František Josef Gerstner

(1756 - 1832) Technician

František Josef Gerstner, portrait After finishing Jesuit secondary school in Chomutov, he continued his studies on the Prague university where he studied mathematics and astronomy. As a reputable astronomer of the Prague observatory and university professor of mathematics he lectured mechanics and advanced technical subjects. He is credited to the establishment of a polytechnic school in Prague. He was entrusted to oversee the construction of the canal between the Vltava and Dunaj rivers, but he substituted this very expensive and demanding variant for the project of the first European railway - the horse-drawn railway that connected České Budějovice and Linz. He left the realisation of this project to his son František Antonín Gerstner.