10th issue in an annual series honoring Hungarian engineers and
inventors and their innovations and inventions, celebrates the 125th
anniversary of the birth of Kornél Szilvay.
Szilvay was one of the greatest figures in the
history of Hungarian firefighting technology.
Magyar Nemzeti Bank in Hungary on July 24 is scheduled to release 2015
Brilliant Uncirculated and Proof copper-nickel 2,000-forint coins
celebrating Szilvay and his accomplishments in firefighting technology.
obverse of the coins show the workings of his most important
invention, the dry fire extinguisher on a fire truck. A portrait of
Szilvay is on the reverse.
coin was designed by Balázs Bitó.
was born on July 25, 1890, in Budapest.
young, he developed an interest in technology. After finishing school,
he was awarded a degree as a technician from the engineering faculty
of the Budapest Industrial College. He became deeply interested in
firefighting after participating in a firefighting drill during his
completing his studies, he became the plant firefighter at a factory
and later joined the Budapest Volunteer Firefighters Association.
1914 he was a professional firefighter, first as a technical officer
and later as senior officer. Recognizing the shortcomings of fixed
hose firefighting, he focused specifically on modernizing firefighting equipment.
1923, he patented his invention, a fire extinguisher using an inert
gas. Two of these extinguishers were added to the firefighting trucks
and proved extremely effective in extinguishing small fires, with
little collateral damage, according to the Hungarian Mint.
his invention, exhaust gases from an internal combustion engine were
cooled and pressurized by a compressor, and this gas was used to blow
the extinguishing powder (soda bicarbonate) onto the fire, smothering
the burning surface, and preventing re-ignition by blocking oxygen.
of the first dry fire extinguishers in Hungary began in 1925. The
system was used successfully on its very first call when a fire broke
out in the Gobelin hall of the National Casino.
equipment was officially added to the firefighting system in 1928.
This Hungarian invention was a hit at the international firefighting
exhibition held in 1929 in Paris and received wide acclaim. Four dry
firefighting units were used to successfully supress 95 fires in
Budapest, according to the Hungarian Mint.
his career, Szilvay took part in putting out thousands of fires. A
career highlight was extinguishing the fire in the cupola of the
Budapest cathedral on June 20, 1947 without any water damage.
Szilvay also held patents for some 38 other inventions, such as a
valve closing in reaction to heat, a swimming pump, fire and
explosion-proof cabinets, and the “alarmograph” fire alarm system, his
name is associated mainly with his method of extinguishing flammable
liquid and electrical fires.
died Sept. 8, 1957, leaving a rich legacy as one of Hungary’s most
outstanding inventors and fire chiefs.
coins each weigh 14 grams and are square, measuring 28.43 millimeters
on a side.
BU version has a mintage limit of 4,000 pieces and the Proof version
is limited to a mintage of 6,000 coins.
Coin & Currency Institute offers both coins to buyers in North America.
BU coin is $17.95 and the Proof coin is $21.95.
and handling are an additional charge.
order, visit the firm’s website.
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