Karl Auer von Welsbach (1858 – 1929)

Carl Auer von Welsbach, also known as Carl Auer, was a distinguished industrial chemist. He was born in Vienna where he father was director of the imperial printing office, and, after military service studied at the University of Vienna from 1878. In 1880 he went to Heidelberg where he was a student of Robert Bunsen (1811-89), and was granted his doctorate in 1882. He returned to Vienna where he worked largely on rare earth elements and succeeded in developing several new products for mass markets. He patented a gas mantle in 1885, introduced electric light bulbs with metal filaments in 1902, and invented the flint cigarette lighter in 1903. Later in life he turned to theoretical chemistry. He was honoured on the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2008 by the appearance of his image on the Austrian 25 Euro note.