As a young scientist, Abbe dedicated his knowledge to Carl Zeiss. He joined Carl Zeiss as a scientific employee in 1866. Abbe became a professor at the University of Jena in 1870. His theory of microscope imaging made him the founder of scientific optics and gave Carl Zeiss an important technological advantage: while microscopes were previously built on the basis of experience, beginning in 1872 they were founded on scientific calculations and therefore achieved considerably better optical properties.
In turn, this opened the door to pioneering research in biology and medicine, e.g. the work of Robert Koch and Paul Ehrlich.
Relevant original documents can be found in the Carl Zeiss Archive.