Company Celebrates 200th Birthday of Founding Father Carl Zeiss

200th Birthday of Founding Father Carl Zeiss
200th Birthday of Founding Father Carl Zeiss
Carl Zeiss Sports Optics
Carl Zeiss Sports Optics

North Chesterfield, VA -( Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, the world's leading manufacturer of premium sports optics, is pleased to announce the celebration of 200th birthday of its founding father.

Carl Zeiss was born in the town of Weimar Germany in 1816. September 11, 2016 marked his 200th birthday. The mechanic opened a small workshop for precision mechanics and optics in Jena in 1846, laying the foundation for today’s global technology player ZEISS.

“Without these achievements and the intellectual legacy of its founding father, ZEISS would not be as successful as it is today,” says Dr. Michael Kaschke, President and CEO of Carl Zeiss AG.

This year the company will celebrated the 200th birthday of its founder with many different activities and events.

A Biography of Carl Zeiss was published in May, and starting in September an exhibition on the visionary entrepreneur which will introduce visitors to his life and work. The highlight of the celebrations was Carl Zeiss Day in the city of Jena on September 11th.

As a fitting and lasting honor of Carl Zeiss' achievements which will endure beyond the events held to commemorate his 200th birthday, the company is sponsoring the establishment of a German Optical Museum in Jena – with the support of partners from industry, science and the city of Jena. The initiators are: the Ernst Abbe Foundation, the Carl Zeiss Foundation, the city of Jena, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena and the company ZEISS.

“In the same year of Carl Zeiss' 200th birthday, it's important to us to begin this significant initiative and important undertaking. I am sure that this museum is not only an appropriate, but also a forward-looking way to honor our company founder, here in the city where he started is company,” says Dr. Kaschke.

On November 17, 1846 Carl Zeiss opened a small workshop for precision mechanics and optics in Jena. Zeiss began by designing, building and repairing physical instruments. He also sold telescopes, microscopes, drawing sets, scales, thermometers and additional instruments from other manufacturers.

Carl Zeiss
Carl Zeiss

In 1847 he began producing simple microscopes, and from 1857 onwards he also built compound microscopes. In 1860 Zeiss was appointed university mechanic; in 1863 he assumed the post of court mechanic. 1866 saw the beginning of his collaboration with Ernst Abbe, and the two men worked together on producing microscope lenses based on a solid mathematical foundation. From 1872 only objective lenses produced in line with Abbe’s calculations were sold. The success of these lenses led to the company's growth. Zeiss’ collaboration with Otto Schott, who developed and later produced new types of optical glass in Jena, commenced in 1879. Zeiss died in Jena on 3 December 1888.

The reasons behind his success still apply for fledgling companies today. Promoting science and a commitment to society create measurable values for a company. ZEISS and the Carl Zeiss Foundation are engaged in many non-profit projects around the globe, ranging from foundation professorships in basic research, offers for young people such as scientific centers of learning and the regional young scientists competition Jugend forscht and extending to the promotion of small, individual social projects.

To learn more about Carl Zeiss and his historical achievements, please visit

About ZEISS:

ZEISS is an international technology group in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. The ZEISS Group develops and distributes semiconductor manufacturing equipment, measuring technology, microscopes, medical technology, eyeglass lenses, camera and cine lenses, binoculars and planetarium technology. With its solutions, the company constantly advances the world of optics and helps shape technological progress. ZEISS is divided up into the four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Research & Quality Technology, Medical Technology, and Vision Care/ Consumer Optics. ZEISS is represented in over 40 countries and operates more than 30 production sites, over 50 sales and service locations and about 25 research and development facilities. In fiscal year 2014/15 the company generated revenue approximating €4.5 billion with around 25,000 employees. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss AG is the strategic management holding company that manages the ZEISS Group. The company is wholly owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).

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