Microscope Museum

Collection of antique microscopes and other scientific instruments


Paraboloid condenser from Carl Zeiss (c. 1900)

A close up of a sign

Description automatically generated

Paraboloid condenser from Carl Zeiss, used for dark field illumination, and dated from c. 1900. In 1846, Carl Zeiss opened a workshop for precision mechanics and optical instruments in Jena. He focused his activities more and more on microscope production. Soon he was supplying not only the regional market but also shipping his wares around the world. In 1866, Carl Zeiss recruited the physicist Ernst Abbe to help him improve his microscopes. In 1877, Ernst Abbe became a partner in the company. After the passing of Carl Zeiss in 1889, Ernst Abbe created the Carl Zeiss Foundation, which would become the company’s sole owner. Since the 1890s, Abbe’s findings and his style of working have also been adopted in other fields of optics. This led to the creation of all-new products, new business areas and rapid growth for the company. In 1893, the first subsidiary was opened in London. Before the outbreak of WWI, sites were established across the world, which then had to be closed when war broke out. There were more ups and downs between then and 1945. Thereafter, the sites outside Germany have been developing in a stable manner and today, Carl Zeiss AG is a holding company with several subsidiaries. In addition to its sites in Oberkochen and Jena, its main production sites are in Wetzlar and Göttingen in Germany, Dublin and Minneapolis in the US, and Shanghai in China.


LAST EDITED: 15.08.2020