Friedrich Mohs

1773 (Gernrode, Germany) – 1839 (Agordo, Italy)

The table of hardness for minerals that Mohs devised is still used. Werner taught him at the mining academy in Frieberg; Whewell, an important figure in modern crystallography, visited him. Mohs’ interest in physical (rather than chemical) attributes of minerals ran against current trends, but in fact very usefully complements chemical analysis in its practical directness.