A. Repsold & Söhne - A. Repsold & Söhne

The large refractor (14 m focal length, 76 cm aperture) of the Pulkowo observatory from 1884

A. Repsold & Sons was a company for the manufacture of optical instruments in Hamburg . It existed under various names between 1799 and 1919.


Johann Georg Repsold founded a small manufacture for astronomical and geodetic instruments and tools in Hamburg in 1799 . [1] Here he worked mainly as a designer. By using microscopes to better read the partial circles on telescopes , he was able to greatly improve the accuracy of the meridian circle . After Johann Georg's death in a fire on January 14, 1830, Adolf Repsold and his brother Georg took over his father's business. The company was now called A. & G. Repsold. Even more than their father's company, the brothers focused on the design and construction of optical, especially astronomical, instruments. [2] Adolf Repsold's son Johann Adolf Repsold , called Hans, took it over in 1871 together with his brother Oscar and called it A. Repsold & Sons . The brother held back in the management, Johann Adolf led the original family business to the top of the world. The instruments sold worldwide. The largest instrument was the 14-meter refractor for the Pulkowo observatorynear St. Petersburg. Since there were no descendants who wanted to take over the business after Johann Adolf Repsold's death, the Repsold workshops ended in 1919.

Johann Adolf Repsold was very interested in astronomical historiography. He published a two-volume history of astronomical instruments [3] and a detailed family chronicle [4] .


  • L. Loewenherz : The Repsold'sche workshop in Hamburg . In: On the history of the development of mechanical art . In: Zeitschrift für Instrumentenkunde . Organ for communications in the entire field of scientific technology, vol. 7, Julius Springer, Berlin 1887, pp. 208ff.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Johann A. Repsold: Increased news about the Repsold family and especially about Johann Georg Repsold . Pont & von Döhren, Hamburg 1915.
  2. Jochen Schramm: Stars over Hamburg - The history of astronomy in Hamburg . 2nd revised and expanded edition. Culture & History Office , Hamburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-9811271-8-8 .
  3. Johann A. Repsold: On the history of astronomical measuring tools ,
    1st volume (Purbach to Reichenbach, 1450 to 1830), W. Engelmann, Leipzig 1908, ( digitizedhttp: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/1%3D~GB%3D~IA%3Dbub_gb_ZWrkAAAAMAAJ~MDZ%3D%0A~SZ%3Dn4~ double-sided%3D~LT%3D~PUR%3D ),
    2nd volume (from 1830 to around 1900), W Engelmann, Leipzig 1914.
  4. ^ Johann A. Repsold: News about Adolf Repsold. Hamburg 1900.