line drawing of itinerant glassworker

Illustration of Theodore Greiner in 1893.

Also known as: Theo. Greiner, Professor Greiner

Born: possibly 1829, Germany

Nationality: German

Family: Greiner

Active: [at least 1856-1902]

Brief biography

Little concrete is known about Theodore Greiner’s life outside of glassworking. He demonstrated as “Prof. Greiner” as early as 1856 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He seems to have been one of the most widely-traveled itinerant glassworkers of the second half of the 19th century, performing in cities throughout California, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Texas, and British Columbia (Canada).

Greiner worked for a number of museums, including the Crescent City Museum in New Orleans; the California Museum and Art Exhibition in Oakland, California; the California Dime Museum and Theater in Los Angeles, California; and the Crystal Palace in Los Angeles. He also demonstrated at several world’s fairs.

Greiner was perhaps best known for creating a dress out of spun glass threads. While he was not the only itinerant glassworker to do so, his achievement was publicized in newspapers around the country.

A 1902 newspaper article stated that Greiner would retire after performing at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri.

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