For a long time, I’ve been intrigued by the Fleischhauers and the fact that in their records, they described themselves as glassblowers and manufactured thermometers. In my own family tree, it is a unique trade, but also shows an aptitude for science, chemistry, and craftsmanship. It also represents a dedication to an small enterprise when large manufacturing companies provided stiff competition against artisans and small businesses like those of the Fleischhauers. My curiosity led me to investigate this from many angles and how it shaped their experience of leaving Germany to seek out opportunity in New York City.
My great, great grandfather Franz Emil Fleischhauer left for American in 1890 with his parents, Friedrich and Hermine (Hiegersell), and two sisters, Ida and Annie.  The emigration papers for Franz, shown above, state he was born 10 May 1873 in the village of Stüetzerbach. He received permission to emigrate from Prussian officials in the city of Erfurt on 14 June 1890.  Stüetzerbach lies in the Ilm-Kreis district of the German state of Thuringia.
I quickly learned that the connection to glassblowing and the creation of medical instruments was not a coincidence, but a trade deeply connected to the area of Germany in which they originated. Stüetzerbach was a central hub for innovation in the manufacturing of glass, responsible for the first German thermometer, lightbulb, x-ray tube, and vacuum flask. It is certain that the Fleischhauers were working with the top of their industry. The deep traditions of glass manufacturing in Stüetzerbach dating back to the 17th century suggests why they wouldn’t give up their employment as artisans to work for larger manufacturing companies.
I created tables showing chronologically where the Fleischhauer family lived in New York and what they stated for occupation, because there are subtle differences. They did move several times within the five boroughs, so it helped me to better organize the data I had collected. This information also demonstrates that a diversity of genealogical sources that can tell you something about what occupation your ancestor held.
Friedrich Fleischhauer (born 5 Nov 1851 – d. aft 1920) Occupations
|Fred [Friedrich] Fleischhauer||1892||Artist||1892 NY State Census, Brooklyn, 38th Election Dist., 18th Ward, page 7|
|Fred [Friedrich] Fleischhauer||1897||Engraver||1897 Lain’s Brooklyn Directory|
|Friedrich Fleischhauer||1900||Glass Engraver||1900 US Federal Census, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, roll 1067, Ed 517, page 10A.|
|Fredk (Friedrich] Fleischhauer||1904||Engraver||1904 Brooklyn Directory|
|Fredk [Friedrich] Fleischhauer||1906||Engraver||1906 Brooklyn Directory|
|Friedrich Fleischhauer||1906||Glass Engraver||Naturalization Petition, U.S. Dist. Court, Eastern Dist. of NY, 7 Aug 1906, vol 95, page 53. Witness is John G. Burgtorf, Clerk at 70 A. Linden St. Brooklyn|
|Fredk [Friedrich] Flesichhauer||1907||Engraver||1907 Brooklyn Directory|
|Fredk [Friedrich] Fleischhauer||1908||Engraver||1908 Brooklyn Directory|
|Frederick (Friedrich) Fleischhauer||1920||Thermometers (self)||1920 US Census, Brooklyn, ED 1294 [?], sheet 15 A|
Franz Emil Fleischhauer (10 May 1873 – 25 Apr 1948) Occupations
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||1895||Glass blower||City of NY, Dept. of Health, Cert. of Birth (1895), no. 6192, Franz J. Fleischhauer|
|Frank (Franz Emil) Fleischhauer||1897||Glass blower||1897 Lain’s Brooklyn Directory, transcription|
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||1898||Glass blower||Naturalization Petition, Kings County Court, petition no. 4808D, 4 Mar 1898. Witness is August Rommel, a wine dealer living at 413 Evergreen Ave., Brooklyn|
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||1900||Thermometer Manufacturer||1900 US Federal Census (adjacent to Friedrich)|
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||1902||Thermometer Manufacturer||George Upington, Upington’s General Directory of Brooklyn, (1902), p. 291
|Frank Fleischhauer||1903||Thermometers, 111 Himrod||George Upington, Upington’s General Directory of Brooklyn (1903), p.316|
|Franz Fleischhauer||1903||Glassblower||1903 Brooklyn Directory|
|Frank [Franz Emil] Flesichhauer||1904||Thermometers, 111 Himrod||Upington’s Brooklyn Directory (1904), p. 316|
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||1905||No occupation||1905 NY State Census, Brooklyn, Election Dist 24, Block C, 20th Assembly District, page 26.|
|Frank [Franz Emil] Fleischhauer||1906||Thermometers, 111 himrod||Upington’s Brooklyn Directory (1906), p.350|
|Frank [Franz Emil] Fleischhauer||1907||Thermometers, 111 himrod||Upington’s Brooklyn Directory (1907), p. 315|
|Frank [Franz Emil] Fleischhauer||1908||Thermometers, 111 himrod||Upington’s Brooklyn Directory (1908), p.325|
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||1920||Thermometer Manufacturer (runs own business)||1920 US Census, Queens, New York, roll 1234, ED 322, p. 21B.|
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||1948||Thermometer Manufacturer||City of New York, Department of Health, Death Certificate, 1948, no. 3927|
Friedrich Fleischhauer’s List of Addresses
|Fred (Friedrich) Flesichhauer||1892||38th Elec. Dist., 18th Ward, Brooklyn||1892 NY State Census|
|Fred (Friedrich) Fleischhauer||1897||225 Woodbine Ave., Brooklyn||Lain’s Brooklyn Directory (1897), transcription|
|Friedrich Fleischhauer||1900||157 Cornelia St. Brooklyn||1900 US Federal Census|
|Friedrich Fleischhauer||1902||157 Cornelia St. Brooklyn||1902 Brooklyn Directory|
|Fredk [Friedrich] Fleischhauer||1904||1188 Hancock St., Brooklyn||1904 Brooklyn Directory|
|Fredk [Friedrich Fleischhauer]||1906||1188 Hancock St., Brooklyn||1906 Brooklyn Directory|
|Friedrich Fleischhauer||1906||1188 Hancock St., Brooklyn||Naturalization Petition.|
|Fredk [Friedrich] Flesichhauer||1907||1188 Hancock St., Brooklyn||1907 Brooklyn Directory|
|Fredk [Friedrich] Fleischhauer||1908||1188 Hancock St., Brooklyn||1908 Brooklyn Directory|
|Frederick [Friedrich] Fleischhauer||1920||1188 Hancock St., Brooklyn||1920 US Federal Census|
Franz Emil Fleischhauer’s List of Addresses
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||1895||360 Hamburg Ave., Brooklyn (later renamed Wilson Ave.)||Birth Cert. of Frank J. Fleischhauer|
|Frank (Franz Emil) Fleischhauer||1897||138 Grove St., Brooklyn||Lain’s Brooklyn Directory (1897), transcripton|
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||1898||138 Grove St. , Brooklyn||Naturalization Petition.|
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||1900||157 Cornelia St., Brooklyn||1900 US Federal Census|
|Frank Fleischhauer||1903||157 Cornelia St., Brooklyn||1903 Brooklyn Directory|
|Franz Fleischhauer||1903||157 Cornelia St., Brooklyn||1903 Brooklyn Directory|
|Frank [Franz Emil] Fleischhauer||1904||157 Cornelia St., Brooklyn||1904 Brooklyn Directory|
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||1905||157 Cornelia St., Brooklyn||1905 NY State Census|
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||Sep 1905||89-36 187th place, Queens (husson and prospect ave.)||“Schoolboy Killed in Train Accident.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Tue 19 Sep 1905.|
|Frank [Franz Emil] Fleischhauer||1906||157 Cornelia St., Brooklyn||1906 Brooklyn Directory|
|Frank [Franz Emil]
|1907||157 Cornelia St., Brooklyn||1907 Brooklyn Directory|
|Frank [Franz Emil] Fleischhauer||1908||157 Cornelia St., Brooklyn||1908 Brooklyn Directory|
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||1930||89-36 187 Place, Queens||1930 US Federal Census, Queens, New York, roll 1610, ED 401, page 9A.|
|Franz Emil Fleischhauer||1948||89-36 187 Place, Queens||Death Certificate|
Some of the Brooklyn City Directories showed that Franz had a place of business at 111 Himrod St. in Brooklyn from 1903 – 1908. The only clue I could find about this address was that a gold pen maker named F.M. Stark ran his business here at the same time as Franz Fleischauer.
How well off were the Fleischhauers for a family owned small business? The census records may provide some insight to their success, because as genealogists know, the US Census required the head of household to provide information about their income and property. Homeownership was valued greatly among Germans and when they arrived in the U.S., sought to buy a home as soon as possible. The 1900 US Census shows that within a decade of living in their adopted homeland, the Fleischhauers were homeowners living at 157 Cornelia Street in Brooklyn. In 1920, having moved to the borough of Queens, they also owned their home at the corner of Husson and Prospect Ave., which is today 89-36 187th Place. In 1930, the same home was valued at $15,000, which was well above average compared to other homes in their neighborhood. The depression surely had an impact, but to my surprise in the 1940 Census, the Fleischhauers still managed to own their home. However, the value had dropped to $9,000. Evidence suggests that the Fleischhauers were able to keep themselves afloat as self-employed people.
The Fleischhauer family’s aptitude for making glass instruments carried on to there children. My great-grandfather Frank Fleischhauer (1895-1991) also made thermometers and other glass instruments. He was particularly bright and studious, practicing academics till the end of his days and had an affinity for repurposing another man’s trash into his own treasure. He graduated from the Pratt Institute in 1929 with an award for proficiency in chemistry.
The best part of the story is that when my cousin found my blog and contacted me, I received a wealth of family papers, photos, and heirlooms concerning the Fleischhauers, including the actual thermometers they manufactured. While I don’t know their exact provenance, I can say they are connected to a deep heritage of glass making and represent an important part of my paternal family history.
 “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QVPJ-7QZH : accessed 29 April 2016), Franz Fleischhauer, 10 Jun 1890; citing NARA microfilm publication M237, roll 549, list no. 816, passenger no. 525-29, (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
 There appears to be a discrepancy on the date Franz received permission to emigrate (14 Jun 1890). According to the passenger manifest, he would have arrived 4 days before he received permission to emigrate (10 Jun 1890), so the dates wouldn’t make sense.
 Innovative Labor Systeme, “Home,”: accessed at http://www.microsyringes.com: 28 Apr 2016. For a more detailed history of prominent manufacturers and glass blowers in Thuringia, visit The Cathode Ray Tube Site (http://www.crtsite.com/glassblowers.html)
 Walden’s Stationer and Printer (New York, NY), 25 Jan 1904, page 4: accessed at Google Books. Mr. Stark noted in response to the author’s query regarding his business that production had sorely outgrown the size of the facility and was looking for more room.
 The Advocates for Human Rights. “Immigration Library – German Immigrants to the United States,” (accessed at http://www.energyofanation.org/4e667f77-e302-4c1a-9d2e-178a0ca31a32.html?NodeId=: 28 Apr 2016).
 Brooklyn, Kings, New York, 1900 US Federal Census, roll 1067, ED 517, p. 10A, household of Frank Fleischauer.
 Assembly Dist. 4, Queens County, New York, 1920 US Federal Census, roll 1234, ED 322, p. 21B, household of Frank E. Fleischauer. Steve Morse’s website provides a list of all the street name changes in Queens. See Steve Morse, “Street Name Changes* in Queens, New York,” (accessed at http://www.stevemorse.org/census/changes/QueensChanges2_161to271.htm: 28 Apr 2016).
 Hollis, Queens County, New York, 1930 US Federal Census, roll 1601, ED 401, p. 9A, household of Frank Fleischhauer.
 Hollis, Queens County, New York, 1940 US Federal Census, roll 2740, ED 41-1075, p. 6A, household of Frank Fleischhauer.
Copyright (c) 2016 Jake Fletcher.
Jake Fletcher. “Fleshing out the Details of the Flesichhauers [part 1],” Travelogues of a Genealogist, posted 28 Apr 2016. https://fletcherfamilytree.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/fleshing-out-the-details-of-the-fleischhauers-part-1