S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Bordeaux, Mr Albert Francois Joseph (geology)

Born: 8 May 1865, Thonon-les-Bains, Haute Savoie, France.
Died: 26 December 1937, Thonon-les-Bains, Haute Savoie, France.

Albert Bordeaux, son of Lucien Michel Bordeaux and his wife Marie J.F. Frechet, was a French mining engineer. In 1895 he married Augusta Perrier de la Bathie, with whom he had four sons and two daughters.

Bordeaux visited southern Africa in the late eighteen-nineties to study especially its gold mines. Landing in Beira he travelled through the regions then known as Manicaland, Matabeleland and Mashonaland, visited the Zimbabwe ruins and the gold mines of the Transvaal, and went on to the diamond mines at Kimberley. He stayed nearly three years and produced several publications, all in French. The first was a study of the goldfields of Lydenburg, De Kaap and present day Zimbabwe, published in 1897 both as a long paper in the Annales des mines (Paris) and as a monograph. (A summary was published in the Transactions of the Geological Society of South Africa, 1898, Vol. 10, pp. 472-474). This was followed by a paper on the Murchison Range and its goldfields in the Annales des Mines in 1898. During the same year two books by him were published in Paris. One of them, Les mines de l'Afrique du Sud: Transvaal, Rhodesia, etc,... dealt with the geology and mining practices of Zimbabwe, Transvaal, and the Kimberley area. The other, Rhodésie et Transvaal: impressions de voyage, described his travels. His final publication relating to South Africa was a paper on the mining practices at Kimberley in the Revue Universelle des Mines, also in 1898. He was a member of the Geological Society of South Africa for a brief period around 1899.

After his stay in southern Africa Bordeaux travelled to various parts of the world and published a number of books and monographs on his findings. He undertook a voyage to Siberia and California in 1899-1902 and another to Siberia in 1902-1903, accounts of which appeared in 1903 and 1904. He also published on the gold mines of California (1901), a voyage in Guyana (1906), the silver mines of Mexico (1910), the gold mines of Madagascar (also 1910), the history of the physical, chemical and geological sciences during the nineteenth century (1920), the geology and mines of Savoie (1925), and the metallurgy of gold and silver (1926).

List of sources:

Geneanet, http://gw.geneanet.org/wailly?lang=en&p=albert francois joseph&n=bordeaux

Geological Society of South Africa. Transactions, 1899, Vol. 4, list of members.

Hall, A.L. Bibliography of South African geology to the end of 1920. Pretoria: Geological Survey, Memoir No. 18, 1922.

Mendelssohn, S. South African bibliography. London, 1910.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Compiled by: C. Plug