Humboldt State University ® Department of Chemistry

Robert A. Paselk Scientific Instrument Museum


Wm. Gaertner & Co.

Wm. Gaertner & Co. was established by William Gaertner, a German instrument maker, in 1896 in Chicago Ill. Gaertner began producing physiological and physical apparatus for Loeb, Michelson, and Stratton of the University of Chicago. Another major early customer was the Yerkes Observatory. In 1898 Gaertner started what was probably the first export business in scientific instruments in the U.S. Gaertner made much measuring and testing equipment for the production of military equipment during the first World War. In 1917 Gaertner acquired the optical shop of O. L. Petididier. Gaertner then began the production of precision optical parts. In 1923 Wm. Gaertner & Co. was incorporated as the Gaertner Scientific Corporation. In 1946 it was reported that Gaertner Scientific had about 260 employees operating in a plant space of 46,000 sq. feet. At this time the company produced spectroscopic instruments, spectrographs, spectrometers, toolmakers microscopes, precision measuring instruments, dividing engines, astronomical and astrophysical instruments etc., many using patents held by the company. Gaertner Scientific Corporation remains in business at the site established in 1924 at 1201 W Wrightwood Ave Chicago, IL 60614-1296; (773-281-5335).


Anonymous. "Gaertner, William" Encyclopedia of Biography. pp. 362-4.
Anonymous. "Gaertner, William" The National Cyclopædia of American Biography. vol. G. James White and Co. New York. pp. 208-9 (1946).

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Last modified 5 August 2000