Have you heard of Łukasiewicz, Strzelecki or Malinowski?
Łukasiewicz was a pharmacist, oil specialist, and social activist. He was not talkative, but he was stubborn and hard-working. Maybe that is why he did not break down when the business did not go his way and refineries burnt down.
Ernest Malinowski builded a railroad at an altitude of almost five thousand meters whith is not an easy task today, let alone in the 19th century. Back then, it was the most outstanding engineering achievement in the world.
Paweł Strzelecki was the first Pole to circumnavigate the globe alone. The discoverer of Australian gold and author of the first thoroughly scientific study describing Australia. British Queen Victoria made him a Knight of the Order of St. Michael and St. George for this book, and Oxford University awarded him an honorary doctorate.