Early Tech Transfer: From Poultry Farming to Microbiology
Sartorius Facts from the Archives
More than 100 years ago, company founder Florenz Sartorius did not only innovate the design of laboratory balances, he also ventured into the field of microbiology — by using his knowledge of precise temperature regulation in incubators for poultry farming.
This article is posted on Sartorius Blog.
In addition to innovating the design of laboratory balances, company founder Florenz Sartorius also developed incubators for poultry farming — and knew how to market them particularly well. At agricultural trade fairs, he showcased the incubators to the public by pre-incubating the eggs and timing the hatching process of the chicks, which usually began after about 20 days, to coincide exactly with the exhibition dates.
Being a manufacturer of incubators, Sartorius later on invited customers and those interested to take tours through its own model poultry yard. In addition to coops with nesting boxes, offices, and hatcheries, there was an exhibition room with a permanent display of chicken-farming equipment. The portfolio ranged from incubators to artificial hens to mobile chick brooders.
But how did poultry farming lead to microbiology? Florenz Sartorius used his knowledge of precise temperature regulation in incubators to manufacture bacteriological heating devices. Those new incubators providing controlled environmental conditions were used for "breeding bacilli," i.e., cultivating microorganisms, in the then budding field of bacteriology and microbiology. They were part of the Sartorius product portfolio for several decades.
One hundred years later, Sartorius supports customers with a fully scalable and interchangeable range of bioreactor solutions. Sartorius is part of the solution in the fight against COVID-19, cancer, dementia and many other diseases.