Greiner (glass blower)

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Greiner is the name of a widespread family of glassblowers who originally came from Swabia , but made a significant contribution to the development of the local glassworks in Thuringia .


The first tangible members of the family, who were originally cloister craftsmen, are a Peter Grynner (Greiner), born around 1415, a master glassmaker in Nassach in the Schurwald northwest of Göppingen, and his son, who was born around 1440 and was also called Peter. His son in turn was possibly Hans Greiner (1465–1532), who emigrated to Thuringia in the spring of 1525 , founded the Langenbach glassworks there and became the ancestor of the large Thuringian Greiner family. One of the best-known representatives was Hans Greiner (around 1550–1609). Hans Greiner's great-grandson built the Lauscha glassworks together with Christoph Müller in 1597 and was one of the founders of the city of the same name in what is now Thuringia. Franz Ferdinand Greiner (1808–1855) from Stützerbach developed the first industrially manufactured thermometer .

Since the secrets of glassmaking were traditionally passed down from father to son, the family remained connected to the profession for centuries (and in some cases until today). Glassblowers with the name Greiner can be found not only in Thuringia, but also in the Fichtel Mountains ( Bischofsgrün ), the Black Forest and the Bavarian Forest. As early as the 18th century, the name spread through the glassmaking trade to Sweden and Norway, Alsace and, in the course of general emigration in the 19th century, to North America.

origin of the name

In addition to the original spelling Grynner, there are also the variants Gruner and Grüner, until the name Greyner and then Greiner prevailed in the 16th century. Gerhard Greiner writes about the meaning of the name in his family history: “The name is derived from Old Swabian. Grynerian meant something like grumpy, quarrelsome. ”Since character traits also came into play in the development of surnames in the Middle Ages, one of the early family members was probably a rather uncomfortable contemporary.

There is a second - geographical - derivation of the name from the Austrian town of Grein . There were also glassmakers in this family, which is not related to the Swabian-Thuringian Greiners. According to Gerhard Greiner, the simplest distinguishing feature is the creed: While the Thuringian Greiner were all Protestant , the Austrian namesakes were Catholic , which is very likely due to the Counter-Reformation. These Greiner are likely to come from the Ore Mountains, because Greiner worked in the glassmaking trade on the Jugel and also lived in Johanngeorgenstadt.

Another derivation of the name results from the glassmaker's profession, which was practiced by many name-bearers in the Middle Ages. The Middle High German word grien stands for 'coarse sand, sandy shore, sandy place'. Since glass is made from sand and the Greiner's profession was the glassmaker, the name was developed as Griener-Gryner-Greiner.