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  C.P. Goerz Optical Works Company History

The C.P. Goerz Company was founded as a mail order company in 1886 by Carl Paul Goerz (1854 -1923) producing mathematical and drawing tools for schools, with only one assistant. It was located in Berlin-Friedenau, Rheinstrasse 44-46.

In 1887 Carl Moser an employee of the company started the photo supply business in the company.

In 1888 Goerz acquired the F. A. Hintze's mechanical workshop and began producing cameras.

In approximately 1889 Goerz began making optical lens with the trade name of Lynkeioskop C/2. Lens making became the primary business. A larger factory was established at Schoneberg.

In 1890 the company name was changed to Optische Anstalt C. P. Goerz and the company continued to expand operations in Berlin.

Also in 1890, Goerz products were first introduced to the American public during the World's Fair at Chicago and they subsequently opened a company office in New York. This branch would begin producing cameras in 1902.

In 1892 and 93 the double anastigmat type of lens were introduced with Goerz taking the lead. Goerz has the credit of having introduced the first symmetrical lens fully corrected for astigmatism. E. Von Hoegh invented the Dagors and other lenses for Goerz that became known for their high quality.

In 1894 it was recorded that 20,000 lenses have been sold.

In circa 1896 Goerz obtained rights to produce the Ottomar Anschutz focal plane shutter with speeds up to 1/1000 of a second. Cameras were produced with Goerz-Anschutz name and in approximately 1905 shorted to Ango derived from the first two letters of the two names ANschultz and GOerz. Ottomar Anschutz (1846-1907) had invented the shutter in 1883. Additional in this year, the company began the manufacture of other non-photographic optical goods, such as the well known Trieder binoculars, the Prism telescope, the panoramic telescope for military use.

In 1898, the optical manufacturing was transferred to a specially built factory in Friedenau due to expansion, which this part of the business now employed 1900 workpeople.

In 1900 it was reported that 60,000 lenses have been sold.

In 1903 it was reported that 100,000 lenses have been sold.

In 1905 the American branch adopted the name C. P. Goerz American Optical Co located at 317 East 34th street New York which contained full manufacturing capabilities.

In 1908, it was reported that 200,000 lenses have been sold. Goerz Photochemisches Werk GmbH was founded in Berlin-Zehlendorf. This company produced roll film and film for the movie industry.

In 1910 Goerz became owner of the Sendlinger Optische Glaswerke, an optical glass maker near Munich

In 1923 Carl Paul Goerz died.

In 1926 the German branch of Goerz merged with ICA, Contessa-Nettel and Ernemann to form Zeiss Ikon. As a result of the merger, only the Zeiss company continued to produce lens. The German Branch of the Goerz was no longer marketed. However the American branch continued.

In 1927, the Burke & James company, led by George Drucker, bought the German Goerz optical company holdings, complete with all existing lenses, tooling, and rights to the name and formula.

In 1975 the American branch closed operations.

CLICK HERE for a list of Goerz Cameras.

2008 McKeowns price guide
1911 The Photographic Times
1911 British Journal of Photography, Nov., p857

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2014-11-30 08:55:03

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