Felix Ratte

From Ballarat and District Industrial Heritage Project
Jump to: navigation, search



Auguste Felix [Felix] Ratte was assistant in Mineralogy at the Australian Museum from 1881 to 1891. [1]

Auguste Felix Ratte was appointed lecturer in Geology at the Ballarat School of Mines and took up his three month position on 15 August 1881. The primary reason for his employment was the illness of Joseph Flude. On 19 July 1881 the following letter was written by Mr Barnard of the Ballarat School of Mines:

Dear Professor - Mr Flude who as been out Lecturer in Chemistry, Metallurgy and Botany, and doing our assays, etc., is I am sorry to sat so very ill that it is feared he cannot continue with us. We are therefore on the look out for some gentleman who can take his place temporarily (3 or 6 months, at all events). If we could get a first class man who would devote his whole time to us we should have to pay a good stipend and I thick that is what the Council would prefer doing. Meantime we want someone and it occurs to me that there is a gentleman now at Sydney who might suit - Mr Ratte (P.O. Sydney) is the author of a small pamphlet on the Rocks and Minerals of New Caledonia. Would you kindly invite him to call upon you and ascertain if he could manage to lecture in Chemistry and Metallurgy, if not in Botany also. I believe Mr Ratte is very anxious to get some thing to do and might therefore by willing to take a temporary appointment.

I wish write to Mr Ratte to wait upon you but it may be that he will not by this means know what is wanted and can be reached better by advertisement. If you agree in this please let me know cost so that I may refund the same.

Your commendatory note acknowledging receipt of report for 1881 is very gratifying.

Believe me faithfully Yours


To Professor Liversidge F.G.S. Sydney On 19 October 1881 the Ballarat School of Mines Council determined that the title "Professor" be given to Mr Ratte and Ferdinand Krause.

On the same day a letter was forwarded to Felix Ratte as follows:

19 July 1881

Dear Sir, I am in receipt of your lengthy but acceptable letter of the 21st ultimo per which as also for the pamphlets re Minereralogy New Caledonia pray accept my thanks.

If it had been any my power to have offer you any appointment I would at once have written to you. I write now simply to let you know we are on the look out for a gentleman who will for a few (3 or 6 months) at least consider the duties of Lecturer in Chemistry and Metallurgy if not Botany and can perform analyses. Professor Livesidge has been asked to help us in this, so perhaps you will take a run up to the University at Sydney and make inquiry.

Faithfully yours

[undecipherable] F. Ratte Esqre

PO Sydney, NSW

Felix Ratte died in 1890.[2]


'Mines and Minerals front page', University of Ballarat Historical Collection (Cat. No. 185 )

S. Herbert Cox and Felix Ratte wrote the book Mines and Minerals: A guide for the Australian Miner. It was published in 1885 by John Woods & Co., Sydney. Felix Ratte gave a copy of this book to Professor Ferdinand Krause of the Ballarat School of Mines, and inscribed on it 'Prof. Krause from F. Ratte'. It is now how in the University of Ballarat Historical Collection.

See also


After Ratte's departure from the Ballarat School of Mines a letter of appreciation was sent to him.

November 1881"

Mr A.F. Ratte

Ingenieur des Arts et Manufacture

"Officier d'Academie, etc

Dear Sir, I have much pleasure in conveying to you the thanks of this school for your services as Lecturer on Chemistry, Metallurgy and Botany and Superintendent of laboratories during the three months interim engagement wherein you have acquitted yourself to the satisfaction of the Council.

Whilst expressing regret that The School is not in a position to secure your further services permit me in taking leave of you to wish you heartily all success in your future career."

I am, Dear Sir, faithfully yours

"James Oddie, Vice-President


  1. http://australianmuseum.net.au/Uploads/Journals/17769/88_complete.pdf
  2. ww.episodes.co.in/contents/2012/march/p44-56.pdf

Further Reading

External links

Book by Felix Ratte - http://victoriancollections.net.au/items/4f72b2a297f83e03086049bd


--C.K.Gervasoni 12:17, 25 September 2012 (EST)

Personal tools