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Otto Nowotny:

Carl Caesar von Leonhard's 'Taschenbuch für die gesammte Mineralogie', 1807 to 1826

Cartographica Helvetica 9 (1994) 32–38


Although geological studies and discoveries had already been made in antique times as well as the Middle Ages, geology was not acknowledged as an individual branch of science until the 19th century. Using the same methods applied by natural science in the Age of Enlightenment, scientists from England, France and Germany were the first to analyse the origin of the earth's crust, the material it was made of and the subsequent stratification.

The idea of publishing the results cartographically in maps and profiles and to print them in books and periodicals arose quickly. One of these periodicals was the Taschenbuch für die gesammte Mineralogie mit Hinsicht auf die neuesten Entdeckungen ('pocket-book of the complete mineralogy including the latest discoveries'), published from 1807 to 1826 by Carl Caesar von Leonhard (1779–1862).

Such periodicals, almanacs and textbooks contain important background information for analysing the development of geological maps and profiles in connection with the existing theories of mountains and stratifications of that time. A slow dissociation from the pure interest in mining to an increased interest in the more scientific questions of geology can be detected.

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