Who was Carl Zeiss?

A Biography.

Carl Zeiss was born in Weimar on 11 September 1816. He built microscopes in Jena from 1846 onward. Together with Ernst Abbe, he succeeded in placing the construction of microscopes on a scientific foundation. This was the basis of today's global player ZEISS.

Find out more about company founder Carl Zeiss and his life.

Ancestors

The road from Buttstädt to Weimar

Carl Zeiss’s ancestors lived in small towns near Weimar. They worked as craftsmen, civil servants and pastors.

Childhood and Youth

1816 to 1834

Famous for Goethe, Schiller, Herder and Wieland, the four most important German poets of their times, and for the "Court of the Muses" set up by the erudite Duchess Anna Amalia – Weimar was deemed as the cradle of national culture in the early 19th century. Recent historical research demonstrates that this is an incomplete picture. In actual fact Weimar was more a city of craftsmen. The city chiefly owed its economic prowess to its craftsmen. The most affluent customers came from the ducal family and the appertaining court household, including the upper echelons of the civil service. Luxury goods were in great demand, and this was reflected by the broad spectrum of skilled crafts.

It was here that Carl Zeiss was born on 11 September, the son of Friederike Zeiss and court wood turner August Zeiss.

Zeiss’s Peers in Weimar
Goethe (1749–1832) © Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Goethe (1749–1832) | Today, Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe (1749– 832), the “prince among poets,” is hailed as the main representative of German poetry and the pioneer of the Sturm and Drang and Classic movements. He worked in Weimar from 1775 onwards. He held a number of political and administrative roles, such as that of Privy Legation Councillor as of 1776 and Finance Minister from 1782 onwards. In addition to his work in administration and as an author, he also published systematic nature studies.
Christian August Vulpius (1762– 827) © Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Christian August Vulpius (1762–1827) | He was Goethe’s brother-in-law. He and his sister shared ancestors with Carl Zeiss. The librarian wrote light fiction that proved very popular indeed. He made a name for himself with the novel “Rinaldo Rinaldini the Robber Chief” and its sequels.
Caroline Jagemann (1777–1848) © Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Caroline Jagemann (1777–1848) | From 1806 until her passing in 1848, she lived in Weimar at Herderplatz 16. To this day, she remains not only one of the most significant tragic actresses of Weimar Classicism, she also had a considerable impact on the theater scene in Weimar as artistic director of the royal theater. She was the paramour of Duke Karl August.
Maria Pawlowna (1786–1859) © Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Maria Pawlowna (1786–1859) | The Grand Duchess of Russia and daughter of the Russian Czar Paul I, became Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach after marrying Carl Friedrich in 1804. In 1828 she became Grand Duchess and was particularly important as a patron of the arts and through her social commitment at the Weimar court. She made the city attractive in new ways.
Johann Peter Eckermann (1792–1854) © Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Johann Peter Eckermann (1792–1854) | He was an author, close confidant of Goethe, teacher to crown prince Carl Alexander and librarian to Grand Duchess Maria Pawlowna. He lived in Weimar from 1823 until his death in 1854. Today, he is particularly well known for his “Conversations of Goethe.” He lived for a time at Marktstrasse 9, near Carl Zeiss’s birthplace.
Franz Liszt (1811–1886) © Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Franz Liszt (1811–1886) | The well-known composer, director, theater director, music teacher and author lived in Weimar from 1843 until 1861. He worked as conductor to the Grand Duke.

Milestones in his youth in Weimar
City map, 1826. Source: Klassik Stiftung Weimar

Apprenticeship and Journeyman Years

1834 to 1845

At Easter 1834, Carl Zeiss left his home city and chose a nearby destination to pursue his further career: Jena, a good 20 kilometers east of Weimar and the seat of the state university.
The university in Jena determined the weals and woes of the populace. The Cives academici, i.e. students, professors and other persons associated with the university, all of whom had their own jurisdiction, constituted quite a formidable economic power despite accounting for less than one fifth of the city’s population.

While the production of luxury goods flourished in Weimar, Jena had at its disposal a considerable amount of skilled tradesmen, such as coppersmiths, watchmakers and mechanics, who lived at least in part on work linked to science.
Towards the end of the 18th century, however, a rather gloomy image of the city emerged. After a short-lived economic upsurge in around 1800 associated with such names as Friedrich Schiller, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Schelling, Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Schlegel, the university experienced some dark times. Thereafter, the number of students only began to rise gradually.

Milestones in his education
Map of the German Confederation in 1830. Source: GEI-Digital

Company Foundation

1846 in Jena
Carl Zeiss aged 34/35 © Carl Schenk, ZEISS Archives
Carl Zeiss aged 34/35

After eleven years of being an apprentice, in 1845 Carl Zeiss returned to Jena on St. Michael’s Day (29 September). But before he could begin to consider establishing a business, Zeiss needed a residence permit. The simplest way to obtain one was to enroll at the university.

It was not until 10 May 1846 that Zeiss submitted a request with the grand ducal provincial headquarters to grant him a permit. In spite of his excellent references, the Weimar building authority summoned him to their headquarters in order to assess his suitability to be a mechanic. In his responses, Zeiss made no secret of the fact that he considered the exam questions as nothing more than an impertinence and a waste of time.

The authority was clearly offended at his attitude and initially put his request to one side. On 21 October, Carl Zeiss became impatient and inquired about his request. Only then did the buildings office in charge readdress the issue. Then things went smoothly: On 19 November 1846 the provincial headquarters in Weimar granted Zeiss a permit and informed the Jena city council; on 26 November Zeiss received word from the council and on 8 December he became a citizen of Jena.

Simple microscope from 1847 (Mappes collection)
Simple microscope from 1847 (Mappes collection)

Milestones in Jena
City map, 1892. Source: Jena City Museum

Zeiss’s Peers in Jena
Jakob Friedrich Fries (1773–1843) © Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Jakob Friedrich Fries (1773–1843) | In the winter semester of 1835/36 Carl Zeiss attended his lectures on experimental physics. In 1819, Fries lost his professorship due to his links to democratic circles. In 1824, the staunch student fraternity member and anti-Semite was given permission to attend lectures once more, though initially only in the “non-political” sciences. He came up with key inspiration for the natural sciences.
Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner (1780–1849) © ZEISS Archives
Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner (1780–1849) | The chemist and pharmacist is hailed as one of the key thinkers of the periodic table of the elements. He is known for the lighter that runs on sulfuric acid. In 1810 he was honored with an extraordinary professorship for chemistry and pharmacy by Carl August von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach from the University of Jena. He and Friedrich Körner turned their attention to glass production.
Karl Snell (1806–1886) © ZEISS Archives
Karl Snell (1806–1886) | The mathematician, physicist and natural philosopher was a professor at the University of Jena. In this role, he taught Gottlob Frege and promoted Ernst Abbe’s academic career. Thanks to his links to Abbe and his commitment as a liberal politician and opponent of Bismarck, he had an impact on the statute of the Carl Zeiss Foundation.
Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919) © ZEISS Archives
Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919) | The biologist, who was well known outside the German-speaking world, valued the instruments produced by Carl Zeiss’ workshop as a scientist and corresponded with Carl Zeiss by letter. He applied for Carl Zeiss to be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Jena.
Rudolf Eucken (1846–1926) © ZEISS Archives
Rudolf Eucken (1846–1926) | Was appointed as a professor of philosophy at the University of Jena in 1874. In 1908 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Despite this, much of his work has now been forgotten.
Gottlob Frege (1848–1925) © Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Gottlob Frege (1848–1925) | Modern-day computer technology and IT would not be what it is today had the philosopher, mathematician and logician not developed the formal language for it. Ernst Abbe was one of his teachers. His studies and his professorship were sponsored by the Carl Zeiss Foundation.
The Founder
Historical Microscope
1846
The Founder
1st simple microscope

Company in the Early Days

1846 to 1857

Fortunately for Zeiss, this single advertisement proved to be sufficient to attract someone who would go on to play a key role in the company’s success: August Löber (1830–1912).

The son of a craftsman, Löber was already 17 and therefore theoretically too old to apply, but the death of his father in January 1847 had left him in a position of genuine hardship. There is no record of whether this influenced Zeiss’s decision to employ him, or indeed whether anybody else even applied for the job in the small town of Jena. What we can say for certain is that, over 44 years, Löber was promoted from apprentice to foreman, eventually ending up as the head of production and the company's most valuable instructor and trainer. Moritz von Rohr reports on how Löber received a share of the profits later on in his career and became a wealthy man. This illustrates the extraordinary regard in which the foreman was held in the company, even though much of the workforce considered his managerial style to be short-tempered and authoritarian.

Foreman August Löber with mechanics and apprentices, 1864

L to r: Carl Müller, Friedrich Pfaffe, Joseph Rudolph, Wilhelm Böber, Heinrich Pape, Fritz Müller and August Löber (Photo: ZEISS Archives).

What became of them?

Carl Müller (1849–1909)

He joined the company in 1864 as one of its first apprentices and assistants. He qualified as a foreman in lens mounting and as of 1890 was also trained in the production of camera lenses. He later became the man in charge of final inspections for telescopes. (Photo: ZEISS Archives)

Friedrich Pfaffe (1849–?)

On 6 September 1863, he began working for Carl Zeiss as a grinder. (Photo: ZEISS Archives)

Joseph Rudolph (1841–1914)

Upon joining the company on 23 February 1857, August Löber took him on as a second apprentice lensmaker. He later became a foreman at the grinding shop for microlenses. (Photo: ZEISS Archives)

Wilhelm Böber (1847–? )

He was hired on 15 April 1861 as the third apprentice lensmaker. He began producing front lens elements and glass lenses in around 1883 and did so from his own home as a lensmaker. (Photo: ZEISS Archives)

Heinrich Pape (1849–? )

He joined the company as a turner on 2 January 1864 and worked for Carl Zeiss until 1910. (Photo: ZEISS Archives)

Fritz Müller (1847–1919)

The exceptionally gifted lensmaker joined the company in 1861 and was taught by Carl Zeiss himself. He was soon put in charge of microlens mounting. He worked as senior master at Zeiss until he retired in 1913. (Photo: ZEISS Archives)
Employees
Historical Microscope
1846-1857
5 employees
1st compound microscope

Family

Marriage and children
Carl Zeiss and wife Ottilie with daughter-in-law, born Franziska Thierbach, circa 1885.
Carl Zeiss and wife Ottilie with daughter-in-law, born Franziska Thierbach, circa 1885.

Little is known about what Carl Zeiss was like as a person. Records suggest that his elder brother’s wife introduced him to the family of a clergyman named Schatter who lived in the town of Neunhofen in Thuringia. On 29 May 1849 Zeiss married the clergyman’s daughter, Bertha Schatter.

Years later Zeiss confided in his friend K.O. Beck that he had made a good choice in his union with Bertha, even though the bride had virtually no wealth of her own. The couple’s wedded bliss was short-lived, however: Bertha died aged 22 the day after giving birth to her first son Roderich on 23 February 1850. She was just 22 years old.

Fortunately Zeiss was able to call on family assistance once again. Bereft of his mother, Roderich was initially taken in by Zeiss’s parents-in-law in Neunhofen. Therese Schatter looked after her newborn grandson until she died in February 1851, almost exactly one year after her daughter's death. Zeiss then entrusted Roderich’s care to his second-eldest sister, Hulda, who also seems to have spent much of her time in Neunhofen.

In 1853 Zeiss remarried, this time to Ottilie Trinkler (1819–1897), the daughter of a clergyman from the town of Triptis in eastern Thuringia, who was distantly related to Zeiss’s first wife. Carl Zeiss himself subsequently referred to both his wives affectionately as “spiritually very much country folk.” His marriage to Ottilie produced three children: Karl Otto (1854–1925), Hedwig (1856–1935) and Sidonie (1861–1920).

Manual: documentation of income and expenses
In his ‘Manual’ Carl Zeiss kept detailed records of his income and expenditure between the years 1848 and 1863. It is a record of both the business performance of a small workshop and Zeiss’s private expenditures. This makes it an excellent source of social history.

Citizen and Entrepreneur

1857 to 1866

In July 1858 Carl Zeiss was appointed deputy master of weights and measures by the Grand Ducal Office of Weights and Measures in Weimar. As such, he was tasked with overseeing weights and measures in and around the city of Jena. In September 1860, he was named university mechanic.

Further proof of his growing reputation came in 1863 when he was named grand ducal court mechanic. From 1863 to 1867, he was a member of the Jena local council. At the same time, he became a volunteer in charge of donations and funds for local welfare. 

Carl Zeiss at the beginning of the 1880s © Carl Bräunlich, ZEISS Archives
Carl Zeiss at the beginning of the 1880s

1866 was the most successful year for Carl Zeiss since he established his company. 192 microscopes were produced – 81 more than in the previous year. In other words, Carl Zeiss was already a successful businessman and a highly respected citizen when he approached another key turning point in his life.

Compound microscope from 1862 (Mappes collection)
Compound microscope from 1 (Mappes collection)
Employees
Historical Microscope
1857–1866
5–6 employees
1,000 microscopes

Ernst Abbe Joins Forces with Zeiss

1866 to 1878

Carl Zeiss made many attempts to put microscope lenses on a scientific basis. The experiments conducted by Friedrich Wilhelm Barfuß; did not produce any workable results.

In 1866 he joined forces with Ernst Abbe.

Abbe initially focused the development of different measuring instruments to more precisely determine the optical characteristics of lenses – a key requirement for rational production.

Further steps were taken to separate mechanical and optical production. At the same time, Abbe constructed new illumination apparatus. 

Ernst Abbe circa 1888 © Carl Bräunlich, ZEISS Archives
Ernst Abbe circa 1888
Travel microscope modeled on Strasburger IIIc from 1876 (Mappes collection)
Travel microscope modeled on Strasburger IIIc from 1876 (Mappes collection)

He made his first forays into lens design in 1869 – but this task proved to be a difficult one. A lengthy process of calculations and experiments was necessary to help the Zeiss workshop make up for their lack of experience vis-à-vis their long-established competitors and ultimately outperform them.

On 12 September 1871, Abbe presented his design plan for a powerful water immersion objective lens. From 1872 onwards, all microscope lenses were produced in line with Abbe’s designs.

Immersion Objective Lenses

A major breakthrough

The first homogeneous oil immersion objective lens was developed on the suggestion of John Ware Stephenson; production began in early 1877. How this worked? An immersion liquid such as cedar oil, which has a distinctly higher refractive index than air, was placed between the specimen and the lens. This considerably improved the microscope’s resolution, and offered many other benefits, such as fewer reflections.

On 8 January 1879, Abbe was able to tell his friend Anton Dohrn about the success of the new product:

“Business at Zeiss has been very good recently. For 3 months now we have been working tirelessly to fulfill the orders we have received. In particular, the new lenses (oil immersion) – and might I say it is a disgrace that you have yet to receive one of them because they are selling like hot cakes – have truly helped elevate the reputation of the Optical Works both in Germany and abroad.

It would seem that over the past 6 months all institutes in Berlin with which we previously had no contact have placed orders for large microscopes.”

Immersion objective lens K from 1881 (Photo: Timo Mappes) Cross-section of homogeneous immersion (Photo: ZEISS Archives)
Immersion objective lens K from 1881 (Photo: Timo Mappes)
Cross-section of homogeneous immersion (Photo: ZEISS Archives)
Employees
Historical Microscope
1866–1878
30–60 employees
2,000 microscopes

Microscopes for Science

The 20 major delivery destinations from 1847 to 1889
Microscope Deliveries, 1847–1869
Microscope Deliveries, 1847–1869
Microscope Deliveries, 1847–1869 & 1870–1889
Microscope Deliveries, 1847–1869 & 1870–1889
Microscope Deliveries, 1870–1889
Microscope Deliveries, 1870–1889

The diagram shows the key locations where these microscopes were sold during the two periods of 1847 to 1869 and 1870 to 1889. The majority of orders in the first 20 years came from ducal towns in and around Jena and some German university towns and centers of commerce. Occasional sales were also made to areas which at that time formed part of Russia, in many cases facilitated by graduates of Jena University. The second period is dominated by major bastions of science and key centers of trade and commerce in western Europe. New York also appears, and an increasing role was played by wholesalers in places such as Cambridge and Delft.

1847 –1869 1,308 microscopes
1870 –1889 13,228 microscopes

Source: ZEISS Archives BACZ 7710-7713.
(Photo: Map of Europe, 1890, source: GEI-Digital: http://gei-digital.gei.de/viewer/resolver?urn=urn:nbn:de:0220-gd-9923482)

Microscopes in Research

Albert von Kölliker (1817–1905) © Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Albert von Kölliker (1817–1905) | The German anatomist and physiologist is one of those credited with the discovery of histology. He worked with Leydig cells and relied on technical developments like the homogeneous oil immersion lens launched by Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe in 1878. In the anniversary work published to coincide with his 70th birthday, he stressed the importance of these technical developments by Zeiss in many areas.
Rudolf Virchow (1821–1902) © Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Rudolf Virchow (1821–1902) | The German physician and pathologist, professor at the University of Würzburg and at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin, is credited with paving the way for modern pathology and is one of the key figures in the development of the cell theory. He was also praised most of all for his promotion of “social medicine” and for his commitment to ensuring basic medical care. He also used microscopes produced by Carl Zeiss in his scientific research.
Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) © Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Louis Pasteur (1822 – 1895 | The French chemist and microbiologist made major contributions to the prevention of infectious diseases, primarily through his research into vaccines and by proving that vaccination is a general principle. He paved the way for the creation of the vaccine industry by developing a vaccine to prevent anthrax and then another to prevent rabies.
Leopold Dippel (1827–914) © Heinrich Schenk
Leopold Dippel (1827–1914) | The German botanist tested microscope optics and published groundbreaking works in the field of microscopy. He wrote the following of Zeiss microscopes in 1867 in his book “Das Mikroskop und seine Anwendung”: “Upon discussing the simple microscope, I had cause to extol the virtues of Mr. Zeiss, who is to be credited with a number of key enhancements to this research aid. [...] As such, I could expect nothing less than excellence from his workshop.”
Robert Koch (1843–1910) © Humboldt University, Berlin, Archives
Robert Koch (1843–1910) | Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur are credited with discovering modern bacteriology and microbiology. In 1876 the former succeeded in cultivating the pathogen responsible for anthrax and describing its life cycle – it was no later than this that he worked with photomicrography equipment from the Optical Works. In 1905 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his investigations into tuberculosis. He certified that the optical instruments produced by Carl Zeiss had a decisive impact on his work.
Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852–1934) © Humboldt University, Berlin, Archives
Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852–1934) | In 1906 the Spanish neuroscientist and histologist and C. Golgi were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in recognition of their work on the structure of the nervous system. Cajal used the most advanced systems of the time to complete his work, including microscopes made by Carl Zeiss. <br />(Photo: Wikimedia Commons/public domain)

Otto Schott Joins the Company

1879 to 1884

On 27 May 1879, Ernst Abbe received a letter from young chemist Otto Schott (1851–1935), who spoke of a new kind of glass he had created. Until then, ordinary glass had been used to produce lenses. Now, the opportunity presented itself to develop special, optical glass. He sent these samples to Jena, where their suitability for optical purposes was assessed.

In January 1882 a glass technology laboratory was set up in Jena. In late 1882, Schott relocated to Jena. The funds to purchase a plot of land for Schott in Jena were mustered up by Carl Zeiss, and the laboratory experiments had been financed by Abbe since 1882. It didn’t take long for Schott to achieve some remarkable progress, however. 

Otto Schott circa 1890 (Photo: Carl Bräunlich, ZEISS Archives). © Carl Bräunlich, ZEISS Archives
Otto Schott circa 1890

He succeeded in controlling the properties of the optical glass, which was initially produced in small quantities, and also in manufacturing samples with no impurities or internal stresses. Zeiss made the first microscope lens using Schott glass in the fall of 1883. The results were extraordinary, offering a tantalizing glimpse of the remarkable improvements in optical instruments that could conceivably be achieved with the new material.

On 23 July 1885 the company "Jenaer Glaswerk Schott & Genossen" was established. Its partners were Carl and Roderich Zeiss, Ernst Abbe and Otto Schott. The new company’s main line of business would later be heat-resistant lenses.

The melting pot is inserted into the blast furnace. © SCHOTT Archives
Using a melting pot
Inserting the raw lens materials (Photo: SCHOTT Archives). © SCHOTT Archives
Inserting the raw lens materials
Inspecting the melt batch (Photo: SCHOTT Archives). © SCHOTT Archives
Inspecting the melt batch
Moving a red-hot glass melting pot (Photo: SCHOTT Archives). © SCHOTT Archives
Moving a red-hot glass melting pot
Finishing the raw optical lens (Photo: SCHOTT Archives). © SCHOTT Archives
Finishing the raw optical lens
Inserting the raw optical lens in the casting forms (Photo: SCHOTT Archives). © SCHOTT Archives
Inserting the raw optical lens in the casting forms
Check optical lens for streaks (Photo: SCHOTT Archives). © SCHOTT Archives
Check optical lens for streaks
Check tension of the optical lens (Photo: SCHOTT Archives). © SCHOTT Archives
Check tension of the optical lens
Grinding of optical plate glass (Photo: SCHOTT Archives). © SCHOTT Archives
Grinding of optical plate glass
Ernst Abbe’s calculations on water immersion from 1886 (Photo: ZEISS Archives). © ZEISS Archives
Ernst Abbe’s calculations on water immersion from 1886

Outlook

Science-Based optics

The new apochromatic lenses led to an enormous surge in demand. While skilled opticians were able to keep up with optics produced through trial and error, competitors were forced to produce science-based optics if they wanted to hold their own on the market. Orders for Zeiss microscopes were coming in from academic and research institutions all around the globe, and inroads were steadily being made into the realms of physicians, hygiene specialists and material testers.

The company was also sporadically starting to produce other optical products such as refractometers for measuring the concentration of solutions. It wasn’t until the 1890s that the new technological methods were applied to a greater variety of products including binoculars, camera lenses, astronomical devices, spectrometers and geodetic instruments, opening up new areas of business which would further accelerate the company’s growth.

Stand with micrometer movement and tilt from 1882 (Mappes collection)
Stand with micrometer movement and tilt from 1882 (Mappes collection)
Employees
Historical Microscope
1879–1884
60–170 employees
5,000 microscopes

Latter Years

1884 to 1888

Therese Zeiss, who married Roderich in 1884, recalls her father-in-law’s final months:

“Carl Zeiss’s health deteriorated rapidly in the fall of 1888. […] Withdrawn into himself, he now seemed thin and shrunken, with only his sparkling eyes to remind us of the upright, vivacious figure he once was with his full white beard and benevolent face. […] He also continued to show an interest in our garden, in the flowers and fruits. A quiet mood had overtaken him, he seemed humble and unassuming, excessively so. His voice became softer and gentler, though his gaze was still as bright, alert and penetrating as ever. […] 

 

[…] Previously, when he threw a garden party with old friends, something he did frequently and gladly, then there was draft beer and grilled sausages aplenty. He would sometimes be very merry, though he was never loud. When all the children gathered around him, Carl Zeiss would enjoy telling jokes. These occasions always involved a selection of fine food and excellent wines in which his sons and sons-in-law were free to indulge.”

Carl Zeiss circa 1888 © ZEISS Archives
Carl Zeiss circa 1888

On 3 December 1888, Carl Zeiss closed his eyes for the final time. He was buried in the Johannisfriedhof cemetery next to the Garnisonkirche. Eight of his most loyal employees acted as pallbearers. His coffin was embellished with a brass cross inlaid with objective lenses which had been produced at the Optical Works.

View of Jena to the north (Landgrafen), 1891 © Photo: ZEISS Archives
View of Jena to the north (Landgrafen), 1891
Jena and the ZEISS plant as seen from the north-east, 1891: 1. Carl Zeiss’s house: administration on the ground floor, living quarters on the first floor, bookbinder’s on the top floor; 2. and 3. buildings for mechanics and optics, 4. Abbe’s house. © Photo: ZEISS Archives
Jena and the ZEISS plant as seen from the north-east, 1891: 1. Carl Zeiss’s house: administration on the ground floor, living quarters on the first floor, bookbinder’s on the top floor; 2. and 3. buildings for mechanics and optics, 4. Abbe’s house.
View of Jena to the east (Fuchsturm), 1891. © Photo: ZEISS Archives
View of Jena to the east (Fuchsturm), 1891.
Employees
Historical Microscope
1884–1888
291 employees
10,000 microscopes

Thoughts about her Great-Great-Grandfather

Carl Zeiss's great-great-granddaughter studied microbiology in Kiel and Miami, and obtained her doctorate Göttingen (Dr. rer. nat.)

She worked in Research, Development and Quality Management at different pharmaceuticals. Today, she advises companies on the production of pharmaceutical and medical technology products and devices.

Carl Zeiss's signature