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Johann Isidor Weinberger
(1838-1915)

Johann Isidor (Jsidor) Weinberger was born on April 4, 1838, the son of Rudolf Weinberger, a physcian. He lived at Schwindgasse 20 in Vienna, Austria, and held the title Kommerzialrat (a typical Austrian title). Weinberger first worked in Dognaczka in the Banat of Temeswar (Hungary) as an official with the provincial administration of the Hungarian National Railway Works. He was fascinated by the diversity of the minerals found in the area and began to collect them at a very young age. Eventually he was transferred to the head office of the Railway Works in Vienna.

Weinberger and his partner, Karl Wittgenstein, acquired an inactive iron mine in Bohemia and made his fortune by reopening it and selling the slag which had been discarded on the property.

An illness prevented Weinberger from working full-time, so he occupied himself with his mineral collection, expanding it until it had become one of the finest in the Empire. He was an important member of the Wiener Mineralogischen Gesellschaft (Mineralogical Society of Vienna, today Mineralogical Society of Austria) and a prominent sponsor and patron of the Natural History Museum in Vienna.

In 1906 a new mineral species (a silicate intermediate in chemical composition between pyroxene and nepheline) from an iron meteorite was named weinbergerite in his honor; however, the description was not sufficiently complete to be considered valid. It has yet to be reported from a terrestrial occurrence.

Weinberger married Mathilde Neff (1839-1918), and together they had one son, Rudolf (1870-1950), who married Maria Vornle (1880-1964).

Rudolf Koechlin (1862-1939), who worked at the Natural History Museum in Vienna, helped Weinberger catalog his mineral collection, and most of Weinbeger's labels are in Koechlin's distinctive handwriting.

Weinberger died in Vienna, Austria on August 15, 1915. He is buried at the Zentralfriedhof ("Central Cemetery") in Vienna.

In 1925, ten years after Weinberger's death, the Viennese mineral dealer Julius Böhm (ca.1850?-1925) acquired Weinberger's mineral collection of 6,250 specimens, and divided it into portions which he sold off individually. The purported selling price was 100,000 old Austrian Schillings (equivalent to about 200,000 Euros today). Rather than prepare new labels (which would have been a massive job), Böhm stamped his own name in red ink over the original Weinberger labels. The greater part of the Weinberger collection may ultimately have found its way, directly or through other dealers, to Hans Karabacek. The Karabaceck collection was purchased in 1936 by the Harvard Mineralogical Museum.

Reference:
BURGHARDT, L. (1950): Von Agricola bis Van der Nüll. Österreichische Mineraliensammler vergangener Jahrhunderte. Ein mineralogisch-historischer Rückblick. - Mitteilungen der Österreichischen Mineralogischen Gesellschaft, 11, Jg. 1948-1949, 146-151.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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The Mineralogical Record - Johann Isidor Weinberger
The Mineralogical Record - Johann Isidor Weinberger A series of Weinberger labels, 43 x 58 mm each. Handwriting of Rudolf Koechlin (1862-1939).
The Mineralogical Record - Johann Isidor Weinberger 44 x 59 mm; handwriting of Rudolf Koechlin (1862-1939). Simone and Peter Huber collection.
The Mineralogical Record - Johann Isidor Weinberger 44 x 59 mm; Julius Bohm overstamp on Weinberger labels. Simone and Peter Huber collection.
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