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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cancrin, Franz Ludwig von

CANCRIN, FRANZ LUDWIG VON (1738–1812), German mineralogist and metallurgist, was born on the 21st of February 1738, at Breitenbach, Hesse-Darmstadt. In 1764 he entered the service of the landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt at Hanau, becoming professor of mathematics at the military academy, head of the civil engineering department of the state, director of the theatre and (1774) of the mint. A work on the copper mines of Hesse (1767) earned him a European reputation, and in 1783 he accepted from Catherine II. of Russia the directorship of the famous Staraya salt-works, living thenceforth in Russia. In 1798 he became a councillor of state at St Petersburg. He published many works on mineralogy and metallurgy, of which the most important, the Grundzüge der Berg- und Salzwerkskunde (13 vols., Frankfort, 1773–1791), has been translated into several languages. His son, Count Georg von Cancrin, or Kankrin (1774–1845), was the eminent Russian minister of finance.