Coming soon – the 200th birthday of Carl Zeiss

Here at ZEISS, we have a very unique milestone coming up in September: the 200th birthday of our founder, Carl Zeiss.

Many people have heard the name ZEISS and may be familiar with our products, but don’t know where the name came from, or that the man behind it influenced modern lens production used in many industries. Here’s a quick history:

  • Carl Zeiss was born September 11, 1816 in Weimar, Germany and attended the University of Jena, where he studied optics, mathematics, and physics.
  • By 1847, he was making microscopes, running a small workshop in Jena with a few apprentices.
  • In 1861 his microscopes were awarded a gold medal at the Thuringian Industrial Exhibition, marking them as among the best scientific instruments in Germany.
  • His collaborations with physicist Ernst Abbe (for whom the Abbe Value is named) and Otto Schott (a chemist and pioneering glassmaker) led to further leaps in the development of microscopes and optics in general. The three men founded a glassworks where they developed over 100 types of optical glass.
  • After Carl Zeiss’s death in 1888, Ernst Abbe formed the Carl Zeiss Foundation and donated his share of the company and glassworks to it. This foundation still owns Carl Zeiss AG, whose proceeds are dedicated to investing in primary research in the optical field, as well as to the welfare of ZEISS employees.
  • Today, Carl Zeiss’s spirit of invention continues, as ZEISS  is known the world over for the quality of its lenses in eyeglasses, diagnostic instruments, still cameras, movie cameras, binoculars, planetariums, industrial metrology and manufacturing, and microsurgery instruments.

Carl Zeiss will be honored in many ways over the next month, most notably during his birthday weekend in the city of Jena, Germany, which was the scene of most of his accomplishments. Keep an eye on ZEISS Better Vision’s TwitterFacebook, and Instagram accounts to see how we celebrate.