plural -s
: a mineral PbWO4 consisting of lead tungstate occurring in yellow monoclinic crystals (hardness 2.5)

Word History


borrowed from German Raspit, from Charles Rasp †1907 German-born Australian prospector + -it -ite entry 1

Note: Name introduced into scientific literature by the Austrian mineralogist Carl Hlawatsch (1870-1947) in "Ueber den Stolzit und ein neues Mineral »Raspit« von Brokenhill," Annalen des K.K. Naturhistorischen Hofmuseums, 12. Band (1897), pp. 33-41. According to Hlawatsch, the name Raspit was first suggested by Heinrich Foullon von Norbeeck (1850-96), a geologist who procured a specimen for the Vienna Natural History Museum from the Broken Hill mine in New South Wales during an expedition to Australia and Oceania. Charles Rasp was born in Saxony in 1847 as Hieronymus Salvator Lopes von Pereira, the son of a Portuguese immigrant of aristocratic origins. An officer in the army of Saxony during the Franco-Prussian War, Pereira—filled with repugnance for the conflict and suffering from a lung ailment—deserted during the siege of Paris and traveled to Australia, assuming a new identity. In September, 1883, Rasp/Pereira staked a claim to what became the Broken Hill mine and was one of the seven founders of the Broken Hill Mining Company. Rasp's long-hidden background was largely uncovered by the research of Maja Sainisch-Plimer in the 1980's and '90's (see her book Without Bismarck No Broken Hill: the Birth of the B.H.P. Company Limited and the Silver City Broken Hill, Kensington Gardens, South Australia, 2008).

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Cite this Entry

“Raspite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raspite. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

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