Did You Know? (27)

By Jirair Tutunjian, 25 November 2022

Celebrated Canadian and American actor John Vernon had Armenian-Polish roots. His baptismal name was Adolphus Agopsowicz. He was born in 1932 in Zehner, Saskatchewan and died in Los Angeles in 2005.  Among his movies are Dirty Harry, Animal House, Point Blank, Police Academy, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Topaz, The Blue and the Gray,  Canadian TV series Wojeck and American TV series Acapulco Heat.

Armenian inventors (1)

Stephan Stepanian (Truck mounted concrete drum mixer)
Luther Simjian (ATM, military flight simulator, postage meter)
Peter Vosbigian (Self-wringing sponge mop named Quickie)
Ed Iskenderian (Hydraulic racing camshaft)
Albert Kapikian (Rotavirus vaccine)
Roger Altounyan (Pressurised inhaler and sodium cromoglycate therapy)
Michel Ter-Pogossian (PET scanner)
Raymond Damadian (MRI machine)
Jirayr Tezel (Hair-transplantation device)

Armenian inventors (2)

Varaztad Kazanjian (Father of plastic surgery)
Hampar Kelikian (Limb rotation surgical technique)
Emik Avakian (Text to speech and microfilm)
Boris Babayan (Creator of Soviet Union’s supercomputers)
Alex Manoogian (Single handle faucet)
Ardashes Aykanian (Bend and spoon straw plus blue strip on car windshields)
Arthur Bulbulian (WWII A14 oxygen masks for pilots)
Semyon Kirilian (High-voltage photography)
Hovhannes Adamian (Principle improvements of b/w TV and cable TV)

Armenian inventors  (3)

Harry Takosian (Ice-cream cone and Melba toast)
Ross Baghdassarian (Alvin and the Chipmunk cartoon)
Christopher Der Seropian (green ink of U.S dollar)
Baron Ara Darzi (Minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery)
Haig Kafafian (Cybernetic communication/designing aircraft control and missile guidance)
Avie Tevanian (The MAC OSX operating system)
Dr. Aybadian (“Waterwings”)
Dr. Manasseh Sevag (Antistreptococcal vaccine)
Garo Anserlian (“Mars Watch” for NASA scientists for the ‘Rover’ and ‘Opportunity’ missions)

Despite his name, Arthur d’Arzien (1914-2004) was Armenian. A renowned commercial photographer in New York for several decades, his middle name was Khachig. He was born in Bursa, Turkey. His family immigrated to the U.S. when he was eight. d’Arzien’s career spanned some 50 years.

Portrait painter and illustrator Constantine Alajalov (1900-1987) was Armenian despite his name. He was born in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. During the early years of Bolshevik Russia, he painted large propaganda murals and posters. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1923. He illustrated many books, including the George Gershwin Song Book and books by Cornelia Otis Skinner, Herman Wouk, and Ilka Chase. He drew a record 70 covers for The Newyorker in addition to covers for Vanity Fair, Saturday Evening Post, and LIFE. Many of his paintings are on display in museums. Some of his covers fetch as much as $35,000. He died in Amenia, NY.

Edmond Rostand (1866-1923) was the author of the classic “Cyrano de Berjerac”. He was born to Armenian parents in Marseille. His father (Eugene Rostand—original name Dikran Trampian) told the Armenian Archives Committee in Marseille that he was Armenian. A relative (Maurice Rostand) wrote the “Ode to Armenia” long poem.

Although most Russians assume Generalissimo Alexandr Suvorov was Russian, there is a great deal of evidence that Russia’s greatest military figure, Field Marshal-Count-Prince Suvorov was Armenian. In late October, Russians removed his bones from Ukraine and took them to Moscow. They also took the relics of Prince Grigory Potemkin, the founder of Odessa and Kherson, who was a key figure in driving away the Ottomans from the northern shores of the Black Sea.

The Hubschmann theory that most Armenian words are loan words from Persian were discredited when scholars offered evidence that the vast majority of Armenian words previously thought to be loan words were native to Asia Minor and the Armenian Plateau and are similar to the words in the Hittite language. As well, the thesis that the Armenian pantheon was borrowed from the Persian has lost credibility because there’s solid evidence that it was the Persians who borrowed their gods from the Armenians. The research for the above was done by Hovik Nersesian in his book on the Armenian origins of Avesta of Zoroaster.

1 comment
  1. Very impressive list of Armenian inventors. For keeps.
    Thank you Mr. Tutunjian
    One wonders, however, as to why Armenian inventors remain mostly unknown, in spite of their notable contribution to the world in so many different fields.

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