The origin dates back to the mid 19th century
When the qualified "Mechanicus" Carl Zeiss opened his optical workshop in Jena in 1846, the lenses were still cut to the correct size by testing. However, growing competitive pressure together with his own creative restlessness soon drove Zeiss to look for a completely different way to combine scientific theory and technical artistry.
The encounter with the young Ernst Abbe, Professor of Physics at the University of Jena, was a stroke of luck of real historical significance. Abbe's research activities enabled the industrial manufacture of complex microscopes.
Later they were joined by the gifted chemist Otto Schott. The workshop in Jena became a world-class industrial center.
This optical tradition was continued by two companies following the division of Germany. In 1948, the Carl Zeiss Foundation and a new Zeiss company were established in Baden-Württemberg, while the Zeiss plant in Jena was transferred to public ownership
Jenoptik – a success story since the political change in 1990
In addition to the long tradition that still characterizes the Jena location today, the chronicle of Jenoptik is also a very modern success story: JENOPTIK Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH was founded in 1990, from which JENOPTIK GmbH emerged one year later as a state-owned company. JENOPTIK AG has been in existence since 1996, followed by an IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 1998.