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"Zeiss Historica" Society

Zeiss Historica logo (17,692 bytes) 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 remains a pioneer in the world of optics and mechanical instruments, these products are highly innovative and in some cases have become collectable. The Zeiss Historica 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.

The society was founded in 1979 by the late Mr. Tom Schreiner who brought together a number of enthusiasts and collectors, to form a non-profit organization exclusively for educational purposes to research, study, and exchange information on the history, the people, the instruments, and the lore of the Carl Zeiss companies of Germany from 1846 to the present. Through meetings, through international conference and panel discussions, through the operation and maintenance of a Society Archive, and through the publication of a newsletter, the educational objectives of the Society are achieved. The Society is independent and is not involved with any commercial activity, or the trading of equipment.

Membership is open to the public world-wide. And while the society is independent of the Carl Zeiss companies it has been researching and preserving the Zeiss history. The society publishes a wonderful "Zeiss Historica" journal twice a year which includes original articles that describe in detail a wide selection of Zeiss products; their evolution, design, and function. The articles are contributed by society members, former Carl Zeiss employees and business associates, and other interested parties. The majority of submissions relate to the photographic field; the annual membership rosters (which include name, address, etc. for distribution by the Society to members only) include areas of interest for each member, and a high percentage of the members share an interest in photographic areas. However, the full range of Zeiss products are spotlighted including microscopes, scientific instruments, designs and patents. Each article is well illustrated, often including rare photographs and illustration, old advertisements, and contemporary photographs of antique Zeiss products. Furthermore, the society has undertaken the task of collecting and reprinting antique Carl Zeiss literature (such as product catalogs in their entirety for example) which are then made available to the membership at large, and for sale to the public.

Annual meetings are held in Europe or North America for the exchange of ideas sometimes in conjunction with special activities or tours of facilities of interest, and to foster new friendships.

The Society publication and archive activities is supported through donations of cash and materials (tax deductible), and by the annual dues collected from the membership. The dues include a subscription to "Zeiss Historica" with airmail postage. The dues are set at the meetings of the membership by vote of the members. The regular annual dues for North America are $40, with slightly higher dues of $50 for those whose mailings that are sent overseas to Europe and Asia for example; incidentally the fees have not changed by much in ten years!

The Society maintains an Intenet site ; anyone with professional experience in this field is invited to contribute.

If you wish additional specific details about the Zeiss Historica Society then we encourage you to write to the Society's Secretary:

  • Zeiss Historica Society, P.O. Box 556, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549 U.S.A.

  • Charlie Barringer, Jr., 205 Chews Landing Road, Haddonfield, NJ 08033, U.S.A.
    (current President of the Society)

While contributions to "Zeiss Historica" Journal may be mailed to the editor:
John T. Scott, 4507 Mountain Path Drive, Austin, TX 78759 (USA)


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