1870 – 1930
The Goettingen "university mechanician" Florenz Sartorius founds the company called "Feinmechanische Werkstatt F. Sartorius" and starts producing short-beam analytical balances (photo).
In 1898, Sartorius establishes a new production site at Weender Landstrasse in Goettingen, the company’s headquarters until 2017.
The companies of August Becker (Goettingen) and Ludwig Tesdorpf (Stuttgart) manufacture products completementary to Sartorius’ portfolio. Through the acquisition of these companies Sartorius adds microtomes and other instruments for microscopy, astronomical and geodetical devices as well as telescopes to the product line. The companies are integrated into the Sartorius firm under the new name "F. Sartorius, Vereinigte Werkstätten fuer wissenschaftliche Instrumente von F. Sartorius, A. Becker und Ludwig Tesdorpf".
Florence Sartorius involves his sons Wilhelm, Erich and Julius into the growing family enterprise (photo).
Sartorius is converted to a publically traded company, the "Sartorius-Werke AG", with four segments (photo).
In 1916, Richard Zsigmondy together with Wilhelm Bachmann invents the membrane filter. The invention is patented under the publication number DE 329060 C. With this groundbreaking work in cooperation with the "Sartorius-Werke", Zsigmondy laid the foundation for Germany’s leading role in membrane technology.
Richard Zsigmondy (photo) invents the "cold ultrafilter" in 1922. These filters serve as the basis for commercial-scale production of Sartorius separation and filter technology products.
The founder of the company, Florence Sartorius Sr. (photo), passed away in 1925. Since two of his sons, Julius and Florence Jr., had died in 1918, the responsibility for the company went over to the shoulders of Wilhelm as commercial and Erich as technical director.
The foundation of the membrane filter company "Membranfilter-Gesellschaft m.b.H." in Goettingen in 1927 is another cornerstone in Sartorius’ company history (photo).