Return to home page


Classic Advertising

The very nature of this page is the classic advertising done by the Zeiss firms at all times in the 20th Century. The images may take some time to load but they will be worth seeing.

1923 art cover of Carl Zeiss binocular catalog

This is the front cover of the 1923 catalog for Zeiss Field Glasses. These catalogs were produced in a multitude of languages and shipped all over the world. Many of the catalogs that have been collected have come to the United States from Australia, India and Malaysia.


Germany was the focal point for the poster illustration movement and many famous artists of the day spent most of their careers providing illustrations for commercial purposes. Even famous artists like Ludwig Hohlwein prepared artwork anonymously.


This lovely young lady of the early 1920's is the perfect picture of the aristocratic market that was available for the highly innovative binoculars that Zeiss provided and they became a status symbol for her and for those who could only afford to ask for a free catalog that has turned into a 40+ page collectors item.




1920s catalogs for Astromical and Binocular catalog

Similar but smaller catalogs were available as well. Here we are showing two examples of separate catalogs. One for Astronomical Instruments. The first catalog shows a 60 mm telescope standing on top of an illustration of the Zeiss plant in the town of Jena where it was manufactured. A smaller binocular catalog followed the same motif as the larger catalog of the same period. The Astronomy catalogs were also hard covered books of more than 100 pages.

1941 Zeiss Internal magazine from 1941

Zeiss also published extensive internal material to keep the members of the staff informed of the progress at the plant.


Here in a 1941 company magazine, the cover shows a visit to the plant by an ally of the German government. Here the famous head of the Italian government appearing in full uniform to look through a telescope that certainly never made the market but probably the palaces of the governmental big wigs and possible the tents of a few generals.


Instruments like this never seem to be available nor has it appeared in any catalog.

These employee magazines were only available in German and can give you a good idea of the progress of the market and the Research and Development departments.


Four cover pages from Carl Zeiss binocular  catalogs from the 1920s.

This is a series of small 6 or 8 page catalogs of the late 1920s and early 1930s. Advertisers are finally moving to photography as a sales device instead of wood cuts or artwork. However, there are still occasional illustrations such as the birds in the first one and the black and white drawing in the blue sample.


As you can see, a space was left for the printing or the stamping of the dealers name at the bottom of each first page. Three of these are in German while the one in English was distributed to customers in Singapore.

This is just a sample of a few of the "tele" department. Other departments such as the microscope, medical, astronomical, surveying, measuring departments produced materials concentrating on their customer base. Some of the catalogs of the Zeiss Ikon subsidiary are also very artistic and collectible for the art work as well as the information within.

Our site is comprised of the following pages. Click on the name of each area to go to that page:

1. An overview of historical Zeiss Companies and a list of their collectibles
2. Our Zeiss Historica Publications
3. A sample article - The Contax camera's migration to Kiev, Ukraine
4. A second sample article - An unusual Contax I
5. An index to all of our published articles
6. Links to other interesting web sites related to Zeiss and photography
7. Membership Information.
Famous Zeiss Designers and Personalities
8. Famous Zeiss Designers and Personalities


Go to Top Return to home page For any questions or comments e-mail us - Click on this text