Japanese National Railways
Japanese National Railways, abbreviated Kokutetsu or "JNR", was the business entity that operated Japan's national railway network from 1949 to 1987. As of June 1, 1949, the date of establishment of JNR, it operated 19,756.8 km of narrow gauge railways in all 46 prefectures of Japan. This figure expanded to 21,421.1 km in 1981, but reduced to 19,633.6 km as of March 31, 1987, the last day of JNR. JNR operated both freight services. Shinkansen, the world's first high-speed railway was debuted by JNR in 1964. By the end of JNR in 1987, four lines were constructed: Tōkaidō Shinkansen 515.4 km, completed in 1964 Sanyō Shinkansen 553.7 km, completed in 1975 Tōhoku Shinkansen 492.9 km, as of 1987 Jōetsu Shinkansen 269.5 km, completed in 1982 JNR operated bus lines as feeders, supplements or substitutions of railways. Unlike railway operation, JNR Bus was not superior to other local bus operators; the JR Bus companies are the successors of the bus operation of JNR. JNR operated ferries to connect railway networks separated by sea or to meet other local demands: Kanmon Ferry Shimonoseki Station – Mojikō Station Miyajima Ferry Miyajimaguchi Station – Miyajima Station Nihori Ferry Nigata Station – Horie Station Ōshima Ferry Ōbatake Station – Komatsukō Station Seikan Ferry Aomori Station – Hakodate Station Ukō Ferry Uno Station – Takamatsu Station Out of three routes assigned to JR companies in 1987, only the Miyajima Ferry remains active as of 2010.
A number of unions represented workers at JNR, including the National Railway Workers' Union, the National Railway Locomotive Engineers' Union, Doro-Chiba, a break-away group from Doro. The term Kokuyū Tetsudō "state-owned railway" referred to a network of railway lines operated by 17 private companies that were nationalized following the Railway Nationalization Act of 1906 and placed under the control of the Railway Institute; the Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications took over control of the network. The ministries used. During World War II, many JGR lines were dismantled to supply steel for the war effort. On June 1, 1949 by a directive of the U. S. General HQ in Tokyo, JGR was reorganized into Japanese National Railways, a state-owned public corporation. JNR enjoyed many successes, including the October 1, 1964 inauguration of high-speed Shinkansen service along the Tōkaidō Shinkansen line. However, JNR was not a state-run corporation. Rural sections without enough passengers began to press its management, pulling it further and further into debt.
In 1983, JNR started to close its unprofitable 83 local lines. By 1987, JNR's debt was over ¥27 trillion and the company was spending ¥147 for every ¥100 earned. By an act of the Diet of Japan, on April 1, 1987 JNR was privatized and divided into seven railway companies, six passenger and one freight, collectively called the Japan Railways Group or JR Group. Long-term liabilities of JNR were taken over by the JNR Settlement Corporation; that corporation was subsequently disbanded on October 22, 1998, its remaining debts were transferred to the national budget's general accounting. By this time the debt has risen to ¥30 trillion. Many lawsuits and labor commission cases were filed over the decades from the privatization in 1987. Kokuro and the National Railway Locomotive Engineers' Union, both prominent Japanese railway unions, represented a number of the JNR workers. Lists of workers to be employed by the new organizations were drawn up by JNR and given to the JR companies. There was substantial pressure on union members to leave their unions, within a year, the membership of the National Railway Workers' Union fell from 200,000 to 44,000.
Workers who had supported the privatization, or those who left Kokuro, were hired at higher rates than Kokuro members. There was a government pledge that no one would be "thrown out onto the street", so unhired workers were classified as "needing to be employed" and were transferred to the JNR Settlement Corporation, where they could be assigned for up to three years. Around 7,600 workers were transferred in this way, around 2,000 of them were hired by JR firms, 3,000 found work elsewhere. Mitomu Yamaguchi, a former JNR employee from Tosu in Saga prefecture, transferred to the JNR Settlement Corporation stated that their help in finding work consisted of giving him photocopies of recruitment ads from newspapers; this period ended in April 1990, 1,047 were dismissed. This included 966 Kokuro members. Twenty-three years after the original privatization, on June 28, 2010, the Supreme Court settled the dispute between the workers and the Japan Railway Construction and Technology Agency, the successor body to the JNR Settlement Corporation.
The agency said it would pay 20 billion yen 22 million yen per worker, to 904 plaintiffs. However, as the workers were not reinstated, it was not a full
China Railway known as CR, full name China Railway Corporation is a state-owned sole proprietorship enterprise that undertakes railway passenger and cargo transportation services in the People's Republic of China and is a state-owned industrial enterprise established under the "Law of the People's Republic of China on All-Ownership Industrial Enterprises." The Ministry of Finance acts on behalf of the State Council to perform the duties of shareholders. It used to be part of the now defunct Ministry of Railways. China Railway operates freight transport via 21 subsidiaries. China Railway had its own railway police force, prosecutors office and court system; the police department of the railway is still under the control of the company. The status of the police is civil service of Ministry of Public Security, but they are still paid and managed by the company; the China Railway logo was designed by Chen Yuchang adopted on 22 January 1950. The whole logo represents the front of a locomotive; the upper part of the logo represents the Chinese character 人, while the lower part represents the transversal surface of a rail.
The logo means. The "CR" logo is used on the Fuxing along with the China Railway logo. There are 21 primary subsidiary companies under China Railway; as of 2008 2 million people work in China Railway. China Railway operates the passenger trains from China to Mongolia, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Vietnam; as of 2017 China Railway ran goods services to 15 European cities, including routes to Madrid and Hamburg and the experimental East Wind service to London to test demand. The Chinese government refers to the two-week 12,000 km route, starting at Yiwu and with trains to London traversing Kazakhstan, Belarus, Germany and France, as the Belt and Road Initiative. Containers must be transferred several times, as different, rail gauges are used in different regions, the same rolling stock cannot be used throughout. China has been helping to rebuild railways in Africa. Below is an incomplete list of rail projects. Sheng Guangzu Lu Dongfu Rail transport in China List of locomotives in China China Railway High-speed MTR Passenger rail transport in China High-speed rail in China China Railway official website China Railway Corporation official website
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
A bogie is a chassis or framework that carries a wheelset, attached to a vehicle—a modular subassembly of wheels and axles. Bogies take various forms in various modes of transport. A bogie may remain attached or be detachable. While bogie is the preferred spelling and first-listed variant in various dictionaries and bogy are used. A bogie in the UK, or a railroad truck, wheel truck, or truck in North America, is a structure underneath a railway vehicle to which axles are attached through bearings. In Indian English, bogie may refer to an entire railway carriage. In South Africa, the term bogie is alternatively used to refer to a freight or goods wagon; the first standard gauge British railway to build coaches with bogies, instead of rigidly mounted axles, was the Midland Railway in 1874. Bogies serve a number of purposes: Support of the rail vehicle body Stability on both straight and curved track Improve ride quality by absorbing vibration and minimizing the impact of centrifugal forces when the train runs on curves at high speed Minimizing generation of track irregularities and rail abrasionUsually, two bogies are fitted to each carriage, wagon or locomotive, one at each end.
Another configuration is used in articulated vehicles, which places the bogies under the connection between the carriages or wagons. Most bogies have two axles. Heavy-duty cars may have more than two bogies using span bolsters to equalize the load and connect the bogies to the cars; the train floor is at a level above the bogies, but the floor of the car may be lower between bogies, such as for a bilevel rail car to increase interior space while staying within height restrictions, or in easy-access, stepless-entry, low-floor trains. Key components of a bogie include: The bogie frame: This can be of inside frame type where the main frame and bearings are between the wheels, or of outside frame type where the main frame and bearings are outside the wheels. Suspension to absorb shocks between the bogie frame and the rail vehicle body. Common types are coil springs and rubber airbags. At least one wheelset, composed of an axle with bearings and a wheel at each end; the bolster, the main crossmember, connected to the bogie frame through the secondary suspension.
The railway car is supported at the pivot point on the bolster. Axle box suspensions absorb shocks between the bogie frame; the axle box suspension consists of a spring between the bogie frame and axle bearings to permit up-and-down movement, sliders to prevent lateral movement. A more modern design uses solid rubber springs. Brake equipment: Two main types are used: brake shoes that are pressed against the tread of the wheel, disc brakes and pads. In powered vehicles, some form of transmission electrically powered traction motors or a hydraulically powered torque converter; the connections of the bogie with the rail vehicle allow a certain degree of rotational movement around a vertical axis pivot, with side bearers preventing excessive movement. More modern, bolsterless bogie designs omit these features, instead taking advantage of the sideways movement of the suspension to permit rotational movement; the Commonwealth bogie was manufactured by the English Steel Corporation under licence from the Commonwealth Steel Company in Illinois, United States.
Fitted with SKF or Timken bearings, it was introduced in the late 1950s for all BR Mark 1 vehicles. It was a heavy, cast-steel design weighing about 6.5 long tons, with sealed roller bearings on the axle ends, avoiding the need to maintain axle box oil levels. The leaf springs were replaced by coil springs running vertically rather than horizontally; the advanced design gave a better ride quality than the BR1. The side frame of the bogie was of bar construction, with simple horn guides attached, allowing the axle boxes vertical movements between them; the axle boxes had a cast-steel equaliser bar resting on them. The bar had two steel coil springs placed on it and the bogie frame rested on the springs; the effect was to allow the bar to act as a compensating lever between the two axles and to use both springs to soften shocks from either axle. The bogie had a conventional bolster suspension with swing links carrying a spring plank; the B4 bogie was introduced in 1963. It was a fabricated steel design versus cast iron and was lighter than the Commonwealth, weighing in at 5 long tons.
It had a speed rating of 100 mph. Axle to spring connection was again fitted with roller bearings. However, now two coil springs. Only a small number of Mark 1 stock was fitted with the B4 bogie from new, it being used on the Mark 1 only to replace worn BR1 bogies; the British Rail Mark 2 coach, carried the B4 bogies from new. A heavier-duty version, the B5, was standard on Southern Region Mk1-based EMUs from the 1960s onwards; some Mark 1 catering cars had mixed bogies—a B5 under the kitchen end, a B4 under the seating
A Zippo lighter is a reusable metal lighter manufactured by American Zippo Manufacturing Company of Bradford, United States of America. Thousands of different styles and designs have been made in the eight decades since their introduction including military versions for specific regiments. Since its invention Zippos have been sold around the world and have been described "a legendary and distinct symbol of America". In 2012 the company produced the 500-millionth unit. Since its inception Zippo Lighters have been exclusively manufactured in the United States, with the exception of those manufactured in Niagara, Canada. American George G. Blaisdell founded Zippo Manufacturing Company in 1932, produced the first Zippo lighter in early 1933, being inspired by an Austrian cigarette lighter of similar design made by IMCO, it got its name because Blaisdell liked the sound of the word "zipper" and "zippo" sounded more modern. On March 3, 1936, a patent was granted for the Zippo lighter. Zippo lighters became popular in the United States military during World War II—when, as the company's web site says, Zippo "ceased production of lighters for consumer markets and dedicated all manufacturing to the US military".
Period Zippos were made of brass, but Zippo used a black crackle finished steel during the war years because of metal shortages. While the Zippo Manufacturing Company never had an official contract with the military and armed forces personnel insisted that base exchange and post exchange stores carry this sought-after lighter. While it had been common to have Zippos with authorized badges, unit crests, division insignias, it became popular among the American soldiers of the Vietnam War to get their Zippos engraved with personal mottos; these lighters are now sought after popular souvenirs for visitors to Vietnam. After World War II, the Zippo lighter became used in advertising by companies large and small through the 1960s. Much of the early Zippo lighter advertising are works of art painted by hand, as technology has evolved, so has the design and finish of the Zippo lighter; the basic mechanism of the Zippo lighter has remained unchanged, but they developed into a popular fashion accessory, with a huge variety of artistic designs produced.
In 2002, Zippo expanded its product line to include a variety of utility-style multi-purpose lighters, known as Zippo MPLs. This was followed in 2005 with the Outdoor Utility Lighter, known as the OUL; these lighters are fueled with butane. In August 2007, Zippo released a new butane lighter called the Zippo BLU. A museum called "Zippo/Case visitors center" is located in Bradford, Pennsylvania, at 1932 Zippo Drive; this 15,000-square-foot building contains rare and custom made Zippo lighters, sells the entire Zippo line. The museum was featured on the NPR program Weekend Edition on Sunday, January 25, 2009; the museum contains an enormous collection of Case knives. Since the Zippo company's 60th anniversary in 1992, annual editions have been produced for Zippo collectors. From 1949 to 2002, Zippos were produced in Niagara Falls, Canada. Since 1933, over 500,000,000 Zippo lighters have been produced. In 2009, Zippo announced plans to purchase Ronson Consumer Products Corporation, a long-time competitor in the lighter market.
On February 3, 2010, the deal was finalized. In March 2011, due to significant decrease of sales from 18 million lighters a year in the mid-1990s to about 12 million lighters a year combined with increasing pressure on people not to smoke, Zippo Manufacturing Co. tried offering a wider variety of products using the Zippo name, such as watches, leisure clothing and eau de cologne. This strategy is similar to the success Victorinox Swiss Army Brands Inc. has had selling watches, luggage and fragrance. On June 5, 2012, the company manufactured its 500,000,000th lighter and celebrated its 80th anniversary. Zippo lighters, which have gained popularity as “windproof” lighters, are able to stay lit in harsh weather, due to the design of the windscreen and adequate rate of fuel delivery. A consequence of the windproofing is. However, if the flame is blown from the top down, it will be extinguished; the proper way to extinguish the lighter is to close the top half, which starves the flame of oxygen, but unlike other lighters, this does not cut off the fuel supply.
One of the recognizable features of Zippo is the fact. Opening the top lid produces an recognizable "clink" sound for which Zippo lighters are known, a different but recognizable "clunk" when the lighter is closed; this noise is produced by the spring-loaded toggling cam, a little lever that keeps the lid closed or opened securely. Unlike disposable lighters, Zippo lighters purchased. Instructions for safely fueling the Zippo are included in its packaging. Zippo offers for sale a name brand lighter fluid. Morley Safer, in his August 5, 1965 CBS News report of the Cam Ne affair and Private First Class Reginald "Malik" Edwards, the rifleman 9th Regiment, US Marine Corps Danang whose profile comprises chapter one of Wallace Terry's book, Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans, describe the use of Zippo lighters in search and destroy missions during the Vietnam War. Edwards stated: ``, you don't use torches. It's not like in the 1800s. You used a Zippo. Now you would use a Bic.
That's just the way. You went in there with your Zippos. Everybody. That's. Everybody had a Zippo, it was for burnin' shit down.""Zippo squad" be
China Railways SL7
The China Railways SL7 class steam locomotive was a class of 4-6-2 express passenger steam locomotives operated by the China Railway. They were built for the South Manchuria Railway to pull the Asia Express - Mantetsu's signature train and most iconic locomotive, whose images were used on fliers, postage stamps, children's school textbooks, as a symbol of technology and modernism in Manchukuo and was used to demonstrate the success of Japan's imperial project. After designing his first locomotive, the Pashiko class, at age 37 Nobutarō Yoshino, who had studied at the American Locomotive Company for two and a half years and, as the young star of Mantetsu's engineering division, nicknamed "King of Locomotives", designed the streamlined Pashina class was built with the specific purpose of hauling the long-distance, high-speed Asia Express limited express train between Dalian and Xinjing, at speeds up to 120 km/h, it was one of the world's first steam locomotives to be streamlined, which reduced air resistance by 30%, they were painted a distinctive Prussian blue colour.
Design and manufacture of the Pashina class took only seven months, using a novel process of simultaneous design and manufacture. A group of American reporters who rode the inaugural "Asia Express" train, doubting that the Japanese could build such a locomotive, enquired as to which American manufacturer had built the locomotive for Mantetsu. After Yoshino replied that he had designed it, that it had been built domestically using components sourced entirely from Japan and Manchukuo, the reporter asked which American university he and the other engineers had studied at, he answered that most had studied in Japan, but that many had gained experience in the US, they were the first Mantetsu locomotives to be fitted with the Schmidt type E superheater, were equipped with a combustion chamber firebox, a feedwater heater, an automatic stoker. The tender bogies were fitted with Timken roller bearings. A Pashina class locomotive was used to pull Prince Chichibu's train when he visited Manchukuo in 1940.
Following the suspension of the Asia Express in February 1943, they were used on ordinary express trains. The first three were built by Mantetsu's Shahekou Works in 1934, with the next eight coming from Kawasaki in Japan, with パシナ979, completed on 21 October 1934, being the 1,500th steam locomotive to be built by Kawasaki. After experiments in the Kawanishi Aircraft Company's wind tunnel, the shape of the streamlining was redesigned, the final unit, number 981 was built with the new design by Kawasaki in 1936. Numbered パシナ970 through パシナ981, they were renumbered パシナ1–パシナ12 in Mantetsu's 1938 general renumbering. All twelve survived the Pacific War and at the end of the war were assigned to the Dalian depot, were subsequently taken over by the Republic of China Railway. After the establishment of the People's Republic and the current China Railway, they were designated class ㄆㄒ7 in 1951, becoming class SL7 in 1959, they remained in use on the Shenda Line between Shenyang into the 1980s. Several locomotives were converted to a standard type because the cover of the locomotives are obstructive to inspect.
SL7 753-755 were noted to be in dump around Sujiatun Locomotive Depot in 1980s. SL7 751 was restored to working condition in 1984, is displayed at the Shenyang Railway Museum. In 2001, the restoration of SL7 757 was completed in Dalian, it has been on display at the Shenyang Railway Museum since 2013
Vodka is a clear distilled alcoholic beverage originating from Poland and Russia, composed of water and ethanol, but sometimes with traces of impurities and flavorings. Traditionally, it is made by distilling the liquid from cereal grains or potatoes that have been fermented, though some modern brands, such as Ciroc, CooranBong, Bombora, use fruits or sugar as the base. Since the 1890s, the standard Polish, Belarusian, Estonian, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Slovak and Ukrainian vodkas are 40% alcohol by volume, a percentage misattributed to Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev. Meanwhile, the European Union has established a minimum alcohol content of 37.5% for any European vodka to be named as such. But beverages sold as vodka in the United States must have a minimum alcohol content of 40%. With these loose restrictions, most commercial vodka contains 40% alcohol. Vodka is traditionally drunk "neat" or "straight", though it is served freezer chilled in the vodka belt countries of Belarus, Finland, Lithuania, Norway, Russia and Ukraine.
It is used in cocktails and mixed drinks, such as the Vodka martini, Vodka Tonic, Greyhound, Black or White Russian, Moscow Mule, Bloody Mary, Bloody Caesar. The name vodka is a diminutive form of the Slavic word voda, interpreted as little water: root вод- + -к- + -a; the word vodka was recorded for the first time in 1405 in Akta Grodzkie, the court documents from the Palatinate of Sandomierz in Poland. At the time, wódka referred to medicines and cosmetic products, while the beverage was called gorzałka, the source of Ukrainian horilka; the word vodka written in Cyrillic appeared first in 1533, in relation to a medicinal drink brought from Poland to Russia by the merchants of Kievan Rus'. Although the word vodka could be found in early manuscripts and in lubok pictograms, it began to appear in Russian dictionaries only in the mid-19th century, it was attested in Sámuel Gyarmathi's Russian-German-Hungarian glossary of 1799, where it is glossed with Latin vinum adustum. In English literature the word vodka was attested in the late 18th century.
In a book of his travels published in English in 1780, Johann Gottlieb Georgi explained that "kabak in the Russian language signifies a public house for the common people to drink vodka in." William Tooke in 1799 glossed vodka as "rectified corn-spirits". In French, Théophile Gautier in 1800 glossed it as a "grain liquor" served with meals in Poland. Another possible connection of vodka with "water" is the name of the medieval alcoholic beverage aqua vitae, reflected in Polish okowita, Ukrainian оковита, Belarusian акавіта, Scandinavian akvavit. People in the area of vodka's probable origin have names for vodka with roots meaning "to burn": Polish: gorzała. Horílka. Harelka. In Russian during the 17th and 18th centuries, горящѣе вино or горячее вино was used. Others languages include the German Branntwein, Danish brændevin, Dutch: brandewijn, Swedish: brännvin, Norwegian: brennevin. Scholars debate the beginnings of vodka, it is a contentious issue because little historical material is available.
For many centuries, beverages differed compared to the vodka of today, as the spirit at that time had a different flavor and smell, was used as medicine. It contained little alcohol, an estimated maximum of about 14%; the still, allowing for distillation, increased purity, increased alcohol content, was invented in the 8th century. In Poland, vodka has been produced since the early Middle Ages with local traditions as varied as the production of cognac in France, or Scottish whisky; the world's first written mention of the drink and of the word "vodka" was in 1405 from Akta Grodzkie recorder of deeds, in the court documents from the Palatinate of Sandomierz in Poland and it went on to become a popular drink there. At the time, the word wódka referred to chemical compounds such as medicines and cosmetics' cleansers, while the popular beverage known as vodka was called gorzałka, the source of Ukrainian horilka; the word written in Cyrillic appeared first in 1533, in relation to a medicinal drink brought from Poland to Russia by the merchants of Kievan Rus'.
In these early days, the spirits were used as medicines. Stefan Falimierz asserted in his 1534 works on herbs that vodka could serve "to increase fertility and awaken lust". Wodka lub gorzałka, by Jerzy Potański, contains valuable information on the production of vodka. Jakub Kazimierz Haur, in his book Skład albo skarbiec znakomitych sekretów ekonomii ziemiańskiej, gave detailed recipes for making vodka from rye; some Polish vodka blends go back centuries. Most notable are Żubrówka, from