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JOHANN GOTTFRIED EBEL (1764–1830)

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Originally appearing in Volume V08, Page 840 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHANN GOTTFRIED EBEL (1764–1830), the author of the first real guide-book to Switzerland, was born at Zullichau (Prussia). He became a medical man, visited Switzerland for the first time in 1790, and became so enamoured of it that he spent three years exploring the country and collecting all kinds of information relating to it. The result was the publication (Zurich, 1793) of his Anleitung auf die nutzlichste and genussvollste Art in der Schweitz zu reisen (2 vols.), in which he gave a complete account of the country, the General Information sections being followed by an alphabetically arranged list of places, with descriptions. It at once superseded all other works of the kind, and was the best Swiss guide-book till the appearance of " Murray " (1838). It was particularly strong on the geological and historical sides. The second (1804–1805) and third (1809–181o) editions filled four volumes, but the following (the 8th appeared in 1843) were in a single volume. The work was translated into French in 1795 (many later editions) and into English (by 1818). Ebel also published a work (2 vols., Leipzig, 1798–1802) entitled Schilderungen der Gebirgsvolker der Schweiz, which deals mainly with the pastoral cantons of Glarus and Appenzell. In 18or he was naturalized a Swiss citizen, and settled down in Zurich. In 18o8 he issued his chief geological work, Uber den Bau der Erde im Alpengebirge (Zurich, 2 vols.). He took an active share in promoting all that could make his adopted country better known, e.g. Heinrich Keller's map (1813), the building of a hotel on the Rigi (1816), and the preparation of a panorama from that point (1823). From 1810 onwards he lived at Zurich, with the family of his friend, Conrad Escher von der Linth (1767–1823), the celebrated engineer. (W. A. B. C.)
End of Article: JOHANN GOTTFRIED EBEL (1764–1830)
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