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Otto Fitz
(1930-2012)

Otto Fitz was born in Vienna, Austria, on January 27, 1930, the son of Theresia and Johann Fitz, an electrician for the public transport services of the city of Vienna. After finishing high school he studied at the Montanuniversität Leoben (University of Mining, Metallurgy and Materials Science in Leoben, Styria, Austria) and graduated in 1953 with a degree in mining engineering. Later he worked for the Böhler Steel Company and was engaged in the sale of mining equipment.

While still in school he was encouraged to collect minerals by his natural history teacher, and his earliest labels are dated 1944, when he was 14 years old. Because of his profession he often had to travel to various mining areas in Europe, and so it was natural that he would collect primarily minerals from Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, East Germany and the former Yugoslavia. He kept his labels in a box and put a small (reduced size) copy of each label with its specimen. Another hobby was sailing in his boat on Lake Neusiedl in Burgenland.

Dipl.-Ing. Otto Fitz was a kind and helpful man, who remained in contact with many collector friends at home and abroad. He spoke several languages and had a wide range of cultural interests and researches, especially regarding the history of mining and mineral collecting in Austria. He restored the old school collection in Vienna's Schotten Monastery and worked with the collection of Archduke Rudolf at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Vienna. As a result of his research he published Eine Sammlung erzählt -- "A Collection Tells," subtitled "The contents and history of the mineral and rock collection at the Department of engineering geology of the Institute of soil research and engineering geology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Vienna," in 1993. This very helpful book shows many specimen labels and gives much biographical data on early collectors and mineral dealers.

Otto Fitz was married to Imke Scheltema de Heere, and together they had two children. The family lived in Vienna. After his death on December 12, 2012 the collection was sold.

References:
FITZ, O. (1993) Eine Sammlung erzählt / Beitrag zu Inhalt und Geschichte der Mineralien- und Gesteinssammlung an der Abteilung Baugeologie des Institutes für Bodenforschung und Baugeologie, Universität für Bodenkultur Wien. Mitteilungen des Institutes für Bodenforschung und Baugeologie, Abteilung Baugeologie, Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Sonderheft 1, 80 p.
HUBER, P., and HUBER, S. (2015) Personal communication.
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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 - Otto Fitz Otto Fitz in 1998
The Mineralogical Record - Otto Fitz 45 x 77 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Otto Fitz 45 x 77 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Otto Fitz 45 x 77 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Otto Fitz 45 x 77
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