Friedrich August von Alberti

Friedrich August von Alberti ( born September 4, 1795 in Stuttgart, † September 12, 1878 in Heilbronn ) was a German geologist. He gave the Triassic its name and became famous for over decades around the salt production in the Wurttemberg 19th century.


Alberti was the son of Württemberg officer Franz Karl Alberti, the teacher at the High School Charles was, and had been raised in 1807 by King Frederick in the hereditary nobility.

Friedrich Alberti went to the offices of his father in Stuttgart, Rottweil and Öhringen to school. Since 1809, he studied at the mountain cadet corps of the products resulting from the Karlsschule Stuttgart Military Institute. After the end of the training he received in 1815 his first job as a geologist in the royal Württemberg Saline in Sulz am Neckar, has been in the brine obtained from boreholes and to run dry salt. He created there a good reputation and in 1818 entrusted with the supervision of the construction of the new Saline Frederick Hall in Jagstfeld.

On October 23, 1821 Alberti married in neighboring Kochendorf his wife Julie, nee Baroness von Degen field, with whom he had eleven children ( three of whom died early ), including Otto von Alberti ( 1834-1904 ). From 1822 he sought on behalf of the Württemberg government in Schwenningen to rock salt and was eventually reported in July 1823 between find Durrheim and Schwenningen. Württemberg was here which is under Alberti's line Saline Wilhelm Hall (named after the then King William I of Württemberg ) build, the salt produced for Switzerland, whose sole supply of salt to Württemberg had been contractually secured. Other suggested by Alberti holes in Primtal in Rottweil clashed on September 14, 1824 at the former monastery Rottenmünster on rock salt. There, a more saline was built, which also bore the name of William Hall and headed Alberti was as well as the saline in Sulz. By elaborated by him Württemberg Siedesystem Alberti was later able to double the salt yield on boiling.

In 1826 he published his first scientific work, the mountains of the Kingdom of Württemberg in special reference to Halurgie in which he deals mainly with the mineralogy next to the Württemberg Saline beings. An entire chapter of the book dealt with the " clay, gypsum, and sandstone mountains of Heilbronn ", the designated Alberti as Keuper formation. As a result, Alberti made ​​in particular to the study of the Triassic formation deserving, he contribution to a monograph of the colorful sandstone, Muschelkalk and Keuper, and the connection of these structures also gave in 1834 in his work to a formation that name. His findings he owed to his intensive study of the landscape in the lowlands Württemberg Heilbronn, which is therefore considered a model landscape for the triad of earth scientists to this day. Specialist language names as Heilbronn formation or Löwenstein Formation are evidence for this.

In 1832 founded club exploring the antiquities in the region of Rottweil, later Archaeological Association to Rottweil, the first historical society Württemberg, Alberti was from the outset committee member. He led several excavations and wrote some annual reports of the association. 1836 Alberti was appointed Bergrat and undertook at the behest of Johann Christoph of Württemberg Finance Herdegen a great journey through almost all salt plants in Germany and the salt deposits of Upper Silesia, southern Poland, Galicia and in the Eastern Alps. More travel at the beginning of the 1840s in France and in the Central Alps served as preliminary studies for his 1852 published Halurgische geology.

After Switzerland had developed their own salt stock and the salt trade was there consequently declined, the Württemberg government felt compelled to shift the focus of the salt production in the country again from the top to the paragraph now more favorably located lower Neckar. The growing importance of Heilbronn as an industrial city located there was another reason for this.

Already since 1824 has been mined in the mine Wilhelmsglücksbrunn Hall in rock salt. Also Alberti was of the view that the salt mine over the salt flats of the future. An unsuccessful for several years Schachtbauversuch in Rottweil was discontinued in 1849. 1853, the government decided to allow to build a shaft for the Saline Frederick Hall. With the guidance of the construction Alberti was commissioned, who returned to Frederick Hall so after more than 30 years. On January 2, 1854 started with the shaft sinking. Unforeseen water leaks delayed the completion and drove the construction costs to nearly one million guilders high. On March 14, 1859 we finally met in 153 feet of water on a 15 meter thick rock salt layer, which could be mined and thus completed the previously operated brine extraction. The Salt Mine Frederick Hall was after the mine Wilhelmsglücksbrunn the second in Württemberg.

When the royal family of Württemberg Alberti enjoyed great confidence; for 1856, a two-week stay of the then eight- year-old Prince William is busy in the house Alberti in Frederick Hall. The extensive collections of fossils that had applied Alberti his life, bought in 1862 the Württemberg State for the Royal Cabinet of Natural Curiosities (now National Museum of Natural History ).

1864 appeared Alberti's last great work, overview of the Triassic with regard to their occurrence in the Alps. He could in new geological insights into the sequence of layers in the region of Heilbronn use, which had been obtained from 1859 to 1862 during the construction of 891 meter long tunnel the Heilbronn- Crailsheim railway line between Heilbronn and vineyard. For the first time he tried to compare the Württemberg Triassic strata with similar rock sequences in the Alps.

By 1870, Alberti launched yet Saline and mine Frederick Hall and the Saline Clemens Hall in neighboring Offenau and then entered, at the age of 75 years, retired. Until his death in September 1878 he lived eight years retired in Heilbronn. His wife, who died in April 1873, he survived for five years. As of 1881, three years after Alberti's death, was drilled on the model of Alberti's life's work in Heilbronn to salt. 1883, founded the salt Heilbronn AG, today's West German salt Werke AG. 1885 was begun to reduce in the Heilbronn Salt Mines.

Alberti was in his profession as an energetic, hardworking and eager to justice. He was as described by contemporaries a good speaker who likes entertained companies with many anecdotes. As a family man he had to his wife and his children always an intimate relationship.


Alberti was varied during his lifetime recognized and awarded the royal Württemberg Gold Medal for Science and Art, the Knight's Cross of the Order of the Württemberg Crown (1838 ) and the Commander's Cross of the Order of Frederick. In 1863 he was appointed the honorary Doctor of Science at the founding of the Faculty of Science, University of Tübingen. In at least nine learned societies he was a member or honorary member, including the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, to which he was elected Corresponding Member in 1854.

In addition to many fossils also two strata of the Triassic were named after Alberti; an international, English-speaking geological journal called in his honor Albertiana. In Rottweil and Heilbronn each a street bearing his name, and also the bath Opened in 1996, Friedrich Haller school bears his name by Friedrich von Alberti High School.

Since 1998, two named after Alberti science prizes also will be awarded: one is endowed with 10,000 euros Friedrich von Alberti Award of Hohenlohe shell works for outstanding achievements in the field of paleontology Alberti Foundation, on the other, Friedrich von Alberti - medal of the Association of Heilbronner minerals and fossils friends for services to the regional geology of the Heilbronn area.


  • The mountains of the Kingdom of Wurtemberg, in special reference to Halurgie: With Notes and Attachments by Prof. G. Schübler in Tübingen / by Friedrich von Alberti, saltworks administrator of William Hall. With 5 geognostical cards. Stuttgart and Tübingen, Cotta in the JG bookstore in 1826.
  • Contribution to a monograph of the colorful sandstone, Muschelkalk and Keuper, and the connection of these structures to a formation. With 2 Tafb. lith. Stuttgart and Tübingen, 1834. Graphic Repro reprint of Stuttgart, Cotta, 1834 / Friedrich von Alberti Foundation Hohenlohe shell works. With a preface by the editor and a biographical essay by Wolfgang Hansch. Gold Schneck -Verlag Weidert, wine city in 1998, ISBN 3-00-003351-3