Carl Zeiss (1816 – 1888) – Precision mechanics specialist and businessman
The optical and precision mechanics specialist Carl Zeiss founded an optical workshop in Jena in 1846 – a hotbed for breakthrough concepts in optics and collaboration between science and handcrafted technology.
At first, he produced simple microscopes and, later, compound microscopes. In the year 1866, Zeiss met Ernst Abbe (1840 – 1905) who proved to be an ideal partner, and he made him a silent partner of his business in 1875.
After Abbe had researched the theoretical principles of optical imaging in 1871, all Zeiss microscopes were produced based on scientific calculations from Abbe. Suitable types of optical glass were now all that was missing. Otto Schott began developing these in 1879 in systematic melting experiments.
Zeiss was one of the co-founders of the »Schott & Associates Glass Technology Laboratory« in 1884. The collaboration between Zeiss, Abbe and Schott enabled large-scale production of high-powered microscopes in uniform quality. These instruments led to worldwide acclaim for the German optical and specialized glass industries.