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Felix Cornu

Felix Cornu was born in Prague on December 26, 1882, the son of a farmer from French Switzerland, who became a professor of Romance Languages and taught at the University of Graz. His mother came from the urban culture of the Sudetenland in old Austria. Felix grew up in Leitmeritz (Litomericích) in northern Moravia, and during his time in High School he developed an intense interest in mineralogy. As a student at the University of Vienna (1902-1906) he surpassed many of his profesors in the sight-identification of mineral specimens, and worked as a demonstrator under Prof. F. Becke.

In 1907 Cornu was appointed assistant in mineralogy in the Royal Mining School at Leoben in Styria, Austria. His work concerned primarily the minerals from the Bohemian Mountains, from the island of Elba, from the Faeroe Islands, and also from the Alps. It seemed as if he was destined for a prominent scientific career. Unfortunately, however, his rather weak constitution combined with a compulsive dedication to work (he published 85 notes and papers between 1903 and 1909), night and day, brought on a nervous breakdown from which he never fully recovered. Felix Cornu died by his own hand the night of September 23, 1909 in Leoben, at the young age of 26.

Two proposed new mineral species were name cornuite in his honor, in 1917 and 1925, but both were subsequently discredited.

SPENCER, L.J. (1910) Obituaries. Felix Cornu. Mineralogical Magazine, 15 (72), 444.
ASCHER, E. Von (1957) Erinnerungen an Felix Cornu. Der Karinthin, Folge 34/35, 208-211.
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.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
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The Mineralogical Record - Felix Cornu
The Mineralogical Record - Felix Cornu
The Mineralogical Record - Felix Cornu 50 mm; Felix Cornu's book stamp (courtesy of Peter Huber)
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