Hungary. 5,000 Forint 2011. 200th birthday of Adam Clark. Gold Proof
Adam Clark, born in Edinburgh on August 14, 1811, is well known in Hungary as he supervised construction of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and designed the Buda Tunnel. At Count István Széchenyi’s invitation, Clark came to Hungary in 1834 to work on the delivery and commissioning of the equipment needed to regulate the Danube River. He then returned to England, where he continued working in the field of hydrologic engineering. He was appointed as chief engineer for the construction of the Chain Bridge to link the towns of Buda and Pest in 1835. Széchenyi later appointed him as advisor to the National Transportation Engineering Committee in 1847 and as a technical advisor to the Ministry in 1848. During the Revolution of 1848-49, Clark successfully thwarted Austrian attempts and then Hungarian attempts to destroy the Bridge, which was finally completed in 1849.
Another of his outstanding works was the Buda Tunnel, for which he finished the final designs in 1851, base on the preliminary plans prepared by the engineering office of William Thierny Clark (no relation). He was the chief engineer and construction supervisor for the tunnel, which was completed on April 30, 1857. On November 6, 1855, he married Mária Áldásy, daughter of Antal Áldásy, commander of the Castle of Buda. They had three children. Unfortunately, Clark did not live to see completion of the family’s villa, as he died on June 23, 1866 of lung disease.
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Adam Clark’s birth, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (National Bank of Hungary) issued this gold collector coin, which is also part of the “world’s smallest gold coins” series. It is 11mm in diameter and consists of a half gram of .999 fine gold. It is prooflike in quality and was designed by László Szlávics Jr. The reverse shows a young Clark at the height of his career, based on contemporary depictions.