Iosif Livchak

Livchak, Iosif Nikolaevich


Born 1839, in the village of Tisowy, near the city of Przemyśl; died Oct. 27 (Nov. 9), 1914, in Petrograd. Russian inventor in printing, military affairs, and transportation.

In 1863, Livchak moved to Vienna, where he began to publish the satirical magazine Strakhopud (Ugly One; 1863–68) and also participated in publication of the magazines Zolotaia gramota (Golden Charter; 1864–68) and Slavianskaia zaria (Slavic Dawn; 1867–68). He called for liberation of the Slavic lands from rule by Austria-Hungary and their unification around Russia. In the early 1870’s he moved to Russia, where he began his work on inventions. He built a matrix shakeout composing machine, which was used in 1875 in setting type for the newspaper Vilenskii vestnik (Vilno Herald). He invented an aiming machine (1886) and an optical device, the “diascope” (the prototype of the periscope), which was awarded the large gold medal of the Paris Academy. He designed a route and speed indicator for a locomotive; for this project the Russian Technical Society awarded him the A. P. Borodin Gold Medal in 1903.


Nemirovskii, E. “Izobretatel’ Livchak.” Znanie—sila, 1952, no. 2.