1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Born, Ignaz

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BORN, IGNAZ, Edler von (1742–1791), Austrian mineralogist and metallurgist, was born of a noble family at Karlsburg, in Transylvania, on the 26th of December 1742. Educated in a Jesuit college in Vienna, he was for sixteen months a member of the order, but left it and studied law at Prague. Then he travelled extensively in Germany, Holland and France, studying mineralogy, and on his return to Prague in 1770 entered the department of mines and the mint. In 1776 he was appointed by Maria Theresa to arrange the imperial museum at Vienna, where he was nominated to the council of mines and the mint, and continued to reside until his death on the 24th of July 1791. He introduced a method of extracting metals by amalgamation (Über das Anquicken der Erze, 1786), and other improvements in mining and other technical processes. His publications also include Lithophylacium Bornianum (1772–1775) and Bergbaukunde (1789), besides several museum catalogues. Von Born attempted satire with no great success. Die Staatsperücke, a tale published without his knowledge in 1772, and an attack on Father Hell, the Jesuit, and king’s astronomer at Vienna, are two of his satirical works. Part of a satire, entitled Monachologia, in which the monks are described in the technical language of natural history, is also ascribed to him. Von Born was well acquainted with Latin and the principal modern languages of Europe, and with many branches of science not immediately connected with metallurgy and mineralogy. He took an active part in the political changes in Hungary. After the death of the emperor Joseph II., the diet of the states of Hungary rescinded many innovations of that ruler, and conferred the rights of denizen on several persons who had been favourable to the cause of the Hungarians, and, amongst others, on von Born. At the time of his death in 1791, he was employed in writing a work entitled Fasti Leopoldini, probably relating to the prudent conduct of Leopold II., the successor of Joseph, towards the Hungarians.