German China

Milestone Microscopy

Quality, precision and science – The visualisation of microcosm

| Author / Editor: Dr. Ilka Ottleben* / Dr. Ilka Ottleben

Fig. 1 Where it all began - the optical workshop in Jena in the 19th Century.
Fig. 1 Where it all began - the optical workshop in Jena in the 19th Century. (Source: Zeiss)

What does a person consist of? Their organs? Their blood? How does life work? Finding the answer to many fundamental questions of humanity would not have been conceivable without the microscope. A technology that was revolutionised when it was put on a scientific foundation for the first time.

Jena, in the middle of the 19th Century. The city on the Saale, which Goethe once respectfully called the “City of Knowledge”, was, economically at least, dominated by its university and small craft businesses which lived on science-related orders. Far beyond the city limits of Jena, this was the start of a new era in natural sciences and medicine: Researchers began to understand the fundamental structure of living organisms, the meaning of the term "cell" became more and more developed. It was against this background that the 30-year-old Carl Zeiss (1816-1888) opened a workshop for precision mechanics and optics on 17 November 1846 at Neugasse No. 7 in Jena - a foundation stone and cradle of over 170 years of company history that has lasted to this very day.

The beginnings of microscopy go back to the middle of the 17th Century and its long history shows that it part of human nature to want to make the tiniest thing to the human eye - the microcosm - visible. But only the increasing importance and progress in scientific research and medicine at the beginning of the 19th Century made a device which once primarily served amusement, into an extremely important scientific instrument. And so, in the year 1847, on the advice of his academic teacher Matthias Jacob Schleiden (1804-1881), botanist and co-founder of the cell theory, Carl Zeiss began making simple but precise microscopes. Through his diligence, he quickly became a name, the need and demand for his products proved he had made the right decision. But only compound microscopes could achieve higher magnifications. For Zeiss to stay with the competition, he also had to build a compound microscope; in 1857 ”Stativ I” became the first technical milestone of his young company.

* Dr. I. Ottleben: Editorial LABORPRAXIS Magazine, email ilka.ottleben@vogel.de

Comments are being loaded ....

Leave a comment

The comment is checked by an editor and will be released soon.

  1. Avatar
    Avatar
    Edited by at
    Edited by at
    1. Avatar
      Avatar
      Edited by at
      Edited by at

Comments are being loaded ....

Report comment

Kommentar Freigeben

Der untenstehende Text wird an den Kommentator gesendet, falls dieser eine Email-hinterlegt hat.

Freigabe entfernen

Der untenstehende Text wird an den Kommentator gesendet, falls dieser eine Email-hinterlegt hat.

copyright

This article is protected by copyright. You want to use it for your own purpose? Contact us via: support.vogel.de/ (ID: 44713284 / Milestones)