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Alexander Grebel
(1868-after1926)

Alexander Grebel, a mineral dealer in Geneva, Switzerland, visited the US in July 1913, listing his nearest relative as living in Koblenz. The passenger manifest states that he was age 45 (born in 1868), and an engineer. His full name was Guilelmus Hubertus Adolphus Alexander Grebel, born in Koblenz, Germany on February 11, 1868, the son of Annae Mariae Quantius and Aloysii Mauritii Grebel. He earned his degree as a mining engineer, but his interest in mineral collecting led him to establish his own mineral dealership with a junior partner named C. Wendler by the time he was 27, probably shortly after leaving the university.

According to Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae, the Comptoir Minéralogique et Géologique Suisse, Grebel, Wendler & Cie., at Cours des Bastiens 3 in Geneva, became a corporate member of the Geological Society of Switzerland in 1895. Grebel published a "Manual of Mineral Collecting" (Anleitung zum Mineralien-Sammeln) in 1900. Grebel, Wendeler et Cie. also placed an ad in La Feuille des Jeunes Naturalistes, a monthly review of natural history news, for 1902-1903.

Grebel's competitor in Geneva was Henry Minod. The Comptoir Minéralogique et Géologique Suisse of Grebel, Wendler & Cie. ultimately absorbed the Comptoir Minéralogique et Géologique de Genève of Henry Minod. According to Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae (1903):

"the dealership of H[enri] Minod, in Geneva [at 6, rue St-Léger], having grown significantly in recent years, and exceeding the available energies of its Director, who had other duties, has been turned over to a company by the name of Grebel, Wendler & Cie (Cours des Bastions 3, in Geneva). This dealership is always abundantly supplied with minerals, rocks and fossils from all countries, and also handles relief maps, books, etc. It has dealt especially in the sale of the collections of rocks from the Simplon Tunnel, with reduced prices for museums and public schools in Switzerland."

This must have been somewhat old news in 1903, because for a while after the merger, the labels carried both company names: Comptoir Minéralogique et Géologique Suisse H. Minod, and a map published under this dual name [at 6, rue St-Léger] is mentioned in The Geological Magazine in 1901. For a brief time, both shops appear to have remained open after the merger, and Minod retained a role for at least a short time (he wrote a letter in May 1901 on Grebel stationary). In any case, Minod's name was eventually dropped. The company continued to issue occasional publications in the following years, such as Paul Groth's Tableau systématique des minéraux in 1904.

A. Grebel is listed in the 1905 Naturalists' Directory as being a collector of crystallized minerals (no silicates), and willing to exchange German and Swiss minerals for specimens from other localities. It states that he has a personal collection of 4,000 specimens. The same directory also lists his business, Grebel, Wendler & Co., Comptoir Minéralogique et Géologique Suisse, located at 3 Cours des Bastiens in Geneva, Switzerland, dealing in minerals, fossils, crystals and rocks. A 1908 ad states that they also carry "Geodynamische Modelle" by "Bergingenieur Grebel," indicating that Grebel was a mining engineer (hence the "M. E." sometimes associated with his surname).

In 1906 Grebel published an article (in Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae) on galena with wulfenite and cerussite from Bristenstock, Baltschiedertal. Grebel also wrote Beitrage zur Mineralogie der Alpen in 1907.

The Jahresbericht für 1906 und 1907 (issued by the Natural History Museum in Vienna) gives "Bergrat A. Grebel's" home address as in Genf (the German term for Geneva).

. From 1909 to 1925 very few listings for the company have been found, but clearly it persisted. The company supplied a suite of Simplon Tunnel rocks for research in 1917. Wendler donated fossils to the University of Chicago in 1925. And the company changed address: the company office was on Rue H. Mussard in 1926 (according to Bericht über die zweite Hauptversammlung der Schweizer. Mineralogisch-Petrographischen Gesellschaft in Freiburg).
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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The Mineralogical Record - Alexander Grebel 47 x 73 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Alexander Grebel 46 x 73 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Alexander Grebel 44 x 67 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Alexander Grebel 47 x 68
The Mineralogical Record - Alexander Grebel 42 x 68 mm
No Minod name
The Mineralogical Record - Alexander Grebel
The Mineralogical Record - Alexander Grebel
The Mineralogical Record - Alexander Grebel Ad dated 1907
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