The Mineralogical Record
The Mineralogical Record - Join us on Facebook!  The Mineralogical Record - Sign up for our newsletter

Friedrich  Hessenberg

Friedrich Hessenberg was born on June 1, 1810 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He became a prominent jeweler, silversmith and engraver by profession, but he also had a strong interest in physics and chemistry. He fitted out for himself a small analytical laboratory, and attended lectures on those subjects at the Franfurt Physical Society. In his 30s he eveloped an interest in mineralogy, and became a self-taught mineralogist, crystallographer and an enthusiastic mineral collector. His labels often contained precise crystallographic notations, detailed descrptions and individual crystal drawings. Hessenberg was also famous for his crystal models made of wood and plaster. His first published work in crystallography (on the morphology of calomel) appeared in 1854, and in the following years he published notes dealing with the crystal morphology of over 50 other species, as determined using the reflecting goniometer.

In 1863 Adolph Kenngott named a new mineral species hessenbergite in Hessenberg's honor, but it was poorly described as a silicate of undetermined composition, occurring with eisenrosen; it was eventually discredited as being bertrandite. Hessenberg was elected a member of the Bavarian Academy of Science, and was awarded an honorary Doctor's degree from the University of Berlin in 1867. He was also acknowledged by James D. Dana in the fifth edition (1868) of his System of Mineralogy.

Hessenberg died in Frankfurt on July 8, 1874; his collection of 1,920 carefully labeled specimens was bequeathed to his friend Karl von Fritsch (1838-1906) and became part of the collection of the Martin Luther University in Halle. In 1878 J.R. McD Irdy published a book entitled On the Crystallography of Calcite; Founded Partly on an Unfinished Work by Friedrich Hessenberg.

GÖTTER, H.-D. (2000) Personal communication. Arbeitskreis Historische Mineralogie (AHM).
HOPPE, G. (2000) Friedrich Hessenberg (1810-1874)—Juwelier, Mineralogr und Mineraliensammler. Der Aufschluss, 51, 259-263.
RATH, G.vom (1874) Dr. Friedrich Hessenberg. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Palaeontologie, 817-853.
To contribute more information please E-mail us at:

[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at]
Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of labels found: 5 | Labels being viewed: 1 to 5

The Mineralogical Record - Friedrich  Hessenberg
The Mineralogical Record - Friedrich  Hessenberg
The Mineralogical Record - Friedrich  Hessenberg
The Mineralogical Record - Friedrich  Hessenberg
The Mineralogical Record - Friedrich  Hessenberg Three of Hessenberg's hand-made plaster crystal models, based on his own goniometric measurements.
Contents copyright © 2019 The Mineralogical Record, Inc. All rights reserved.  
Graphic design of this website by Wendell E. Wilson. Website programming by