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MRAK, Jožef (MRAKH, Joseph)

* 25. 2. 1709, Idrija, Slovenia
† 14. 8. 1786, Idrija, Slovenia

mining scientist, constructor

Only little is known of his childhood. In 1736, he received employment as an apprentice in the mercury mine in Idrija. Already the following year, he became a technical drawer, land surveyor, and assistant. The talented M. was given special support from the director of the mine at that time, Franz Anton von →Steinberg, who entrusted him with mapping the entire mine.
In 1744, M. elaborated a relief map of Idrija with all its mines, in 1745 plans for the ore incineration plant, and in 1750 plans for a blast furnace in Eisenerz, Austria. He made maps of the surroundings of Idrija, of ore deposits in Carniola, Carinthia, and Moravia; mapped out the first transport connection of Idrija to the national crossroads and the Eisenerz - Trofaiach road over Präbichl, and elaborated plans for mining devices.
From 1763 to 1769, M. taught at the School of Metallurgy and Chemistry, managed by Doctor and Natural Scientist Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, and which also had the mine's doctor, Balthasar Hacquet de la Motte, among its students.
From 1744 onwards, M. also headed the building of klavže (barrages) for wood transportation in Idrija. He provided a foundation for planning stone klavže (dams with barriers for the quick release of water, which served to accumulate water from brooks, and when released, floated timber to the mine) on the Belca River, and some on the Idrijca River (1772), which belong to the largest preserved klavže in Europe.

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