C. P. Goerz

C. P. Goerz was founded in 1886 by Carl Paul Goerz. The purpose of the company was to establish a business for mail-order trade of mathematical instruments. Just a year later, cameras were included in the assortment. With the takeover of the workshop of F.A. Hintze, the company began to produce cameras under the name of “Optische Anstalt C.P.Goerz” and, from 1890 on, the production of lenses followed. The outstanding quality of the C.P.Goerz lenses quickly spread and in 1894 C.P.Goerz was awarded the golden medal for excellent camera lenses at the world exhibition in Antwerp. This award is today comparable to an Oscar in technology.

The young Emil van Höegh joined the company in 1892 and took over the management of the production, as well as the international sales management. Under his leadership, the world-famous lenses Dagor, Goerz-Hypergon and also the Höeghsche meniscus were introduced.

The “Photographische Rundschau” wrote in 1899:

“A rapid upswing occurred in 1893, when the double anastigmat calculated by Mr. von Höegh, the scientific employee of the company, came onto the market. The company became so immense that the workshop had to be moved into a large factory building. “

For Carl Georg Schillings, the pioneer of animal photography and nature conservation, C.P.Goerz even developed special designs.

C.P.Goerz lenses were built at other locations around the world under license agreements. In New York in 1902, the first branch was established, and in the same year the C.P.Goerz was converted into a stock corporation. The company also opened offices in London, Paris and St.Petersburg. Through 1911, 300,000 lenses were produced and the number of employees rose to 2,500 and later to 12,500. C.P.Goerz was one of the world’s leading optical manufacturers.

Goerz-Höfe, Rheinstraße, Berlin-Friedenau (CC BY-SA 3.0) wikimedia.org

In Europe, C.P.Goerz merged with other companies in 1926 to form Zeiss Ikon AG. In the US, on the other hand, the Goerz American Optical Company continued to focus on the development and manufacture of film lenses. Because of the high quality of Goerz lenses from 1939 onwards Bolex, at that time the leading manufacturer of 16 mm film cameras, equipped their cameras with lenses made by the C.P. Goerz American Optical Company.

In 1972, the C.P.Goerz American Optical Company merged with Schneider-Optics and Goerz thus disappeared.