Milestones in the Company’s History

  • 1846 – 1888
    Carl Zeiss in 1847


    Carl Zeiss opens a workshop for precision mechanics and optics in Jena.

    Ernst Abbe, 1875


    Ernst Abbe becomes a joint partner (agreement with retroactive effect in 1876).

  • 1889 – 1901
    Charter of the Carl Zeiss Foundation.


    Ernst Abbe founds the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).


    Start of diversification: new products open up new business opportunities.

    Carl Zeiss subsidiary in London.


    First non-German subsidiary in London marks the start of global expansion


  • 1902 – 1945

    Since 1926

    Formation of the corporate group begins with the founding of Zeiss Ikon AG

    After 1933

    Involvement in the arms race.

  • after 1945

    After 1945

    The company in Jena is expropriated; a new company under the name Carl Zeiss is founded in Oberkochen: A legal dispute arises over the use of the name and trademarks.


    Reunification of the two separated companies


    Carl Zeiss is transformed into a stock corporation – Carl Zeiss Foundation remains sole shareholder