Rudolph Winkel (1827-1905)

In the 1840s, Rudolph Winkel trained as mechanical engineer with Lippert in Hamburg, Germany. In 1857, he established a small workshop under his own name in Göttingen where he carried out orders for Göttingen University. He made his breakthrough during a trichinosis epidemic in 1966 with a low-cost travelling microscope designed to show the Trichinella roundworms in meat. He called it the Trichinen microscope.

Ernst Abbe (1840-1905), the man behind so many developments in microscopy at Carl Zeiss, visited the Winkel workshop and the two men cooperated on projects. After Rudolph Winkel’s death in 1905, his three sons ran the company, but Zeiss became Winkel’s main partner and by 1911 owned 100% of the shares. Zeiss maintained Winkel as a separate brand until 1957. Microscopes can sometimes be found with the logo Zeiss Winkel.