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Rolf Beck


Rolf Beck, born in Giessen in 1937, already enjoyed playing with optical toys as a child. He made functioning optical instruments while still at grammar school. So it was only natural for him to do his professional training at the Optische Werke Ernst Leitz in Wetzlar. In 1955 he started a three-year apprenticeship as a technical sales clerk, in which he got to know all the final assemblies of the then widely-branched product range. After completing his training, he began working for Leitz in the marketing department, specializing in the sale of scientific instruments.

During the course of his career, Beck worked in Lausanne, Neuchâtel, Paris and Hamburg to accumulate the know-how required for his later job as product manager. In this position he represented the Ernst Leitz company and later Leica Microsystems Wetzlar GmbH worldwide as a specialist for the application of optical instruments in the forensic lab.

Rolf Beck retired in 2000. He now looks after the extensive company archives of Leica Microsystems GmbH as well as the company’s collection of the scientific instruments of Ernst Leitz.


  • 125 Years of Comparison Microscopy – From the "camera lucida" to the Automated Comparison Bridge

    To be able to optically compare two objects with scientific accuracy, it must be possible to view them at the same time. This is particularly true for comparing small objects that can only be visualized with the aid of an optical magnification system. If you only have one microscope and have to look at the objects alternately, you need an excellent memory and can never rule out the risk of judgment errors, especially when examining objects with only minor differences in structure, color or profile.
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  • 100 Years of Binoculars and Quantitative Microscopy

    One hundred years ago, in 1913, the Optische Werke Ernst Leitz in Wetzlar, predecessor of Leica Microsystems CMS GmbH, made two inventions that were to blaze the trail for modern microscopy: the binocular tube and the integrating stage for quantitative microscopy.
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