... 1858, Amélie Zurcher (right) was born in Bollwiller, a village in Alsace. At first she attended school in the village, but when Alsace came under German control, she earned her baccalaureat at a convent in Nancy, France. Zurcher returned in 1877 to care for a brother who'd been wounded in the Franco-Prussian War; together they purchased and managed a farm. When drought struck, she looked for sources of income underground, and so discovered valuable deposits of potash, a mineral used to make fertilizers and other goods. She thus founded her own mining company, Gewerkschaft Amélie. When France resumed control of Alsace after World War I, it took control of the company, and transformed the economy of the region. (photo credit) Zurcher reportedly said:
L’essentiel est que la France profite de cette découverte, voilà ma plus belle récompense.
What matters is that France profits from this discovery. There is my compensation.
She died in 1947, aged 88.
(Prior August 27 posts are here, here, here, and here.)