Lviv’s world achievement: Kerosene lamp

One autumn evening in 1853 a horse-drawn carriage from Boryslav drove near “Under a gold star” pharmacy, located at the beginning of Kopernyka street (at that time Shyroka Street). A distiller from Boryslav, a Jew Abraham Schreiner, brought several barrels to the owner of the pharmacy, Hungarian Petro Mikoliash. But inside there was no wine, just ordinary oil. Schreiner persuaded Petro to make a very  profitable deal, in his opinion, to start to obtain alcohol from oil.
The owner of the pharmacy invited to talk his pharmacists: Czech Johann Zech and Ignacy Lukasiewicz, a son of Lviv’s Armenians. For a long time they were engaged in oil refining, producing various ointments and medicines. When they heard a nonsense about making alcohol from oil, it was a real shock for them. But the owner will is a law, so they both soon set to work. It took several months of intense research, but nothing happened. But one day pharmacists received an interesting product that burned by equal brightly flame, didn’t smoke and without bad smell. Lvivians were the first in the world who invented fuel that even now, at the beginning of the 21st century are used by a third of the world population. It was kerosene.
So far all attempts to invent something similar have failed: there were only explosive, smoke products that were not popular. Lvivians carefully avoided the lights that illuminated streets, fearing to be stained with smoke oil, drop of which destroyed all clothes.
Inventors Zech and Lukasiewicz decided, regardless of his master, to start their own business and ordered a metal lamp. The world's first kerosene served as a fuel for the lamp. The product was exhibited in the pharmacy window every night. However, no one was interested in lamp’s purchase.
But the world has recognized the invention. On May 27, 1853 Johann Zech received the diploma issued by the Vienna Patent Office. The invention was defined as a method of cleaning oil for use in lighting and heating. A year later at the World Exhibition in Munich Zeh was awarded a diploma for perfect oil cleaning.
Unexpectedly doctors helped to put a lamp in demand. Once in the city hospital surgeons tried to hold emergency surgery in the light of kerosene lamps. It was proved that a new lamp is not only safer but also more hygienic. This occurrence in Lviv considerably increased the demand for kerosene. Natural gas, which at that time was also widespread, could not make the Lviv invention competition because of its high price. Thus, the oil lamp became a popular commodity.
Then the inventors had different fate. Less clever Zech opened a small laboratory and a shop on Krakivska St., where his wife and younger sister sold kerosene for lighting and gasoline for cleaning clothes from stains. However, a tragic event took place here. In winter 1858 a shop got some barrels of kerosene, one of which was damaged. Some liquid run out. Suddenly one guy threw a lighted match. A flame instantly spread to the store. As a result the fire killed two sisters and two women who were buying kerosene.
Jan Zech was a talented inventor, but had no businessman feature .  After the tragedy and other life problems he returned to the pharmacist profession.
Lukasiewicz  organized a company of developing oil fields. But to start a business in Boryslav or Drohobych turned to be unprofitable, and he built a refinery in Poland near Krosno. Therefore, in Poland he is known as the inventor of kerosene and kerosene lamps.