(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
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
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