelist and speech coach for media (University of Wrocław and University of Gdan´ sk). She studied Philology at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków.

Mariusz Ruszel is Assistant Professor in the Department of Economy of the Faculty of Management, Rzeszów University of Technology. He is also Chairman of Ignacy Łukasiewicz Energy Policy Institute. His scientific interests revolve around geopolitics, geoeconomics, energy policy, energy security and natural gas market.

Grzegorz Zamoyski is Professor in the Department of Economy, Rzeszów University of Technology. He is also the author of over 80 books and articles on Jewish history and socio-economic history of Galicia. His main scientific interest are history of Galicia, economic history and social history.

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