Frederick "Fred" Kraissl was born in New York City on July 8, 1899, the son of Anna Margaret van Saur and Frederick Kraissl, Sr., a Croatian immigrant and dealer in scientific glass apparatus. He received his B.S. Degree from the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute in 1921, and his Master's Degree from Columbia in 1922; he then did graduate work in chemical engineering with special reference to the manufacture of glass.
After leaving college Fred worked under his father as Assistant Manager of the Apparatus Division of Corning Glass Works in New York City from 1920 to 1925. He then took a position as Sales Manager of the Emil Greiner Company in 1925, but soon left to found the Kraissl Company in 1926. He also founded Kraissl Associates in Hackensack, New Jersey in 1960—an industrial manufacturing company which still exists. He was a member of numerous professional organization, government commissions and association boards, and took an active interest in civic affairs. Toward the end of his life he was finally awarded a PhD Degree from Columbia University, based on his early graduate studies and his dissertation completed 50 years later, on "The mechanics of colors in gems and minerals."
Fred met Alice Louise Plenty (born May 6, 1905) while she was a student at Barnard College; she assisted him in his graduate work, and they were married in 1925. Together they became ardent mineral collectors, fluorescence fans and students of the minerals of Franklin and Sterling Hill, New Jersey. Alice received her B.A. Degree in Engineering from Barnard in 1925, and helped him found the Kraissl Company a year later.
Fred and Alice maintained separate collections, each with their own labels, and were always willing to loan specimens for scientific study. The new species kraisslite from the Sterling Hill mine was named in honor of Fred and Alice by Moore and Ito in 1978. Fred and Alice were both officers in the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society, donating funds in 1975 to the Franklin Mineral Museum (where he served as President and she as Secretary) which were used to construct a lecture hall now known as "Kraissl Hall." Alice assembled and donated "The Plenty Collection" to the museum in honor of her parents. She was also an avid micromounter and, like her husband, a mineral photographer.
Fred died at the age of 87 in River Edge, New Jersey on November 30, 1986, two months after the death of his beloved wife in September.
Who's Who in Finance and Industry (1975), 19th edition.
Who's Who of American Women (1972), 7th edition.
WELSH, W.R. (1987) In memoria: Alice L. Kraissl (1905-1986). The Picking Table, Spring, p. 28.
BAUM, J.L. (1987) In memoria: Frederick Kraissl, Jr. (1899-1986). The Picking Table, Spring, p. 29-30.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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Alice Kraissl's label