#4. Leon

Broken Clock vodka Leon

The overwhelming majority of football coaches are themselves former football players. When I watch football and see eleven members of one team on the football pitch and a single coach, I sometimes wonder the fate of the other ten players – where do they go at the end of their careers?

This next post, as you may have guessed, is not about football at all.

Some people, like the goalkeeper mentioned in the previous post*, changed the scope of their activity over time. This also happens to practitioners of other professions. Someone was a lift-boy in a strip club, a clergyman, a carpenter or a banker, and went on to become a film director, writer, actor and football coach, respectively. (The word “respectively” hints at the fact that each “before and after” is specific to that individual. If you expected that the carpenter would not become an actor, but rather someone else, then do not get upset and do not be embarrassed. These particular Professionals seek out the most spectacular new vocations).

At the same time, I know many people who have dedicated their entire life to a single cause. We have even met some who continue the family dynasty and are experts in some socially significant activity in the third generation.

Can you say that one of these life scenarios is more worthy than another? For me, both scenarios are worthy of respect, if… I would continue this phrase, if in the last post** I hadn’t said anything about my suspicious attitude to that which is most obvious.

Therefore, I immediately turn to the description of the life journey of a certain Leon Kuhajewski, whom I consider worthy for the simple fact he is a distant relative.

In 1816, Leon invented the world’s very first astronomical watch, which is now stored in the Musée International d’Horlogerie in Switzerland. In 1821 he created another timepiece, a watch with a pedometer, for the march-loving Prince Constantine. It can be found in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

Having achieved recognition in fine mechanics, Leon decided to switch to designing things that were altogether larger and more useful for the economy. In the very same year 1821, he developed the threshing mill, named the Kuhajewski’s thresher, which proved to be most effective and effortless to maintain. He also improved the design of the two-storey mill, reducing the number of horses required from five to one.

After that, he became interested in theoretical mathematics. In 1840, Leon wrote an article, “About the benefits that emerged from the initial Geometry for science, art, industry and commerce”, and it is also reported that he invented “Methods for dividing the angle of Geometry into three equal parts using a ruler and a compass”.

As you can see, Leon changed interests, but at the same time he adhered to one general line: he loved to invent and discover, while his inventions were connected with accuracy and precision, or at the very least, with the separation of the wheat from the chaff.

Coming to the development of my recipe for vodka, I placed the same accuracy, precision and balance at the heart of the matter. Furthermore, a certain fact could not fail to grab my attention, that Leon had a hand in optimizing the processing of wheat, which is indispensable to the production of vodka.

Besides which I share with him a love of geometry and art, and likewise to the best of my abilities I’m connected with commerce.

– Hmmm, – I thought enthusiastically.

On that very first astronomical watch Leon engraved: “Żyć nie bez użytku, umierać nie bez pamięci” – “To live not without use, to die not without memory”.

Broken Clock vodka Leon

– Hmm, – I thought a tad more seriously, – it would be nice if I could devote some of my work to the memory of this gentleman from Warsaw.

You would be absolutely right to notice that the name Broken Clock is not well suited for this purpose, but I am justifying this with the fact that the first name was completely different and not in the least bit paradoxical. I changed it, following the amusing logic of upcoming events. How this all happened, you will discover very soon, but for now I must take us back to the killingly cold, although conceptual, north where I was left a couple of weeks ago.


* #3
** #0


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