170th Anniversary of A Samogitian’s Steam Plane!
In 1851, a 56-page book in Polish, Parolot žmudzina. Z rysu swobodnej mysli Aleksandra Hryszkiewicza - A Samogitian’s Steam Plane. By the Free Thought of Aleksandras Griskevicius, was printed in the Printing House of Kaunas Governorate Board ("W Drukarni Rządowej").
This publication is a historical rarity, with only three copies known to have survived in Lithuania. The unique exhibit was acquired by the Lithuanian Museum of Ethnocosmology in 2019.
The author of the book spent 7 years looking for a sponsor for his flying machine with a steam engine. A. Griskevicius, known as the pioneer of aviation in Lithuania, discusses from his point of view the inventions of aeronautics and the reasons for its failures, and describes his own invention - a steam plane.
On the occasion of the 170th anniversary of the publication A Samogitian’s Steam Plane, we can be glad that Aleksandras Emanuelis Jonas Griskevicius (1809-1863), scientist, philosopher, inventor, aircraft designer, and pioneer of aviation in Lithuania, has not been forgotten - his grave has been found, a memorial museum has been opened; in 2009, the writer Vytautas Martinkus published the historical novel Žemaičių Garlėkys (A Semogitian’s Steam Plane) (Lithuanian Writers' Union Publishing House), in 2012, the Lithuanian Aviation Museum, thanks to the efforts of Lithuanian aviation historian Gytis Ramoška, published the book Aleksandras Griškevičius. Žemaičio garlėkis / Aleksandras Griskevicius. A Samogitianʼs Steam Plane where not only the Polish facsimile of the Parolot Žmudzina, but also translations of the book into the Lithuanian and English languages were printed; moreover, further research and exploration of A. Griskeviciusʼs diverse heritage is carried out.
Prepared by Irma Balčiūnienė and Jolanta Slavinskienė, Lithuanian Museum of Ethnocosmology