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Oscar Ulysses Zerk
Birth: May 16, 1878
Vienna (Wien), Austria
Death: Dec., 1968
Kenosha
Kenosha County
Wisconsin, USA

Engineer and inventor, the son of Flora and Bernard Zerk, a textile merchant in the former Austro-Hungarian empire. Zerk's surname is permanently attached to the check-valve lubrication fitting known worldwide as the "Zerk fitting". He arrived in America on June 30, 1924 at age 46 aboard the 'Leviathan'. Long before America discovered the secret of a fresh cup of coffee, Oscar Ulysses Zerk invented a personal coffee bean grinder for his kitchen, but the brilliant Kenoshan thought it so unimportant that he never bothered to apply for a patent. He did, however, patent some 300 other inventions during his 90-year life, a remarkable record. His engineering creativeness asserted itself in a multitude of fields: leg-slimming hosiery, quick-freezing ice cube trays, spatterproof nail brushes, fail-safe brakes for trolley/interurban cars, vibration-free camera tripods, oil well recovery systems, and automotive refrigeration equipment. But Zerk's most important invention -- and the one that earned him the most money -- was the tiny grease fitting, a lubrication system which became the basis for those used on nearly every car, truck, plane and other mechanized vehicle. At the time of his death in 1968, it was estimated that 20 billion of those fittings had been manufactured. He also is credited with designing and patenting stamped metal wheels and wheel covers for autos which, in the 1920s, offered a stylish alternative to wooden artillery wheels and wire wheels. He also devised a type of non-skid vehicular brakes. Zerk was in the worldwide press after a daring robbery at his opulent and art-filled Kenosha mansion 'Dunmovin' on February 4, 1954. Zerk was tied to a chair as the invaders stole an untold number of valuable paintings and escaped with the artworks in Zerk's personal car. The robbery was never solved.  (bio by: Louis Rugani) 
 
Burial:
Green Ridge Cemetery
Kenosha
Kenosha County
Wisconsin, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Louis Rugani
Record added: Oct 03, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21910566
Oscar Ulysses Zerk
Added by: WoGOD
 
Oscar Ulysses Zerk
Added by: Louis Rugani
 
Oscar Ulysses Zerk
Added by: Grave Walker(L Kopet)
 
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 Added: May. 16, 2015

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- Jackie Howard
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