Joseph Ressel (29 June 1793 - 9 October 1857) was a forest warden and prominent inventor and designer of the ship's propeller.
After studying in Linz and Vienna he worked for the Austrian government as a forest engineer in the more southern parts of the monarchy, including in Motovun, Istria (modern-day Croatia). He worked in Landstrass (Kostanjevica on the Krka river in Carniola in modern-day Slovenia), where he tested his ship propellers for the first time. In 1821 he was transferred to Trieste (modern-day Italy), the biggest port of the Austrian Empire where his tests were successful. He was awarded a propeller patent in 1827. He modified a steam-powered boat Civetta by 1829 and test-drove it in the Trieste harbor at six knots before the steam conduits exploded. Because of this misfortune, the police banned further testing. The explosion was not caused by the tested propeller as many believed at the time.
Although not quite correct, he was called "the inventor of the propeller", and also the inventor of the steamship. A monument to him in a park in Vienna commemorates him.
Among other Ressel's inventions are pneumatic post and ball and cylinder bearings. He was granted numerous patents during his life.
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