IGNAC BORN
(Gyulafehervar, 26. 12. 1742. — Wien, 28. 08. 1791.)

He started his schools in Nagyszeben, from 1755 he studied philosophy and arts in the Jesuit secondary school of Vienna. In the meantime he became a member of the order, which he left in 1760. He went to Prague after that and got a degree in law.
In 1768 he traveled around Banat, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain. He acquired his knowledge of mining and metallurgy during this journey.
After his travels in 1770 he worked for the Bureau of minting and mining. In correspondence with his work, he traveled the Hungarian mining regions, where he studies the situation of mining and metallurgy. 23 letters were born during this journey, these soon got published as a book under the title of “Briefe über mineralogische Gegenstände auf seiner Reise durch den Temeswarer Banat, Siebenbürgen, Oberund Nieder-Ungarn” (Frankfurt and Leipzig 1774). This work soon got published in English, French and Italian, and became a university textbook.

In 1776, Mary Theresa Austrian empress invited him to Vienna, and orders him to systematize and transcribe the Royal Natural Collection (Natualienkabinet). She also appoints him as the teacher of princess Mary Anne. After completing his work in 1799, he was knighted by Mary Theresa, who also gave him the title of Royal Counselor.
It was his invention of using amalgam with precious metals, that made him world famous.
With the process used before the mass recovery of precious metal was too low, while the usage of lead and fuel consumption was too high.
He conducted the laboratory experiments in Vienna, while the factory experiments took place at Skleno close to Selmec. To introduce this plant, on 27th September 1786 he invited 27 experts from 8 countries. This occasion is the first technical-scientific conference in the world. At this meeting Born took the initiative in founding the "Societat der Bergbau-Kunde", mining association, which is the first international scientific union.

In 1774, he established a learned society in Prague.

He was the president of the Masonic Lodges of Vienna until 1786. On the 20th April 1785, Mozart composed the cantata “Die Maurerfreude” (K471) to honor Born, and the created the character of Sarastro in his opera “The Magic Flute” (Die Zaubeflote).
In 1791, the Parliament of Transylvania and of Bratislava presents him with the rank of nobility.
Amongst others, he was a member of Royal Society of London, the learned society of Gottingen and St. Petersburg.

He died on the 24th July 1791 in Vienna. Bornite, a type of mineral was named after him to honor his work.