The Stralau Glassworks

Alt-Stralau 63-67/Kynaststraße
This structure was once home to the Stralauer Glashütte, or Stralau Glassworks, in 1920 the largest industrial operation on the peninsula. This building, itself a product of renovation in 1921, and the administrative building constructed in 1900 are all that remains of the factory site.


In 1889, the businessman Edmund Nathan acquired property on what was then Dorfstraße (today Alt-Stralau 63), selling it that same year to two entrepreneurs who went on to found the Stralau bottle factory Evert & Neumann. At this time, beer was increasingly being sold in bottle form. By 1894, hundreds of workers were producing 20 million bottles a year, and in late 1896 the business became a joint-stock company, the Stralau Glassworks AG.

Until 1909, gaffers produced bottles of all shapes and colors by hand. Then, automated bottle machines came into operation. The women working at the glassworks were employed largely in the packing station. In contrast to other companies, the working conditions were good, and with the construction of the “cottage apartments” at Alt-Stralau 46, the company created housing for its workers. Still, those working at the glassworks were union-organized. Their association organized the great strike of 1901 from its headquarters in Stralau.

During the First World War, the company produced containers for poisonous gas grenades using a workforce of prisoners of war in lieu of the drafted gaffers. After the war, a number of properties on Kynaststraße were purchased, and in 1920 a connecting railway track was built. In 1931, the glassworks merged with Siemens to become Siemensglas Alt-Stralau. In the Second World War, forced laborers from the occupied countries worked in the glass factory. 70 percent of the factory was destroyed in February 1945 in an air raid.

Beginning in 1949, production continued under the name of VEB Stralauer Glaswerke, a state-owned company. In 1990 the Stralauer Glashütte GmbH was founded and then taken over by Nienburger Glaswerken in 1991. In 1996, production came to an end in Stralau altogether.

Both factory buildings are under historical protection today. People now live in what used to be the workshop. Glasbläserallee or “glassblower’s boulevard” recalls the craftsmen of the past.

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