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The role of Theodor Gerdorf, Friedrich Krantz and Émile Deyrolle in the collections of

mining, metallurgy, mineralogy and paleontology from the Institute of Engineering of Porto
(ISEP), Portugal

P. Costa1,2, H.I. Chaminé1,3 & P.M. Callapez4

Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto| ISEP, Politécnico do Porto, Portugal
Museu do ISEP (
Museu de Mineralogia e Geologia, Dep. de Engenharia Geotécnica| ISEP; Centro GeoBioTec|UA (
Museu Mineralógico e Geológico, Univ. Coimbra| FCTUC; Centro Geofìsica| UC (

After a period of political turbulence that marked the first half of the nineteenth-century in
Portugal, began in 1851 a new stage of constitutional monarchy. With the first government of
Regeneration was created a new ministry for infrastructural and industrial development, the so-
called Ministério das Obras Públicas Comércio e Indústria, under leadership of António Maria
de Fontes Pereira de Melo (1819 -1887). The purposes of this effort were a reduction of the
socio-economic delay of Portugal when compared with other West European countries, by
modernizing the administration to achieve long-term economic and social development. That
resulted in a significant increase of railways and roads, together with the construction of the first
telegraph lines, and the establishment of an industrial education system in 1852. Industrial
education had a strong practical emphasis in its curriculum courses highlighted by numerous
cabinets and laboratories, at the time known as auxiliary offices of education. During several
years were purchased scientific instruments to supply these cabinets and experimental
laboratories. The equipments exhibited in the Museum of ISEP belonged to the ancient Cabinet
of Mineralogy and Cabinet of Art Mines and Metallurgy, and had been made by the European
manufacturers Friedrich Krantz, Theodor Gerdorf, and Émile Deyrolle. Currently, they still are
the House Krantz, probably one of the older and larger rock, mineral and fossil traders, and the
House Émile Deyrolle, related specially to paleontology. At that time these were considered the
benchmarks with regard to the educational material, available on almost prestigious scientific
institutions in Europe. The international and universal exhibitions were also an excellent way of
spreading of the scientific and technological advances. In short, the acquisition of this type of
collection indicates the scientific knowledge at the time, which allowed a country like Portugal to
develop the industrial education and experimental training for graduates.