Karl Kontrus was born on January 15, 1899 in Wörgl (Tyrol), Austria, and attended Villach High School in Carinthia. In 1925 he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the Technical University in Vienna and began his career in the research and development department of a Viennese radio factory, eventually being promoted to a managerial position there. Some pioneering discoveries in the field of radio technology can be traced back to him. Kontrus was married and had four children (two daughters and two sons); the family lived at Eroicagasse 18 in Vienna.
From his youth he was interested in minerals, and collected mainly specimens from the Hohe Tauern. His favorite collecting localities were in Carinthia (Ankogel, Auernig) and Salzburg (Pinzgau). Kontrus published several scientific papers in Der Aufschluss and Carinthia. He was especially interested in rare alpine minerals, and made a series of discoveries in the eastern Alps – minerals such as phenakite, milarite, gadolinite, bertrandite and synchysite. He was made an honorary member of the Austrian Mineralogical Society in January 1971, in recognition of his contribution to the development of knowledge of the mineralogy in the Eastern Alps. He was also a member of other relevant associations.
Kontrus's extensive collection included excellent Austrian minerals, especially Alpine finds (for example, he built a special Ankogel sub-collection), minerals from Bleiberg, Oberdorf an der Laming etc., as well as specimens from localities in other countries, for example, from Trepča. Karl Kontrus was also an excellent mineral photographer.
He died on September 30, 1975. His collection was bequeathed in equal shares to his children, however, today the majority of the collection is held by his oldest daughter.
FITZ, O. (1977): Karl Kontrus 15.1.1899-30.9.1975 / In Erinnerung an einen vorbildlichen Sammler. Der Aufschluss, 28 (4), 161-163.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2018)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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acquired ("erworben") in 1954
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acquired ("erworben") in 1959 from the Karabacek collection for 1800 Austrian Schillings