Company History

The workshop for precision mechanics and optics opened by Carl Zeiss in Jena in 1846 enjoyed a sustained period of prosperity during its early years. On the basis of Ernst Abbe’s outstanding scientific achievements, a global player in the field of optics gradually evolved. The company’s heyday lasted for a century.

The forced partition of Germany as a result of the political situation after World War II resulted in the development of two Zeiss companies.

Following the political changes in the former East Germany in 1989/90, the two competitors merged to form a single company in 1990. Reunited, Carl Zeiss became stronger than ever before. Today, the company looks to the future with optimism and excitement.

Company history at a glance

The company ZEISS began as a small workshop in Jena, Germany, and grew into one of the world’s leading companies in the optics industry.


Milestones in the company’s history

Here you will find an overview of the milestones in the history of ZEISS.


Lens in a square – the ZEISS logo

The reunification of Carl Zeiss about 25 years ago is also reflected in today’s company logo.


Historical review of 20 years of reunification

Learn more about the events in Jena (East Germany) and Oberkochen (West Germany) from 1989 until the present.


Company magazine – two become one

The ZEISS company magazine can look back on an interesting history of its own – part of it in Oberkochen and part of it in Jena.