Early Zeiss Contax I System from 1933
Zeiss pioneered photo lens design in the 1890s.  This Zeiss compound microscope dates from the 1860s.
In the early 1900s, Zeiss pioneered many telescope designs.  This large terrestrial telescope was placed at the Matterhorn as a public service to exhibit the abilities of their designs.
Zeiss invented the first successful commerical and military prism binoculars in 1894.  This 1896 design had revolving 5x and 10 x eyepieces and was credited with aiding the Japanese victory over the Russian navy in the Russo-Japanese War
These are samples of early Zeiss advertising.  These are two early 1900 advertisements in French and English for Zeiss binoculars.

Updated by L. Gubas for Zeiss Historica 11/20/02

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The Zeiss Historica Society

Since this site is largely visual, it may take time to load all of the images to be displayed. We have more than six pages on our site map and five more linked to each of the images on the left of this page. Click on them all for more information

Zeiss Historica is a nonprofit, educational organization that is dedicated to the research and preservation of the history of the Carl Zeiss optical firm, its affiliates, subsidiaries, people and products from its founding in 1846 to the present. Since Zeiss has been and is a trailblazer in the world of optics and mechanical instruments, these products are highly innovative and collectable. Our organization is not directly affiliated with the firms of Carl Zeiss but rather keeps close track of Zeiss collectibles as well as their history and development.

Twice yearly, the society publishes the Zeiss Historica Journal. Since 1978 this publication has provided the collecting community with numerous, authoritative and clearly illustrated documentation that describes in detail a wide selection of Zeiss collectible products; their evolution, design, and function. We also address biographies of prominent figures in science, optics, and photography related to Zeiss. The material is collected and contributed by society members interfacing with each other, Zeiss experts and other interested parties in free exchange of information.

Since most of our worldwide members collect the various products and catalogs of the firms, we have a collective knowledge of the historical data associated with all of these marvelous instruments. Major Zeiss collectibles items include: Zeiss Ikon (including predecessor firms such as Goerz, Ernemann, Ica, and others) and Carl Zeiss cameras as well as photographic lenses, historic microscopes, telescopes, binoculars, their catalogs and provenance.

Our own logo is based on the famous logo used by Carl Zeiss beginning in 1903 using two unified lens cells with the company name and location within.

Our site comprises the following major pages. Additional pages are linked to the illustrations to the right of this page. 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
8. Famous Zeiss Designers and Personalities


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