Ludwig Greiner

Ludwig Greiner
Born Ludwig Greiner
1796
Lichtentanne, Saxony
Died 28 October 1882 (aged 86)
Jelšava, Austro-Hungarian Empire
Resting place Jelšava, Slovakia
Nationality Austrian, later Austro-Hungarian
Other names Ľudovít Greiner
Lajos Greiner
Education Vienna University of Technology
Occupation Head of forestry and land management
Employer Duke of Saxe-Coburg
Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Known for Triangulated Gerlach as
summit of the Carpathians
Religious beliefs Lutheran
Spouse(s) Maria Glosz (-1857)
Otilia Szinowitz
Children Hugo Greiner (? - 1873)
Ludwig Greiner (1835 - 1904)

Ludwig Greiner (1796 - 1882) was an influential 19th-century forest and lumber industry management expert who improved the effectiveness of woodland valuation methods in the Austrian Empire and trained a whole new generation of foresters in a comprehensive approach to the management of natural resources. While his goals were defined by a need to run a profitable business, he introduced procedures that replaced previous exploitative, earth-eroding lumbering on Saxe-Coburg's estates with practices that contained aspects of modern ecology. Greiner's insistence on a thorough woodland inventory of his employer's vast, poorly charted lands gave him his enduring recognition outside the field defined by his expertise. His passion for precision, geomatics, and the outdoors made him the first person to disprove the results of previous measurements and accurately identify Gerlachovský štít as the highest peak in the whole 1,500 km (900 mi.) long Carpathian mountain range.

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Early life

Greiner was born to the family of the Lutheran pastor Karl Greiner in the small village of Lichtentanne in Saxony in 1796. His baptismal name is still spelled Ludwig in German, Polish, and some Slovak[1] sources, which was also the name he used in his publications. Most Slovak sources now render his baptismal name as Ľudovít, the Hungarian sources render it as Lajos. Non-specialist sources also mostly misidentify him as a rank-and-file forester. After high school, he took special qualifying tests in forestry and spent several years gaining experinece as forester in Austria and on the Lubomirski estates (administrated by the heirs of Julia Lubomirska) in Habsburg Galicia in the Łańcut and Lviv regions, now in Poland and Ukraine. He finished his education at the Vienna University of Technology where he took mathematics, physics, and chemistry in 1824-1826. He then became the director of forest management and timber rafting on Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg's estates, from where he was hired by Ernest's brother Ferdinand as the head of forestry and land management of all of his estates.[2]

Years at Jelšava

Ludwig Greiner started his job at Jelšava on April 1, 1828. The estates as a company were headquarted in Vienna, but its center of operations was at Jelšava where Greiner spent the rest of his life. He married Maria Glósz, with whom he had nine children. Two sons, Hugo and Ludwig, followed in their father's footsteps. After his wife's death in 1857 Greiner married Otilia Szinowitz of Banská Bystrica, but had no more children. He was buried at the Jelšava cemetery next to his first wife.

Descendants

His son Ludwig Junior became chief engineer at the Coburg-Saxe estates and later forest management director at Rožňava where he was a founder of the private Girls' Institute of Education in 1871, the first high school in the Hungarian part of what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire projected specifically for Slovak female students.[3] Ludwig Greiner Senior's great granddaughter Sibylla Greinerová[4] (b. 1919) became an acknowledged Bratislava painter of human figures in motion.[5]

Triangulation of Gerlachovský Peak

Gerlachovský Peak (right), the Tatras, Slovakia
The highest mountain in the Carpathians

Ferdinand Saxe-Coburg's estates were distributed over areas in present-day Slovakia and Hungary. The estate managed from Hrabušice was in the vicinity of the Tatra Mountains, a craggy section of the Carpathians. According to Greiner's own account, he climbed Lomnický Peak on August 10, 1837, a beautiful sunny day, measured its elevation with an altimeter and used the quadrant to determine that Gerlachovský Peak was actually higher. It was unexpected, because the previous, generally accepted measurement by the Swedish botanist Göran Wahlenberg from 1813 recorded Gerlachovský Peak's elevation as 285 m (935 ft) lower.[6] Greiner was convinced that his own observation about Gerlachovský Peak's relative height was right, but because he considered the altimeter and quadrant insufficiently precise instruments, he triangulated the elevations of several of the Tatra peaks from the vicinity of the town of Poprad, not far from Hrabušice, in the fall of 1838[7] after he obtained a very accurate theodolite from a friend. Greiner's paper published the next year[8] dethroned the mountains of Kriváň and Lomnický Peak, which had been alternately considered the highest peaks until then, and reported that the highest point in the Tatras and the whole Carpathian chain was Gerlachovský Peak. The elevation Greiner calculated was off by only 13 meters (43 ft) by comparison to what it is known to be today.

Head of forestry and land management

Greiner improved the effectiveness of woodland valuation methods in the Kingdom of Hungary and trained a whole new generation of foresters in a comprehensive approach to the management of natural resources.[9] In 1851 he helped to organize the Hungarian Forestry Association (Ungarischer Forstverein) and then served as its vice president.[10] While his goals were defined by a need to run a profitable business, he introduced procedures that replaced previous exploitative, earth-eroding lumbering on Saxe-Coburg's estates with practices that contained aspects of modern ecology.[11] Among his lasting environmental achievements has been the restoration of the timberline on largely deforested King's Bald Mountain (Kráľova hoľa, 1,946 m, 6,385 ft.) to its natural elevation of 1,650 m (5,413 ft).[12] One of his 21st-century successors described Greiner's principles in modern terms as aiming at and achieving permanent sustainability.[13] Greiner's timber yield tables published in 1877 and 1886 proved sufficiently reliable to have remained in use for over a century.[14]

Publications by Ludwig Greiner

"Gerlachovský Crest as..."
Slovenské noviny, 1851

References

  1. ^ For instance, by a section director from the governmental Ministry of the Environment: Jozef Kramárik, "Dva nové národné parky v SR." Životné prostredie, 32#1, 1998. And an online encyclopedia: Encyklopédia regiónu Vysoké Tatry.
  2. ^ Jozef Urgela, "Ľudovít Greiner a jeho doba." In: Miroslav Tibor Morovics, ed. Priekopník lesníctva na Slovensku Ľudovít Greiner (1796-1882). 1998.
  3. ^ Dušan Dubovský, Revúca − kolíska slovenského stredného školstva. 1993.
  4. ^ Igor Viszlai, "Poďte s nami do prírody - 19." Revúcke listy, 2007.
  5. ^ [s.n.], Malý slovník slovenských výtvarných umelcov, A-K. 1988.
  6. ^ Ivan Bohuš, "Mení sa výška štítov?" Tatry, 2007.
  7. ^ Zofia Paryska-Radwańska and Witold Henryk Paryski, Encyklopedia tatrzańska. 1973.
  8. ^ Ludwig Greiner, "Die Gerlsdorfer Spitze als die höchste Gebirgshöhe der Karpathen." Gemeinnützige Blaetter zur Belehrung und Unterhaltung, 1839.
  9. ^ Tibor Blattný, Príspevok k dejinám lesníctva na Slovensku − Ľudovít Greiner (1796-1882). 1963.
  10. ^ József Bokor, ed. A Pallas Nagy Lexikona; Az összes ismeretek enciklopédiája tizenhat kötetben; VIII. kötet, Gesztely-Hegyvám. 1894.
  11. ^ Ladislav Štefančík, "Pestovateľská činnosť Ľudovíta Greinera s osobitným zameraním na výchovu porastov." In: Miroslav Tibor Morovics, ed. Priekopník lesníctva na Slovensku Ľudovít Greiner (1796-1882). 1998.
  12. ^ Štefan Valentovič, et al. Slovenský biografický slovník, II zväzok E-J. 1987.
  13. ^ Director of the Revúca District Office of the National Forest Service Igor Viszlai, Ph.D. In: Igor Viszlai, "Poďte s nami do prírody – 19." Revúcke listy, 2007.
  14. ^ [s.n.], "Ľudovít Greiner." Revúcke listy, 2006.
  15. ^ a b József Szinnyei, Magyar írók élete és munkái, IV Gyalai-Hyrtl. 1896.
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