Select Weinberg Miscellany



Here are some Weinberg stories and accounts over the years:

Weinberg as an Ornamental Name


Weinberg contains two elements, the prefix Wein- meaning "wine" and the suffix -stein meaning "mountain," used frequently in the ornamental names that Jewish people created when they were required to produce a surname.   Sometimes these names were chosen at Ellis Island or at another entry point to the United States on arrival.

Wein-
-berg
Weinberg (wine mountain)
Goldberg (gold mountain)
Weinstein (wine stone)
Greenberg (green mountain)
Weintraub (wine grape)
Rosenberg (rose mountain)

Weinberg (wine mountain)


Weinberg Origins

Weinbergs immigrated to America from a number of countries.  The table below shows the numbers counted and from whence they came.

Country
Numbers
Percent
Germany    
  202
   50
Russia
  121
   30
Poland
   32
    9
Elsewhere
   45
   11


Sidney Weinberg at Goldman Sachs


Sidney Weinberg was born in 1891, one of eleven children of Pincus Weinberg, a struggling Polish-born liquor wholesaler and bootlegger in Brooklyn.  He was short, a “Kewpie doll,” as the New Yorker writer E. J. Kahn described him, “in constant danger of being swallowed whole by executive-size chairs.”  He pronounced his name “Wine-boig.”  He left school at fifteen.  He had scars on his back from knife fights in his preteen days when he was selling evening newspapers on the street.

At sixteen, he made a visit to Wall Street, keeping an eye out for a “nice-looking, tall building,” as he later recalled.  He picked 43 Exchange Place where he started at the top floor and worked his way down, asking at every office:“Want a boy?”

By the end of the day, he had reached the third-floor offices of a small brokerage house.  There were no openings.  He returned to the brokerage house the next morning.  He lied that he was told to come back and bluffed himself into a job assisting the janitor for three dollars a week.  That small brokerage house was Goldman Sachs.

The grandson of the firm's founder, Paul Sachs, liked him and installed him in the mailroom. which Weinberg reorganized.  After that his promotion within the firm was inexorable.  He became a partner in 1927 and head of the company in 1930, saving it from bankruptcy, and held that position until his death in 1969.  



Harry Weinberg's Rise

Harry Weinberg's father Joseph had come to Baltimore and sent for his family to join him there in 1912.  One of Harry's earliest ventures was selling souvenirs for celebrations at the end of World War One.  Growing up in a poor section of Baltimore, he had dropped out of school in the sixth grade to help in his father's auto repair shop.

He sold newspapers on the street and during the Depression bought up dilapidated properties in Baltimore.  He then renovated and sold them on.  With the profits he bought bus companies in Baltimore, New York, and Hawaii.  By the time of his death in 1990, this tempestuous, highly opinionated immigrant had become Hawaii's biggest landowner and left $900 million in a charitable trust, one of the largest in the United States. 


Weinberg's Rosehill Farm in Texas

The Weinberg family has owned the land since 1904 and has been farming the same land since 1882 when Friedrich and Louise Treseler moved to Rosehill from Galveston.  Their son Fritz bought the farm in 1904.

Friz's grandson Marvin Weinberg began running the farm in 1946 and he and his wife Margaret still own the farm today.  The farm is now run by their son, Marvin "Bud" Weinberg.  It is especially known for its tomatoes.  At the beginning of the summer they will pick 1,000 pounds of tomatoes every day.  They also grow and sell potatoes, squash, cucumbers, eggplants, cantaloupes and watermelons.  The produce is sold in their own market, in a large farmer's market in Houston, and to local restaurants.

Katie Weinberg, a senior at the Texas A&M University, represents the family's sixth generation of local farmers.


Mark Weinberg's Journey from South Africa to England

Mark Weinberg’s childhood was blighted by the death of his Latvian-born father, an insurance salesman in Johannesburg, when he was two. 

Initially Mark showed no desire to follow his father and he read law at Witwatersrand University - being part of a close, liberal group there that included Joel Joffe, Nelson Mandela's barrister.  But it was the time of Sharpeville and not a good time to be practicing law in South Africa.  He like a number of his contemporaries decided to leave. 

In London Mark remembered his insurance roots and started Abbey Life insurance in 1961 on a tiny budget with three of his South African lawyer friends.  He then built up two more insurance companies, Hambro Life and Allied Dunbar, and became closely identified with the brash new hard-sell and aggressive marketing techniques that grew his companies and made him wealthy.




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