Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Norbert Kreidl

Norbert Kreidl


Honored April, 1988

Dr. Norbert Kreidl

My main interest in all my life from my ninth year on was teaching--in the widest sense, working with smart young people," said glass scientist, lecturer/consultant, and teacher Norbert Kreidl. As a nine year old he "procured a syllabus on how to teach first grade."

Born in Vienna in 1904, Norbert completed his Ph.D. in physics in the late 1920s. Trained in Germany in the science and technology of glass, he worked in the glass industry in Czechoslovakia for ten years. He came to the United States in 1938 with his young wife, Melanie, to escape Hitler's reign of terror. They arrived "with thirteen dollars and a baby." Norbert got a job teaching at Pennsylvania State University.

In 1943, Norbert began working for Bausch and Lomb, becoming director of materials research and development. At age sixty-four, Norbert found himself "retired by force by the rules of industry that you are too senile to do research." So he taught college graduate students from his sixty-fifth to his seventy-second year. "In a way, I returned to teaching, except my students were graduate students instead of first graders."

The Kreidls moved to Santa Fe in 1974. Norbert considered the City Different "my city, my country, my home." Home, that is, when he wasn't traveling as a lecturer/consultant. In 1984, he "made about 150,000 miles," he said. Between 1986 and 1988 he was on assignment in Europe six times.

Please see Volume 1 for complete text.
Photo ©1997 by Joanne Rijmes