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Ignaz von Born

    Naturevolume 150page763 (1942) | Download Citation



    ON December 26 occurs the bicentenary of the birth of Ignaz von Born, one of the first to realize the great part fossils were to play in historical geology and the first to describe the use of mercury in the extraction of gold and silver. Born at Carlsburg in Transylvania, he was educated at Hermannstadt and Vienna, and studied law at Prague. He then made a journey through Germany, Holland and France studying the minerals, mining, etc., and a year or two later made another mineralogical journey through Hungary and Transylvania. An account of this second journey, in the form of letters, was published in 1774 by the Swedish mineralogist, J. J. Ferber (1743-90). At Prague, where he held a post as mining councillor, Born assisted in forming a scientific society. In 1776 he was called to Vienna by the Empress Maria Theresa to arrange the natural history collections, which he afterwards described in a fine work. He continued to reside at Vienna until his death on July 24, 1791. One of the last of his books was his “New Process of Amalgamation of Gold and Silver Ores ...”

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