The Trail of Jan Szczepanik

Jan Szczepanik was born on the 13th of June 1872 in Rudniki near Mościska. Early on he became an orphan after an unexpected death of his mother. He was brought up by his aunt Salomea Gradowicz, who’s husband was a janitor in the Krosno District Office.

He was a hard-working person, frequently referred to as a titan of work. At the beginning of the XX century Szczepanik lived in Vienna, where he had his work shop frequently visited by industrialists from all over Europe.
In 1902 he married, in a Tarnów Cathedral, a 23 year old Wanda Dzikowski, daughter of a Tarnów County doctor, Zbigniew Dzikowski, whom he met during his military service in Przemyśl. After the wedding Szczepanik moved to Tarnów. Here he lived on Sowińskiego street, later on at 11 Szopen street, in a characteristic and existing till this day tenement house which belonged to his father in law. In this building he arranged his workshop.

He left a great body of work. Among his most famous inventions are discoveries in areas such as weaving, television, photography and colored film with sound, fabrics – including invention of a bulletproof fabric. Some of his inventions, influenced the course of history during his lifetime. For example his bulletproof fabric most likely saved the life of a Spanish king Alfons XIII, who survived an assassination attempt. In appreciation of this king awarded Szczepanik with a “Medal of the Catholic Isabel”.