Landeshauptstadt Dresden - 14.10.2016 13:28:08 Uhr 21.04.2024 11:20:33 Uhr

Dresden innovations


While searching for the secret of how to produce gold, Johann Friedrich Böttger instead discovered the formula for white European hard-paste porcelain in 1708. In doing so, he founded the worldwide reputation of the Saxon porcelain manufactories, which are still today considered synonymous with the local sense of art and craft skills.

Crystal glass

In 1700, Ehrenfried Walter von Tschirnhaus, a respected scholar and researcher, set up a Dresden glassworks. The quality of Dresden crystal glass is said to have been on a par with the best Venetian wares.

Already in 1697, Tschirnhaus produced optical lenses with a diameter of more than one metre. These lenses were in great demand both at home and abroad.

Milk chocolate

In 1823, Jordan & Timaeus founded the first German »Chocolate and Chicorium Factory«. That was the start signal for the later famed Dresden confectionery and luxury foods industry, which also produced Swiss milk chocolate, thus actually a Dresden invention.

Mineral water

Physician and apothecary Adolf August Struve, encouraged by his own serious illness, began to experiment with the idea of copying the composition of natural mineral water.

In 1820, Struve started the first artificial mineral water production in the world, together with technician Blochmann. The »Royal Saxon Licensed Mineral Water Institute« had its offices in the Seevorstadt district of Dresden.

Steam locomotive

The first German steam locomotive came from Dresden: The »Saxonia« was designed by Professor Johann Andreas Schubert. The first trials took place in 1838, and Schubert himself stood on the footplate of the »Saxonia« in the following year to inaugurate the first long-distance railway service in Germany between Dresden and Leipzig.

Already in 1837, Schubert had also designed and had the first steamship to operate on the upper Elbe, the »Königin Maria«, built in Dresden.


From 1839 onwards, Friedrich Wilhelm Enzmann was the first industrial manufacturer of cameras. Alongside many other renowned companies in the branch, and together with outstanding photographers, he made the city a cradle of the German photographic industry and a centre of high-quality photography.

The first single-lens reflex camera in the world was produced by the Ihagee Camera Works in Dresden in 1936.

Even today, innovative photographic products have their roots in Dresden.

Typewriters and sewing machines

The company Seidel & Naumann, formerly a major enterprise in the typewriter and sewing machine industries, began production of Singer sewing machines in 1869. In 1887, it introduced the bicycle brand »Germania«, and from 1899 manufactured the »Ideal« typewriter. The company had approx. 2,700 employees around 1910.

The famous portable typewriter »Erika« was designed in 1910. It received its name from Naumann's granddaughter.

Mouthwash and toothpaste in tubes

Airships were never produced in Dresden, and they were certainly not invented here. It was only during the second half of the 20th century that the aircraft industry gained a foothold in the city.

It was an airship, however, which in 1932 became famous as the advertising medium for the first mouthwash in the world: »Odol«, developed in Dresden in 1893. Many other everyday products are similarly Dresden inventions, for example the toothpaste tube, the beer mat or filter cigarettes.

From 3D display to panorama camera

The »inventions« of our modern-day industrial society are to be found above all where interdisciplinary cooperation nurtures scientific potential and creativity.

Dresden possesses ideal prerequisites and can point to a long series of recent innovations: The Dresden university, for example, has developed 3D displays, the Noble Camera Works a unique panorama camera, and an extensive local high-tech industry is turning out products which have enabled the vision of a »Saxon Silicon Valley« to become reality.