Born in Geneva in 1857, Albert Brun studied pharmacy before going on to mineralogy. He was a member of many scientific societies and carried out extensive research in mineralogy and volcanology alongside his career as a pharmacist. His numerous articles and other communications shed light both on his varied interests and the development of the Earth Sciences at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He was particularly interested in ‘volcanic exhalations’, the gasses released by volcanoes, and devoted much of his spare time to collecting and analyzing them. A large part of his collection of rocks and minerals is now housed in the Natural History Museum of Geneva.