Landeshauptstadt Dresden - 14.10.2016 13:29:43 Uhr 14.06.2024 12:35:37 Uhr

Dresden inventors and scientists

Johann Friedrich Böttger

It was in 1701 that alchemist Böttger, who had been born in Schleiz on 4.2.1682, arrived in Dresden for the first time - having been brought here from Wittenberg under military escort and »the greatest of secrecy«. His first quarters were in the Royal Palace. After a number of moves, he attempted to flee in 1703, was recaptured and imprisoned in Königstein.

In 1707, his laboratory was transferred to the Venus Bastion of the Dresden city fortifications. One year later, working together with Ehrenfried Walter von Tschirnhaus, he here discovered the formula for the first European hard-paste porcelain.

Böttger also made a name for himself in Dresden as a botanist, and set up a greenhouse with over 400 rare plants.

In 1710, he was sent to Meissen as administrator of the newly founded porcelain manufactory.
Following his release in 1714, he lived in a townhouse on Schiessgasse until his death.

Carl Gustav Carus

Carl Gustav Carus gained fame as a physician, painter and naturalist. He was born in Leipzig on 3.1.1789 and studied medicine, philosophy and natural science in his home city.
He came to Dresden in 1814 - as professor for obstetrics at the Surgical-Medical Academy and as director of the royal maternity clinic.
He rose to the position of royal physician in 1827 and also received the title of a privy and public health councillor. His influence on science and intellectual life, however, reached far beyond just Dresden itself.

Carus belonged to the group of Romantics gathered around Ludwig Tieck, and corresponded regularly with Alexander von Humboldt and Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Under the influence of his friend and mentor Caspar David Friedrich, he developed an interest in painting and can today be counted one of the most renowned landscape artists.

Carus published some 200 papers which were considered pioneering at the time. He was the first academic in Germany to treat comparative anatomy as an independent discipline, and his publications in the natural sciences, influenced by his affiliation to Romantic school of thought, have remained essentially valid through to the present day.

His »Nine Letters on Landscape Painting« (1831) and »Views and Thoughts on Selected Works in the Dresden Galleries« (1867) reflect his conception of art.

Wilhelm Gotthelf Lohrmann

A cartographer and astronomer, Wilhelm Gotthelf Lohrmann was born in Dresden on 31.1.1796, and also died in Dresden, on 20.2.1840. After studying architecture and working for a time in the Cartographic Service, he was placed in charge of trigonometric land surveys in 1825.
In 1835, he became director of the Technical School in Dresden.

Together with Johann Andreas Schubert, he founded a Dresden Trade Association. In 1824, Lohrmann published his »Topography of the Visible Surface of the Moon« and produced a series of lunar maps.

Friedrich Wilhelm Enzmann

Optical and precision mechanic Enzmann was born in Grosspöhla on 27.1.1802, and died in Dresden on 13.2.1866. Together with his brother, he devoted his attention to the development and construction of photographic apparatus.

In 1839, Enzmann was the first manufacturer outside France to offer cameras and photographic plates for a square image format. His advertisement in the »Dresdner Stadtanzeiger« on 31st October 1839 can be considered the birth certificate of the photographic industry in Dresden.

Johann Andreas Schubert

Born in Wernesgrün/Vogtland on 18.3.1808, Schubert studied architecture before joining the Technical School in Dresden as a lecturer in 1828. He was appointed professor in 1832 and taught engineers at the school for 40 years.

As a founding member of the Elbe Steamship Company, he contributed decisively to the building of the »Königin Maria«, the first passenger steamer to go into service on the upper Elbe. The first German steam locomotive, the »Saxonia«, is also closely linked with Schubert's name. On 8th April 1839, he stood on the footplate of the »Saxonia« for the maiden journey of the Leipzig-Dresden railway, the first long-distance railway service in Germany.

Schubert completed calculations for railway viaducts over the Göltzsch and Elster valleys. He was appointed an officer of the higher civil service in 1865.

Oskar Drude

Botanist Oskar Drude was born in Braunschweig on 5.6.1852. After studying in Göttingen, we was called to Dresden as director of the Botanical Garden and professor of botany at the Technical College. He published numerous reference works on plant geography and ecology.

His teaching at the Technical College was way ahead of its time. Drude's principal achievements were the reorganisation of the Dresden Botanical Garden and the establishing of an experimental station for plant physiology.

Oskar Drude died in Dresden on 1.2.1933.

Karl August Lingner

Karl August Lingner became known as an industrialist and champion of public health. Born in Magdeburg on 21.12.1861, he founded a business producing household goods in Dresden with engineer Kraft in 1888, and in 1893 a chemical laboratory.

It was here that he developed the mouthwash »Odol«. With the famous Odol airships, he started an extensive advertising campaign and helped his mouthwash to worldwide reputation in its distinctive bottle.

Lingner also earned merit for his work in the field of public health. He founded one of the first German infant clinics with physician Schlossman in 1898, in 1900 a central office for dental hygiene, and in 1901 a central office for disinfection.

As a successful industrialist, he was one of the initiators of the First International Hygiene Exhibition in 1911 and contributed via a foundation to the establishing of a »National Hygiene Museum« in Dresden in 1930.

Heinrich Barkhausen

Physicist Heinrich Barkhausen was born in Bremen on 2.12.1881, and died in Dresden on 20.2.1956. In 1911, he was appointed professor at the Dresden Technical College, as one of the youngest ever.

Barkhausen founded and headed the first institute of low-voltage engineering at a German university. The »father of low-voltage engineering«, as he became know during his teaching in Japan, discovered the Barkhausen effect in ferromagnetic materials and, together with Karl Kurz, the so-called Barkhausen-Kurz oscillations.

He introduced the unit »phon« as a measure of audible volume and furthered the use of electron tubes in communications engineering.

Victor Klemperer

Literary scholar and essayist Victor Klemperer was born in Landsberg (Warthe) on 9.10.1881. From 1921 onwards, he held a chair in Romance languages at the Dresden University of Technology.

Being of Jewish faith, he was removed from office in 1935, but survived the years of National Socialist terror in the city. After 1945, Klemperer returned to a professorship at the university, and was then in 1946 appointed first director of the Dresden evening schools.

Among his numerous publications, the book »LTI. Lingua Terrtii Imperii«, an analysis of language and thought during the »Third Reich«, met with widespread acclaim. Klemperer's diaries, and in particular those from the Nazi years, were published posthumously and are deemed invaluable documents of contemporary history.

Maria Reiche

The lines drawn in the Nazca desert in the south of Peru can certainly be considered one of the most intriguing cultural monuments in the world. An area of 250 km² of stony desert is covered with a seemingly endless network of lines, interspersed with gigantic stylised images and geometric figures.

One woman brought this mystery to the attention of the world: Maria Reiche, born in Dresden in 1903. Maria Reiche emigrated to Peru during the 1930s. Over decades of work, she discovered more than 40 geoglyph figures and surveyed the length and orientation of around 1000 lines. It was not least thanks to her commitment that the lines in the Nazca desert were inscribed onto the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage in 1995.

Maria Reiche died in 1998.

Manfred von Ardenne

Physicist Manfred von Ardenne was born in Hamburg on 20.1.1907, and died in Dresden on 26.5.1997. Ardenne headed his own laboratory for electron physics in Berlin-Lichterfelde until 1945. It was here that he made numerous discoveries in the field of radio and television and in electron optics (scanning electron microscopy).

From 1945 to 1955, he was director of a research institute investigating industrial processes for isotope separation near Suchumi on the Black Sea. Thereafter, he founded the Manfred von Ardenne Research Institute in the Weisser Hirsch district of Dresden, where he developed a multiple-chamber electron-beam furnace and fine-beam plasma burners.

Ardenne also earned a reputation for the development of the cancer multistep therapy as a contribution to cancer research.