First mentioned in 953, Göttingen was elevated to town status around 1150. Georg August University – named after its founder King George II from Great Britain – opened in the city in 1734. Göttingen is where Rudolf Winkel began his independent precision mechanical work in 1857 for the company Breithaupt in Kassel and for the University of Göttingen in rented rooms. 1857 also marks the beginnings of Carl Zeiss in Göttingen, which is inextricable linked with the history of the Winkel family.
The workshop prospered, requiring expansion of the factory shortly thereafter. By the end of the 19th century, the workshop had moved to the Düstere Eichenweg and Winkel’s oldest son Carl took over the mechanical workshop. In 1907, he implemented serial production and enlarged the production program considerably. By 1911, Carl Zeiss had become the largest shareholder and the company was transformed into a GmbH. In 1957, a century after the first products left Winkel’s workshop, R. Winkel GmbH became a foundation company.
Today, Göttingen is a production and development site of Carl Zeiss MicroImaging GmbH and is home to the BioSciences, Industrial and Production divisions. The company develops and distributes upright and inverse microscopes, stereomicroscopes and systems for industry, science and research. The most important target groups are automotive, steel and metal producing companies, as well as the chemistry, microelectronic and solar industries and the associated research institutes.
First mention of the village Gutingi in a charter of Kaiser Otto I.
Elevated to city status.
Opening of the Georg-August University.
In rented rooms (Goethe-Allee), Rudolf Winkel begins independent precision mechanical work for the company Breithaupt in Kassel and for the University of Göttingen.
The first larger Winkel microscopes are appraised by Professor Listing.
Winkel's workshop relocated to own offices at Düstere Eichenweg 9 on the corner of Baurat Gerber-Strasse.
Expansion of the operation. Oldest son Carl placed in charge of the mechanical workshop.
Reconstruction of the factory building on Königsallee. Serial production implemented. Production program considerably enlarged.
Carl Zeiss becomes largest shareholder. Company transformed into GmbH. Factory buildings enlarged. Winkel is the first company in Göttingen to introduce eight-hour workday. Number of employees: 130.
Factory II (optical production) is set up on Carl-Zeiss-Straße.
R. Winkel GmbH becomes foundation company
of Carl Zeiss.