Augustin Jindřich Beer (1815-1879)

Augustin Jindřich Beer was born on 15 July 1815 in Příbram.

C. k. mining councillor, specialist in geology, mining surveying and preparation, representative of the Mining Academy in Příbram, in 1875 - 1878 its director. He was a native of Příbram, who came from a local bourgeois family; son of Václav and Josefa Beer who lived in a house on the south side of the main square.

He received his primary education in Příbram at the main school, then graduated from the higher three-year grammar school in Prague (one of his teachers was the famous national awakener Josef Jungmann) and in 1836 - 1839 from the Banská Štiavnica Academy. Immediately after his studies, he had the opportunity to get acquainted with the nature of deposits, the way of their extraction and mining and metallurgical techniques, as well as new methods of opening these deposits during several foreign stays in Europe. After returning from his study trips, he was assigned by decree of the court chamber in 1841 first as a mining trainee to the Chief Mining Office in Příbram. Over time, he worked his way up to the ranks of recognised specialists in this country and abroad.

In his time he was one of the leading European experts in the field of underground drilling, to which he devoted, among other things, a comprehensive publication of international importance entitled Erdbohrkunde from 1858. This book represented the first comprehensive treatment of the new discipline of prospecting techniques and therefore became a textbook in many European mining academies and mining schools for many years. He put into it the knowledge he had acquired as head of the state cutting works in Kladno from 1842 to 1849. His 1856 textbook on mining surveying was of similar importance.

Between 1853 and 1863, this outstanding Montanist was the head of the Emperor Franz Joseph I mine in Příbram at Březové Hory (today the Ševčinský mine - Mining Museum Příbram). Before that, he had lectured at the Montánní apprenticeship in Příbram, where he joined the Ministry of Agriculture and Mining in 1849 soon after the establishment of the school, initially as the first assistant for the field of mining. In 1851, there was a further change in his occupation. By decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Mining, he was appointed temporary mining adjunct and at the same time was assigned a position at the newly established Mining School in Příbram for the training of mining supervisors. He was thus transferred from the post of university assistant to a teaching position at this institute, which was, however, considered to be of particular importance in the system of mining education at that time. He worked at the Upper School in Příbram until 1863, when he was dismissed by the Ministry of Finance as the first teacher of the Upper School in Příbram and called back to the Montán School to teach mining and dressing; two years later he was already a full professor.

In 1865, at the same time, the school was promoted to the Mining Academy in Příbram. From 1875 to 1878 Jindřich Augustin Beer was its director. Augustin Jindřich Beer had an extensive private library with specialist literature and subscribed to a number of journals (e.g. the Journal of the Czech Museum, the Journal of Archaeological Monuments, Průmyslník and others). He was involved in the preparation of the Czech-German and German-Czech dictionary in the section devoted to mining terminology (author Josef Šumavský). In Příbram, from the very beginning in 1861, he was also involved in the work of the Municipal Savings Bank Committee. He died in 1879 and is buried in the Příbram cemetery.

He was an internationally renowned scientist in the field of underground drilling and mine surveying, whose work represented the first comprehensive treatment of these disciplines. He gained a lot of experience and knowledge and subsequently applied it in practice during his stay in Central Bohemia - in Kladno and Příbram. He was the highest representative of the Mining Academy in Příbram in the second half of the 1870s.

He died on 8 April 1879 in Příbram.

Text: PaedDr. Josef Velfl, Director of the Mining Museum Příbram