Born, Ignaz Edler von

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b. 26 December 1742 Karlsburg, Transylvania (now Alba lulia, Romania)
d. 24 July 1791 Vienna, Austria
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Austrian metallurgical and mining expert, inventor of the modern amalgamation process.
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At the University of Prague he studied law, but thereafter turned to mineralogy, physics and different aspects of mining. In 1769–70 he worked with the mining administration in Schemnitz (now Banská Stiavnica, Slovakia) and Prague and later continued travelling to many parts of Europe, with special interests in the mining districts. In 1776, he was charged to enlarge and systematically to reshape the natural-history collection in Vienna. Three years later he was appointed Wirklicher Hofrat at the mining and monetary administration of the Austrian court.
Born, who had been at a Jesuit college in his youth, was an active freemason in Vienna and exercised remarkable social communication. The intensity of his academic exchange was outstanding, and he was a member of more than a dozen learned societies throughout Europe. When with the construction of a new metallurgic plant at Joachimsthal (now Jáchymov, Czech Republic) the methods of extracting silver and gold from ores by the means of quicksilver demanded acute consideration, it was this form of scientific intercourse that induced him in 1786 to invite many of his colleagues from several countries to meet in Schemnitz in order to discuss his ideas. Since the beginnings of the 1780s Born had developed the amalgamation process as had first been applied in Mexico in 1557, by mixing the roasted and chlorinated ores with water, ingredients of iron and quicksilver in drums and having the quicksilver refined from the amalgam in the next step. The meeting led to the founding of the Societät der Bergbaukunde, the first internationally structured society of scientists in the world. He died as the result of severe injuries suffered in an accident while he was studying fire-setting in a Slovakian mine in 1770.
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Bibliography
1772–5, Lithophylacium Borniarum seu Index fossilium, 2 vols, Prague.
1774 (ed.), Briefe an J.J.Ferber über mineralogische Gegenstände, Frankfurt and Leipzig.
1775–84, Abhandlungen einer Privatgesellschaft in Böhmen, zur Aufnahme der
Mathematik, der vaterländischen Geschichte und der Naturgeschichte, 6 vols, Prague. 1786, Über das Anquicken der gold-und silberhaltigen Erze, Rohsteine, Schwarzkupfer
und Hüttenspeise, Vienna.
1789–90, co-edited with F.W.H.von Trebra, Bergbaukunde, 2 vols, Leipzig.
Further Reading
C.von Wurzbach, 1857, Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Österreich, Vol. II, pp. 71–4.
L.Molnár and A Weiß, 1986, Ignaz Edler von Born und die Societät der Bergbaukunde 1786, Vienna: Bundesministerium für Handel, Gewerbe und Industrie (provides a very detailed description of his life, the amalgamation process and the society of 1786). G.B.Fettweis, and G.Hamann (eds), 1989, Über Ignaz von Born und die Societät der
Bergbaukunde, Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaft (provides a very detailed description).
WK

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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