Hieronymus "Vanwegen" Findorff (1694 -- 1751(?)) was a scholar and engineer from Drollt Beek.
Findorff was born Hieronymus Laakmal Gyntson F. in 1694 in the small town Beeksteyke close to the mouth of the river Fallingsbords. His father was a merchant trading mostly with cloth, while his mother was an apothecary.
Religious Ties Edit
At the age of 18, Findorff joined the Cult of Forth movement in his hometown. As is required by the cult, he rejected his earlier middle names "Laakmal Gyntson" and chose for himself a new middle name, "Vanwegen" ("Pathfinder"). He then went on the mandatory two-year pilgrimship which carried him through the better parts of the known world.
After his return in 1714, he began studying at the Academy of the Steel Stone, where he finished in 1722 with the degree Magister of Metamathics, but had apparently enjoyed a much more universal education, as his later works show.
In the 1730's, he was called upon by both the government of Cardu Mar and of Vin-Dan to join a contest sponsored by the rulers and submit a project proposal for a railway which was to connect the two countries. Findorff came up with what was later to become the Thanzayat Railway, won the contest and subsequently was charged with the supervision of the construction of the railway.
From 1739 through 1742 Findorff was occupied with this monstrous project which was plagued not only by technical and geographical problems, but also by the hostility of the indigenious people of Endiva who were oppposed to the railway which was crossing through their territory, and abducted Findorff for a short time in 1741.
Although Findorff managed to complete the railway, he later shunned big projects and devoted much of his time to small-scale enterprises. Among others he invented a system of sun reflectors which were driven by clockworks and helped keep the temperature in the greenhouse of his mother's tomatos steady.
Later years Edit
In his later years, Findorff bought a house in Beeksteyke.
Beside several religious treatises which covered his relationship to the Cult of Forth, in 1748 he published several papers about a universal language he had invented, Logpalaver. He hoped this language, which was based on a very strict and regular grammar and put a strong emphasis on being unambiguous, would be used by various governments and institutions for diplomatic purposes, for the drawing up of contracts and laws, and also for papers, since Findorff supposed that much of the world's major and minor troubles were caused by misunderstandings and a general lack of communication.
He wrote a small booklet about the board game Castles and was the first to write down the rules, which had hitherto been passed on orally.
He spent much of his time composing the Folio Epsistles a series of unaddressed letters on a series of subjects upon which he held strong views, ranging from the mundane (the growing of green beans in desert regions) to the absurd (words in his native language that rhyme with 'Kookas' or feces), from the technical (dealing with lexical problems in the development of Logpalaver) to the profound (a ferverent rejection of the whole idea of the The_Great_Question, a concept he found absurd and useless). No one would see these letters until after his death, when they were collected by his gardner and personal chimneysweep Kobo Trelg and published by his good friend Hansa Brecht who had been his secretary during his railroad days.
Findorff died in 1751 in his hometown of Beeksteyke, supposedly run over by a huge cart laden with cloth bales. He was buried in Beeksteyke, and some fifty years after his death his fellow citizens erected a bronze statue in his memory.
- ↑ Much of this episode is shrouded in mystery. It was never completely cleared up who abducted Findorff, and for what reason. Speculation grew that Findorff had simply become an alcoholic and wanted to get away from the project, that he had got lost in the desert, or that he was in league with the Endivans for some reason. Some even went as far as to accuse Findorff of having staged his disappearance as a "show stunt" to promote publicity for his railway. Findorff himself always stayed silent about his period of disappearance. It should be noted that he had shared his religious views with a sizable portion of the Endivans who also followed Forth.