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

Franz von  Hauer

Franz von Hauer was born on January 30, 1822, the son of Therese von Dürfeld and Joseph von Hauer (1778-1863), Geheimrat ("Privy Councillor") and Vice-President of the Imperial General Court Chamber. He studied from 1839 to 1843 at the Mining Academy in Schemnitz, then (at the initiative of Wilhelm Haidinger) gave his first paleontological lectures at the Montanist Museum (a precursor of the Geological Survey Institute of Austria) in Vienna in 1844. One of his students was Eduard Suess. In 1845 he founded the "Friends of Science," which met weekly under Haidinger's guidance. By 1846 Hauer had been made Haidinger's assistant at the Montanist Museum. The Imperial Academy of Sciences was established in 1847, and Hauer was one of the first "corresponding" members, becoming a full member in 1860.

In 1849 Hauer was appointed "First Geologist" of the newly established Geological Imperial Institute (today the Austrian Geological Survey) and was given the civilian rank of Imperial Bergrath. The only volume of his "Contributions to the Palaeontography of Austria" appeared in 1858. Hauer followed Haidinger in 1867 as director of the Geological Imperial Institute in Vienna, a post he held until 1885. Under his leadership important geological maps of Austria-Hungary were produced. From 1874 to 1885 he was also an honorary professor of geology at the University of Agricultural Sciences.

In 1885, Hauer succeeded Ferdinand Hochstetter as director of the Imperial Court Museum of Natural History, which he ran until 1896 (the new museum building was opened in 1889 at the Ringstrasse). He founded in 1886 the Annalen des kaiserlich-königlich naturhistorischen Hofmuseums ("Annals of Imperial-Royal Court Museum of Natural History").

Franz von Hauer died on March 20, 1899, in Vienna. His grave is located in Vienna's Central Cemetery.

Hauer was a co-founder of scientific geology in Austria, and is regarded as the true guiding spirit of the "Vienna School" of paleontology. He received numerous honors, including an Honoray PhD from the University of Vienna in 1865. That same year he was elected a Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and a Corresponding Member of the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, becoming a full Member of the latter in 1883. In 1880 he was elected a Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. In 1882 he was awarded the Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society of London. And beginning in 1892 he was also a Member of the Herrenhaus ("House of Lords"). A square near the Geological Survey in Vienna was named Franz-Hauer-Platz.

The mineral hauerite (MnS2) was named in honor of Franz von Hauer and his father Joseph von Hauer jointly. Hauer's name is also found in the paleozoological taxonomy, including the names of various ammonites.

There is an extensive literature by and about Hauer. Among the most famous of his more than 450 works include are A Geology of Transylvania (1863, co-authored with Guido Stache), an important work on the geology of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1875; 2nd edition, 1878), and various works on mines (especially the iron and gold mines) of the Empire.

TIETZE, E. (1900) Franz v. Hauer. Sein Lebensgang und seine wissenschaftliche Thätigkeit. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der österreichischen Geologie. Jahrbuch der K.K. geologischen Reichsanstalt, 49, 679-827.
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: 3 | Labels being viewed: 1 to 3

The Mineralogical Record - Franz von  Hauer Franz von Hauer (1859)
The Mineralogical Record - Franz von  Hauer Franz von Hauer (ca.1890)
The Mineralogical Record - Franz von  Hauer Labels from the Imperial Geological Institute (later the Austrian Geological Survey) in Hauer's handwriting. 80 x 83 mm (except the bottom one, which is 38 x 83 mm). Simone & Peter Huber collection.
Contents copyright © 2019 The Mineralogical Record, Inc. All rights reserved.  
Graphic design of this website by Wendell E. Wilson. Website programming by