Andrija Ljudevit AdamićAndrija Ljudevit Adamić

(Andrea Lodovico Adamich)

Adamić was a harbinger of modernization in Rijeka. He gained his technical knowledge in a Viennese school. In 1811 he bought a steam saw used for cutting oak logs in the Deptford shipyard (Greenwich) in London.
In 1821 he suggested to Chancellor Metternich a steamship line running from Rijeka to Boka kotorska. Together with his son Primo, in 1823 he designed a chain suspension bridge over Rječina, and in 1825 he lobbied for the construction of the railway from Rijeka to Pest.

Iginio ScarpaIginio Scarpa


One of the founders of the Fonderia metalli (Foundry, 1854), but above all a merchant and ship owner who inherited an already thriving family business and invested large amounts of money in the production of oak staves in the forests of Slavonia.
He is best known as a founder of “elite tourism” – he built the villa Angiolina (1844) in Opatija, and his guests there included the Empress Maria Anna, Ban Josip Jelačić and Field Marshal Nugent. Scarpa was also one of the first supporters of modernization and factories – he cooperated on the establishing of the gas plant and steam mill. He also lobbied for the construction of the road to Šentpeter (Pivka) and the railway.

Gasparo MatcovichGasparo Matcovich


After grammar school he ran away from home because the family wanted him to become a priest. He went to London and then to Cuba. It is believed that he was the one who brought the inventor of torpedo, Robert Whitehead, to Rijeka, just as he had brought Walter Crafton Smith, the founder of the Paper mill before him. Matcovich visited the USA and wrote about it in the Ilirske narodne novine. He had many occupations and he was one of the most fervent supporters of modernization.

Luigi FrancovichGiovanni & Luigi Francovich


Giovanni is one of the founders and shareholders and one of the deputy managers of the foundry (Fonderia metalli 1854), founder and president of the Riječka banka (Rijeka bank) and manager of the Gradska štedionica (City Savings Bank). Firstly, he used to be a naval captain and shipowner, afterwards he was a timber wholesaler, whereby he exported timber from Gorski kotar and Croatian inland to foreign countries.
His son Luigi was a shareholder of Fonderia as well, close to the Whitehead's English circle. He was one of the founders of the steamboat association Adria (1882). 

Walter Crafton SmithWalter Crafton Smith


He fist came to Rijeka as the agent of the English paper mill Brown, Smith & Cie, for which he acquired raw material – old rags. He bought Adamić's manufacture (1827) and together with his partner, he developed it into the most modern paper mill in the Monarchy, winning medals and rewards since 1835. In 1833 he bought a steam engine and employed a hundred workers. He was one of the shareholders of Fonderia metalli.

Charles MeynierCharles Meynier

(around 1793–1876)

He came to Rijeka in 1828 and together with Walter Crafton Smith he established the Paper mill. He contributed to other businesses too, and was a shareholder in a few firms in Rijeka – Fonderia metalli, mill in Žakalj, Chemical factory and others.
At the beginning of 1840s he was joined by his nephew Henry/Enrico, the future owner of the Mill, who spent almost seventy years working there.

Henry MeynierHenry Meynier


Nephew of the owner of the Paper mill. He moved from Paris in 1840s and worked in his uncle's (and later, from 1876, his own) mill for seventy years.
He was included in many other businesses – he was the chairman of the Chemical factory (Stabilimento di prodotti chimici) and chairman of the Banca di credito fiumano. One of the first shareholders of the Stabilimento tecnico fiumano.

Giovanni CiottaGiovanni Ciotta


Grandson of Andrija Ljudevit Adamić and engineering officer, he requested retirement in 1860s and returned to Rijeka. For years he advocated the construction of the railway and looked forward to the construction of the Suez canal.
He connected Giovanni Luppis with Whitehead and was ready to participate in the future “coast guard” trade, which was supposed to bring him one tenth of the profits. As a long-standing Mayor of Rijeka, he became the symbol of its progress.


Giovanni LuppisGiovanni Luppis


Frigate captain who in the winter of 1860, during the long and uncomfortable patrol of the outer, southern side of the Kvarner islands on frigate Bellona, invented the “coast guard”. It was a boat filled with explosive, propelled by clockwork mechanism. It would be steered from the coast by means of bridles. The boat would be directed at the enemy and explode on contact. The idea was never tested for real, but it was a base for the future torpedo.

Robert WhiteheadRobert Whitehead


Born in the area of the earliest European industrialization, Bolton near Manchester, which was filled with cotton mills and engine factories. He gained significant technical education and moved to the continent – first to Marseille, then Milan, Vienna, Trieste and Rijeka. Upon his arrival, he became the director of the Foundry (later Stabilimento tecnico fiumano) and then Torpedofabrik Whitehead & Comp (1875). The invention of torpedo (1866) enabled the fast development of the factory and brought Whitehead world fame.

John WhiteheadJohn Whitehead


As a twelve-year-old boy he already participated in the invention of torpedo (1866). He graduated from the Technical college in Zurich and joined his father’s factory, where he was the head engineer for more than 20 years. At the end of the 1880s he participated in the physical experiments (acoustics and gas dynamics) at the Whitehead factory. At the beginning of 1890s he worked on his own gyroscope and its engine, which was supposed to maintain the direction of the torpedo.

Georg HoyosGeorg Hoyos


Whitehead’s son-in-law and one of the closest associates, partner and director of the Torpedofabrik. At first he was a naval officer who fought at the Battle of Vis (1866). In the autumn of 1867 he participated in the testing of torpedo. He was the commander of the gunboat Gemsa, which was turned into the first torpedo boat in the world. At that time, he met Whitehead’s daughter, ended his naval career, married Miss Whitehead and started working in the factory.

Annibale PlöchAnnibale Plöch


Precise mechanic, one of the Whitehead’s closest associates for many years. He came to the Stabilimento tecnico fiumano in 1860s at worked on the development of the torpedo from the beginning. He had a share in the profits, which brought him a large fortune.
He was the most prominent representative of the highly qualified technicians torpedo factory was famous for.

Ernst MachErnst Mach


Austrian physicist and philosopher of science, a major influence on logical positivism.
His most famous theory is the breaking of the sound barrier, which he proved mathematically but could not test. It was experimentally proven in 1866 by his co-workers, researchers from Rijeka, Salcher and Riegler, who conducted the research in the Whitehead factory.

Peter SalcherPeter Salcher


Professor and physics and mechanics textbook writer at the Marineakademie (Naval academy) in Rijeka. At Ernst Mach’s suggestion, he and his associates joined in 1866 the acoustics and gas dynamics research. Salcher and his associate recorded the shock wave at the breaking of the sound barrier and gained recognition. They published their work in the Works of the Royal Academy in Vienna.

Sándor Alexander RieglerSándor Alexander Riegler

Teacher and headmaster of the Hungarian grammar school in Rijeka, a keen photographer and important associate in acoustic research in Whitehead’s factory laboratory. Together with Ernst Mach and Peter Salcher he won several awards for the photographs of the shock wave and the breaking of the sound barrier (May 1886). He was the first president of the first photo club in Rijeka – photo section of the Natural science club (established on 9 January 1897).

Giuseppe OrlandoGiuseppe Orlando


The Orlando family, shipbuilders from Genoa, became prominent in the second half of the 19th century and moved to Livorno, where they also had a shipyard, and soon they were leading a strong steel conglomerate. Giuseppe, a marine engineer, first took over the Danubius shipyard, and then the struggling Torpedofabrik Whitehead Aktiengesellschaft, which in 1924 changed its name to Stabilimenti Whitehead Società di Esercizio Anonima.

Luigi Orlando SeniorLuigi Orlando Senior


After his brother’s death, Luigi Senior, together with Giuseppe’s son, Luigi Junior, took over the torpedo factory. From the collapsing factory with 300 workers in 1924, Luigi, together with his nephew, Admiral Arturo Ciano developed Silurificio Whitehead into a big industry employing around 1200 workers before WWII. One of the greatest contributions in this period was the development of the aerial torpedo.

Mirko RupertMirko Rupert

(1932 - )

Mechanical engineer who graduated from the Technical Faculty in Rijeka. He worked in Torpedo from 1951 to 1975. He worked on perfecting several torpedo instruments, the most important of which was an instrument added to gyroscope to prevent the rotation of the aerial torpedo around a horizontal axis.

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Muzejski trg 1/1, Rijeka, Croatia phone +385 51 336-711,,