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MicroscopyPioneers


hired in 1899), and August Köhler (1866–1948; hired in 1900) are associated with major advancements in microscopy. For example, by the First World War the company produced the slit ultra-microscope for particle examination below the Abbe resolution limit and the UV microscope ( Figure 7 ), which laid the foundation for fluorescence microscopy. All microscopists today are familiar with Köhler’s illumination principle. Starting in the 1890s, new fields of business were created for innovative products: for example, photographic lenses, binoculars, astronomical instruments, and optical instruments for chemical analysis. Advances were made in line with a systematic, scientific approach in microscopes, given the successful collaboration between Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe in the field of microscopy.


At the beginning of his business, Carl Zeiss took his cue from the top European manufacturers, but later the company gained a leading position as a result of its well-developed scientifi c foundation. Innovative optical systems were brought to market, and Zeiss shaped microscopes in terms of their functions and look. T e company became a leader in the development of new microscopic techniques.


References [1] For Carl Zeiss, see: S Paetrow and W Wimmer , Carl Zeiss 1816–1888 . A Biography, Böhlau , Weimar , 2016 .


[2] M Schleiden , Die Pfl anze und ihr Leben, Wilhelm Engelmann , Leipzig , 1848 .


[3] M Schleiden , Grundzüge der wissenschaſt lichen Botanik , 2nd edition , Wilhelm Engelmann , Leipzig , 1845 .


[4] Zeiss Werkzeitung , revised version, 4 th year, issue 4, September 1929, 52–57, quote p. 54f.


[5] FW Barfuss , Optik, Catoptrik und Dioptrik oder theoretisch- praktischer Unterricht über den möglichst vollkommenen Bau aller optischen Instrumente, besonders aller Arten von Fernröhren und Microscopen: nebst Angabe der praktischen Hilfsmittel zur technischen Ausführung derselben , Voigt , Weimar , 1839 .


Figure 7 : 1904 Ultraviolet microscope by August Köhler and Moritz von Rohr (ZEISS archives).


scientifi c approach was taken here, too. T e new glass types were used to launch the apochromats in the 1880s. In these lenses, secondary color deviation was eliminated, and spherical aberration was consistently remedied for light of diff erent colors. From then on, all microscope manufacturers that wanted to remain competitive had to hire their own scientists and lens designers.


Zeiss employed academics in product development from 1879 onward. They were physicists, engineers, biologists, and physicians, all of whom contributed their practical experience. Some of them had attended lectures given by Abbe at the University of Jena. This practice was later described as the “Abbe school.” Initially, they all worked in microscopy: it is said of Karl Bratuschek (1865–1913; hired in 1892) that only his poor health prevented him from discovering phase contrast. The names Hermann Ambronn (1856–1927; hired in 1899), Henry Siedentopf (1872–1940;


54


[6] For stand development, see WE Mehliss, “100 Jahre Entwicklung im Zeiss-Mikroskop-Stativbau” in Jenaer Jahrbuch, 1953, vol. 4, 25–79, and D Gerlach, Geschichte der Mikroskopie , Harri Deutsch, Frankfurt 2009.


[7] M Schleiden , Grundzüge der wissenschaſt lichen Botanik , Wilhelm Engelmann , Leipzig , 1842 .


[8] Letter from Carl Zeiss to KO Beck dated February 4, 1855. Source: ZEISS Archives CZO-S 3.


[9] E Abbe , Wissenschaſt liche Abhandlungen aus verschie- denen Gebieten. Patentschriſt en, Gedächtnisreden , Gustav Fischer , Jena , 1906 .


[10] For Ernst Abbe, see, e.g., K Gerth, Ernst Abbe 1840–1905. Scientist, Entrepreneur, Social Reformer , Dr. Bussert & Stadeler, Jena, 2005.


[11] For the history of microscope optics, see, e.g., H Boegehold, Zur Geschichte der Zeissischen Mikroskop- objektive bis 1940, in: Jenaer Jahrbuch, 1951, vol 2, 7–21.


[12] Ernst Abbe, Die Hülfsmittel der Mikroskopie, 1878. Printed in: Gesammelte Werke , Band I, Gustav Fischer, Jena, 1904, 150–52.


www.microscopy-today.com • 2017 July


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