On January 10, 1799, Petrache Poenaru was born in Benești, in Vâlcea County, Wallachia.
He was a revolutionary, inventor, pedagogue, engineer, mathematician, physicist, politician.
Known as an active participant in the Revolution of 1821 but also of the Revolution of 1848 in Wallachia, Petrache Poeneru is primarily recognized as the inventor of the pen, a cultural revolution with a major impact on the development of society.
At the age of 22, he enthusiastically joined the revolutionary movement that included the Romanian nation, being a good organizer, he became secretary, head of the chancellery of Tudor Vladimirescu, leader of the Revolution of 1821. Propaganda sheet ”to convey to all revolutionary ideals but also by changing the colors of the flags of the Revolution from white-blue to blue-yellow-red tricolor, meaning: Freedom – through the blue of the sky, Justice – through the yellow of the fields and Brotherhood – through the red of the blood, colors that are still found on the Romanian flag today.
After the defeat of the Revolution of 1821, Petrache Poenaru left for Vienna and Paris, where he studied philology and engineering, becoming a graduate of the Polytechnic School of Paris.
The most important achievement is the invention and patenting of the world’s first tank frame, first in Vienna and then in Paris – Patent 3208 of May 25, 1927, entitled “Never-ending portable pen, wich recharges itself with ink ” (”La Plume portable sans fin, qui s’alimente elle-meme avec de l’ancre”). The title of the patent shows the two important qualities, namely that it is portable and easily fed with ink, unlike until it was used at the time, which was dependent on an inkwell from which it was often fed with little ink. It was a system that pushed the ink to the tip where the pen is mounted by pressing it lightly, an invention that revolutionized the field of writing instruments.
After completing his studies in Paris, he returned to the country where he became involved in many activities: improving the education system, in 1832 he was a professor of physics and mathematics at St. Sava College in Bucharest; was involved in equipping schools; in 1837 he translated the first Geometry course into Romanian and in 1838 an Algebra course, he was co-author of the first French-Romanian Dictionary, he will introduce the decimal metric system in Wallachia, he is involved in the establishment of the School of Bridges and Roads.
After the unification of the Romanian Principalities in 1859, Poenarul came close to Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza; enters politics and becomes Foreign Minister.
He actively contributed to the establishment of the Philharmonic Society, to the establishment of the first Botanical Garden but also to the National Museum of Antiquities. Petrache Poenaru was elected a full member of the Romanian Academic Society in 1870.
Petrache Poenarul campaigned for the release of the Roma from slavery, being even imprisoned for this endeavor.
Petrache Poenaru died on October 2, 1875 in Bucharest, at the age of 76, being buried in the Bellu Cemetery in Bucharest.
The image of the article is the painting “Portrait of Petrache Poenaru” made in 1868 by Constantin Lecca (1807-1887) at the Museum of Bucharest.