Jára Cimrman

Jára Cimrman is the quintessential Czech polymath: scientist,researcher, mathematician, sportsman, inventor, playwright, all-round genius and self-taught gynaecologist. It is highly probable that few non-Czechs will have heard of this great Czech whose creative genius has, without doubt, impacted on all of us in some way by smoothing and facilitating the progress of mankind and at the same time enriching it culturally. So, why is he – this Czech icon -only revered and celebrated in the Czech Republic? Perhaps because of jealousy – he lived at a time when this beautiful country was groaning under the yoke of Austrian domination – but more than likely because of sheer bad luck. It is said that when Cimrman arrived at the patent office to register his inventions of dynamite and the electric light bulb – Nobel and Edison had just left. Furthermore, it is said that when the Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell, credited falsely with the invention of the telephone, spoke those immortal words to his assistant Thomas Watson ‘ Mr. Watson -come here. I want to see you’ it was to tell him that he had already received three missed calls from Jára Cimrman. In truth, the character is the creation of a number of Czech comedy writers, Zdeněk Svěrák Ladislav Smoljak and Jiří Šebánek. You can find out more about who they are in our PEOPLE section or by clicking on the only known image of Cimrman above.