German miner and metalworker from Freiberg, c 1851.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Freiberg was founded in the 12th century when rich silver deposits were discovered locally. The town became wealthy during the Middle Ages, and the Freiberg Academy, the world's oldest mining school, was established in 1765. The Freiberg University of Mining and Technology is still an important study centre. Although the region's principle ore is silver, there are also polymetallic and hydrothermal ores of multiple metals. Illustration from 'Album fUr Freunde des Bergbaus: vierzehn Bilder aus dem Leben des Freiberger Berg-und HUttenmannes' by Eduard Heuchler (1801-1879), posibly published in 1851-1852, in Freiberg. The lithographs in this book provide an insight into the lives of German miners and metalworkers in the 19th century.