Sartorius from 1870 to 2020

For more than 150 years, Sartorius and its innovative solutions have been helping to accelerate research work, streamline workflows, and enhance the quality of results.

A book entitled Sartorius 1870–2020 charts the company’s growth from a precision mechanical workshop to a leading international partner of the biopharmaceutical industry.

From the "F. Sartorius Precision Mechanical Workshop" to an International Life Science Group

To mark the 150th anniversary of Sartorius, four renowned historians researched and documented the company’s evolution from various viewpoints. Instead of a traditional chronicle, the book is presented in a thematic manner.

In the first chapter, Hartmut Berghoff outlines the central story lines and metamorphoses behind the transition from a family business run by several generations to a company floated on the stock exchange in 1990. The second chapter, penned by Christian Kleinschmidt, shines the spotlight on internationalization and how an export-focused SME grew into a corporation with global operations. In the third chapter, Stephan H. Lindner and Luitgard Marschall turn their attention to the two technological seedbeds of Sartorius AG – separation and weighing technology.

The authors were consciously given free rein, allowing them to work without content restrictions and in accordance with academic standards. The result is a publication that provides a comprehensive account of the highs, lows, and technological advancements of this Göttingen-based company, accompanied by 160 illustrations, charts, and tables.

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The Authors

Prof. Hartmut Berghoff, Ph.D., is the Director of the Institute for Economic and Social History at the University of Göttingen, Georg-August-Universität. From 2008 to 2015, he directed the German Historical Institute in Washington D.C. Among his other projects and publications, he is the author of the textbook Modern Corporate History: A Thematic and Theoretical Introduction, Berlin and Boston 2016, co-author (with Ingo Köhler) of the book on family-run businesses in Germany and the United States Verdienst und Vermächtnis. Familienunternehmen in Deutschland und den USA seit 1800, Frankfurt/Main and New York 2020, and co-editor of Big Business and Dictatorships in Latin America. A Transnational History of Profits and Repression, New York 2021.

Prof. Stephan H. Lindner, Ph.D., is a Professor of Economic, Social and Technical History at the Munich University of the German Federal Armed Forces, Universität der Bundeswehr München. His research focuses on the history of the Third Reich as well as on the history of the textile industry and the chemical-pharmaceutical industry in the 20th century. His publications include the following: A book on the decline of the West German and French textile industries, Den Faden verloren. Die westdeutsche und die französische Textilindustrie auf dem Rückzug (1930/45-1990), Munich 2001; Inside IG Farben: Hoechst During the Third Reich, Cambridge 2008 (originally published in German, also available as a French translation); Aufrüstung - Ausbeutung - Auschwitz: Eine Geschichte des I.G.-Farben-Prozesses, Göttingen 2020.

Prof. Christian Kleinschmidt, Ph.D., is a Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Marburg, Philipps-Universität Marburg, with focal areas of research on economic and business history, the history of international economic relations, and consumer history. His publications include the following: with Jan Logemann (ed.): Consumption in the 19th and 20th Century Konsum im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (Handbücher zur Wirtschaftsgeschichte), Berlin, 2021; with Mark Jakob and Nina Kleinöder: Security and Insecurity in Business History: Case Studies in the Perception and Negotiation of Threats, Baden-Baden 2021; Wirtschaftsgeschichte der Neuzeit. Die Weltwirtschaft 1500-1850, Munich 2017.

Dr. Luitgard Marschall studied pharmacy and earned her doctorate in the history of technology. As an author and publicist, she focuses on the interactions between technology, the environment, medicine, and society. Among her activities and publication projects, she is the co-editor of the 2013 textbook on resource strategies and the sustainable use of resources, Ressourcenstrategien. Eine Einführung in den nachhaltigen Umgang mit Ressourcen (together with Armin Reller, Simon Meißner and Claudia Schmidt). In 2017 together with Christine Wolfrum, she co-edited a guideline book on medical care for women, Das übertherapierte Geschlecht. Ein kritischer Leitfaden für Frauenmedizin.

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