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Biographical entry Menge, Johann (1788 - 1852)

24 January 1788
Steinau, Hesse, Germany
Forest Creek, Victoria, Australia
Mineralogist and Geologist


Johann Menge was engaged by the South Australian Company as a mine and quarry agent in 1836-1838 and spent some years after that making frequent excursions to study soils and minerals in the region. He was eccentric and once refused an invitation to organise a mining company with British capital, because he was too busy planning a Chinese missionary college.



1805 - 1816
Career position - Technical Assistant and later Business Associate, Leon Hard Collector and Salesperson of Geological Specimens
1816 - 1830
Career position - Geological Travel, Religious Publisher, Lubeck, Germany
1830 - 1836
Career position - Writer and Editor of a Chinese Dictionary, England
1830 - 1836
Career position - Language Teacher, England
1830 - 1836
Career position - Translator, British and Foreign Bible Society, England
1836 - 1838
Career position - Mine and Quarry Agent, South Australian Company, Australia
Career event - Published Mineral Kingdom of South Australia

Published resources


  • Cawthorne, W. A., Menge the Mineralogist (Adelaide: 1859). Details

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Abbe, D. Van, 'A German Eccentric in South Australia, 1836-1852', Historical Studies, 39 (November) (1962). Details
  • Annells, Mal, 'Johann Menge, Mineralogist', Mineralogical News, Journal of the Mineralogical Society of South Australia, 4 (1984), 128-132. Details
  • Corbett, David W.P., 'Johannes Menge (1788-1852) - South Australia's First Geologist', Newsletter (Earth Sciences History Group), 7 (June) (1986), 3-4. Details


McCarthy, G.J.