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Rijeka to Mark 150th Anniversary of Torpedo Invention

(photo: muzej-rijeka.hr)

(photo: muzej-rijeka.hr)

The Croatian city of Rijeka, situated on the northern Adriatic coast, will celebrate 150 years since the torpedo was invented by local Ivan Giovanni Luppis with an exhibition in the city’s museum…

Luppis, who was also known by his Croatian name Ivan Vukić, developed the first prototypes of the self-propelled torpedo in 1866, and to mark the 150th year anniversary an exhibition displaying several complete torpedoes, gauging instruments, parts and motors, launching pipes and model launching stations will be held in the middle of the year in Rijeka Museum.

Lupis) was born in the city of Rijeka (then Fiume) in 1813. His parents were Ferdinando Carlo, nobleman of Poreč and Vis, and Giovanna Parich (Parić, Perić), noble of Republic of Dubrovnik. Because of his mixed Italian-Croatian ancestry, his family was at different times also known as Vukić.

Ivan Giovanni Lupis

Ivan Giovanni Lupis

In the 1860s Luppis met British machine engineer Robert Whitehead with whom he signed a contract to develop a torpedo. Whitehead and Luppis formed a partnership to perfect the torpedo as an effective weapon but he always credited Luppis with the invention.

Robert Whitehead

Robert Whitehead

On 21 December 1866 the first automobile torpedo, now named Minenschiff, was officially demonstrated. Whitehead retained the copyrights and even negotiated a new contract with Luppis which gave Whitehead full control of all future sales. Luppis was given the noble title of Baron von Rammer in 1869 and died in Italy in 1875.

There will also be a number of other exhibitions held in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County to mark the occasion.

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