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Open Access Platinum for Glass Making at Jena

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The use of platinum for the preparation of optical glass can be traced back to Michael Faraday who, in 1824, investigated ways of improving the manufacture of optical glass. During this work he began to use platinum for containment vessels, stirrers and ladles. Prior to this Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner had been appointed Professor of Chemistry at the University of Jena and was later supplied with platinum crucibles by his patrons. Crucibles and stirrers made from platinum were also used when Otto Schott was collaborating with Ernst Abbe on the development of new optical glasses. Their work led to a revolutionary upsurge in the optical industry in Jena and, following the involvement of Carl and Roderich Zeiss, the establishment of a reputation for optical-mechanical excellence which has been maintained ever since.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1994

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