Leica Microsystems is a world leader in microscopes and scientific instruments. Founded as a family business in the nineteenth century, the company’s history was marked by unparalleled innovation on its way to becoming a global enterprise.
Its historically close cooperation with the scientific community is the key to Leica Microsystems’ tradition of innovation, which draws on users’ ideas and creates solutions tailored to their requirements. At the global level, Leica Microsystems is organized in three divisions, all of which are among the leaders in their respective fields: the Life Science Division, Industry Division, and Medical Division.
Leica Microsystems has six manufacturing facilities in five countries, with sales and service organizations in 20 countries. The company is headquartered in Wetzlar, Germany.
Leica and Science
A History of Success
1847 - Foundation of Spencer Lens/American Optical Instruments in USA.
1849 - Carl Kellner establishes the "Optical Institute" in Wetzlar.
1853 - Foundation of the Bausch & Lomb Instruments Division in USA.
1869 - Ernst Leitz takes over the "Optical Institute" and renames the company Ernst Leitz.
1872 - Foundation of the precision engineering company R. Jung in Heidelberg.
1876 - Foundation of the optical company C. Reichert in Vienna.
1881 - The son of Charles Darwin, Horace, establishes the optical company "Cambridge Instruments" .
1907 - The 100.000th microscope is presented to Nobel prize winner Robert Koch.
1921 - Foundation of the optical company Wild Heerbrugg in Switzerland.
1972 - Beginning of cooperation between Leitz Wetzlar and Wild Heerbrugg.
1976 - Metals Research expanded and bought Cambridge Instruments (1st manufacturer of Scanning Electron Microscopes).
1981 - Foundation of the Wild Leitz group.
1986 - Takeover of Reichert-Jung by Cambridge Instruments.
1990 - The Wild Leitz and Cambridge Instruments groups merge to form the Leica group.
1993 - 1st Joint Venture Opening of the Leica group in China for specimen preparation.
2006 - German Innovation Award for high-resolution microscope with 4PI technology.
2006 - Prof. Stefan Hell receives German Future Award from the German Federal President for the STED microscope
2012 – Leica Microsystems was awarded the Manufacturing Excellence (MX) Award 2012 as an overall winner...
... and also received the MX Award 2012 in “Logistics and Operational Efficiency” category
We operate internationally in three divisions
Life Science Division
Leica Microsystems’ Life Science Division supports the imaging needs of the scientific community with advanced innovation and technical expertise for the visualization, measurement and analysis of microstructures. Our strong focus on understanding scientific applications puts Leica Microsystems’ customers at the leading edge of science. We offer:
The Leica Microsystems Industry Division’s focus is to support customers’ pursuit of the highest quality end result by providing the best and most innovative imaging systems for their needs to see, measure and analyze the microstructures in routine and research industrial applications, in materials science and quality control, in forensic science investigations, and educational applications. We offer:
The Leica Microsystems Medical Division’s focus is to partner with and support micro-surgeons and their care of patients with the highest-quality, most innovative surgical microscope technology today and into the future. We offer:
Leica Microsystems GmbH, Leica Geosystems AG, and Leica Camera AG have been three completely independent companies without any remaining legal, operative or financial linkage. Leica Microsystems’ business serves completely different markets and customers to Leica Camera AG and Leica Geosystems AG.
Leica Camera AG is today listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange, with ACM Projektentwicklung GmbH (Salzburg, Austria) holding more than 96% shares.
Leica Geosystems AG is a Swiss company and part of the Swedish Hexagon Group.
Leica Microsystems GmbH is a German company owned by the US concern Danaher Corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
The use of the Leica brand is the only remaining connection between the three companies, on account of the long history and heritage of these now independent companies. Leica Microsystems is the owner of the Leica trade name and trademark and has granted licenses for their use by the other companies.