Friedrich Anton von Heynitz (1725–1802)

Friedrich Anton von Heynitz was acknowledged in his lifetime as the greatest expert in Germany on mining, metallurgy, salt workings and the mining of coins. He was the uncle of Count Wilhelm Friedrich von Reden (1752-1815).

Heynitz was born at Meissen in Saxony and studied in that state at Dresden and Freiberg. From 1747 he worked for the mines administration in Brunswick which managed metalliferous mines in the Harz Mountains. In 1764 he returned to Saxony as General Commission of the Mining Industry, and the following year he was one of the founders of the Bergakademie (Mining Academy) at Freiberg. In 1776 he made an extensive tour of England, visiting Bristol, Bath, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Chester.

He moved to Prussia in 1777 and became concerned with industrial developments in Upper Silesia, then part of Prussia. He was responsible for installing a Watt steam engine to pump water from the silver mines at Tarnoskie Gory.

From 1786 he was Curator of the Berlin Academy of Arts, provided it with a new constitution in 1790, and was concerned to develop the teaching of science, technology and industrial development at the institution as well as the arts.