Fraunhofer, Joseph von

PHYSICIST, LENS MAKER (GERMANY)
BORN 6 Mar 1787, Straubing, Bayern - DIED 7 Jun 1826, München, Bayern
GRAVE LOCATION München, Bayern: Alte Südfriedhof, Thalkirchnerstrasse 17 (Alte Arkade 12)

Joseph von Fraunhofer was orphanized when he was eleven years old. He worked as an apprentice for the glassmaker P.A. Weichelsberger when the workshop collapsed in 1801 and he was severaly wounded.

He was rescued by the future king Maximilian I Joseph who provided him with books and some money and forced his employer to provide him with time to study. After eight months of study he joined the Optical Insitute at Benediktbeuern. There he discovered a way of making very fine optical glass and developed a very precise method for measuring dispersion.

In 1817 he was elected into the Academy of Science and in 1818 he became the director of his Institute. He developed several instruments and constructed the refractor of the observatory in Dorpat. He received several awards and became a honorary citizen of Munich. He died young, possibly because he was poisoned by the materials he worked with. In 1949 a scientific institute was named after him.

Related persons
• was sculpted by Halbig, Johann von

Sources
Joseph von Fraunhofer - Wikipedia

Images

Josef Fraunhofer's grave at the Alte Südfriedhof, Munich.
Picture by Androom (21 Mar 2002)

 


Frederick, Lynne

Published: 13 Dec 2009
Last update: 17 Jan 2016