Joseph Kyselak, 1799-1831: “Kyselak Was Here.”

A modest official in the Imperial Austria Exchequer, Kyselak was by avocation a mountain climber and even wrote a book on the subject. Possibly on a bet, he vowed that his name would be known throughout the kingdom within three years.   His claim to fame – graffiti.   Soon after making his declaration, Kyselak began to write his name down on rock faces across Austria.   If this were not bad enough, his name also began appearing on building faces in Vienna itself.

Eventually, an unamused Emperor Franz I had the young man brought to his office and forbade him from defacing things in this manner.  Kyselak bowed, promised to behave, and was a allowed to leave.

A little later, the Emperor found the name KYSELAK carved into his desk top.

(For all his fifteen minutes of fame, not a single portrait of the fellow seems to exist. By the way, if you encounter any of his markings, the Kysalek Project wants to hear from you.)

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