Dr. Eduard Kaiser’s Institut für Mikroskopie
“Dr. E.K.”

Eduard Kaiser (owner 1877 - 1878)
Charles Ponge (owner 1878 - 1893)
Graziano Sartori (owner 1893 - after 1913)

by Brian Stevenson
Last updatedDecember, 2018

Eduard Kaiser was both a doctor of medicine and doctor of philosophy. While serving as President of the Berlin Philosophical Society, he opened a bookshop in 1875, which expanded into his Institute for Microscopy in 1877. The main focus appears to have been microscope slides and slide-making apparatus, with microscopes from wholesale manufacturers also available. Kaiser sold the microscope venture in 1879 to Charles Ponge, who relocated the shop. Institut für Mikroskopie was acquired by Graziano Sartori in 1893. Sartori was also a licensed pharmacist, and, in 1903, he patented a massaging device that was sold from his shop.


Figure 1. Microscope slides from “Dr. Eduard Kaiser’s Institut für Mikroskopie”. The two on the left bear the address 27 Friedenstrasse, the site of the original shop and Kaiser’s home, indicating that they were prepared and sold by the original owner. The business moved to Albrechtstrasse when Charles Ponge acquired it in 1879. The slides on the right, without addresses and printed “Dr. E.K.”, were probably made by Ponge, between 1879 and 1893. The third owner, Graziano Sartori, was a pharmacist, who may have also produced slides. The images of the slides on the left were acquired from an internet auction site, reproduced here for nonprofit, educational purposes.

 

Little has been found of Eduard Kaiser’s life before he opened his shop on Friedenstrasse. For the 1900 U.S. census, he stated that he was born in September, 1852. He is first recognizeable in the Berliner Adressbuch in 1874, identified as “Dr.”, President of the Berlin Philosophical Society, and living at 107 Ritterstrasse. He later practiced medicine, so he presumably attended medical school before that time. The 1876 Berliner Adressbuch listed him as also being a “verlagsbuchhändler” (book publisher and seller), now located at 27 Friedenstrasse. An advertisement from 1896 stated that the Kaiser business began in 1875 (Figure 8), which would refer to the start of the book business.

It became the Institut für Mikroskopie during 1876-77. In 1877, Kaiser brought out a scientific journal, Zeitschrift für Mikrobiologie (Figure 3). The first issue included a full-page advertisement from the Institut für Mikroskopie, listing a variety of mounted specimens that Kaiser had available (Figure 2). Around the end of 1878, Kaiser sold the Institut für Mikroskopie to Charles Ponge. An 1879 article on Berlin microscopists by Kaiser referred to Ponge as “inhaber” (owner) of “Dr. Eduard Kaiser’s Institut für Mikroskopie”.

Kaiser ceased as editor of Zeitschrift für Mikrobiologie after the third issue of 1879. In 1880, he began the Gesellschaft für Zoologie (Society for Zoology), “to promote zoology and its auxiliary sciences in general, as well as zoological investigations of all kinds in particular, and to promote interest in to stimulate and disseminate them in ever wider circles. The meetings of the newly founded company take place once a month on every first Thursday of the month. The minimum contribution is 12 marks per year, the entrance fee is 3 marks”. The 1833 Berliner Adressbuch stated that Kaiser was available for seminars or private lessons.

Eduard Kaiser, his wife, and their four children left Germany in November, 1884, bound for the U.S.A. After some time in Illinois (a fifth child was born there in 1885), the Kaisers settled in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where Eduard worked as a physician. He was naturalized in that city as “John Charles Edward Kaiser” on September 7, 1892. He died on May 17, 1909.

No specific details of Charles Ponge’s life have been located. Upon acquiring Dr. Eduard Kaiser’s Institut für Mikroskopie, the business was relocated to 18 Albrechtstrasse. As owner from 1878 until 1893, Ponge probably produced the majority of slides that were sold by the Institut für Mikroskopie.

The 1885 Berliner Adressbuch listed the Institute, “mikroskopische präparate und utensilien” as having moved to 91 Alte Jacobstrasse. Another move occurred by 1890, to 54 Belle-Alliancestrasse.

The Berliner Adressbuch also records the transfer of ownership from Ponge to Graziano Sartori, with Ponge the owner in the 1893 edition, and Graziano in 1894.

Graziano was a pharmacist, and made substantial changes to Dr. Eduard Kaiser’s Institut für Mikroskopie. He opened two locations for the business. The 1896 Berliner Adressbuch described “Pflanzenanatomische Präparate, microchemische und photogr. Reagentien, chem. analyt. Laboratorium” at 22 Kreuzbergstrasse and “Apothec. und Chemis.” at 55 Belle-Alliancestrasse. An 1896 advertisement described the two shops as being in Berlin S.W. and Victoria Park (Figure 8). The business was prominently listed in the 1913 Berliner Adressbuch, but not in the 1920 edition. Sartori’s name was also absent, suggesting that Dr. Eduard Kaiser’s Institut für Mikroskopie ended around the time of World War I.


Figure 2. An 1877 advertisement from “Zeitschrift für Mikrobiologie”, listing some of the microscopical specimens available from Kaiser. Microscopes and other apparatus were also available for purchase, undoubtedly produced by wholesale manufacturers.

 


Figure 3. Cover and introductory pages from the first issue of “Zeitschrift für Mikrobiologie”, 1877, edited by Eduard Kaiser.

 


Figure 4. An 1877 advertisement from “Der Natur”.

 


Figure 5. The transition of ownership from Eduard Kaiser to Charles Ponge, as recorded in the “Berliner Adressbuch”.

 


Figure 6. Some of the microscopy-related items available from Dr. Eduard Kaiser’s Institut für Mikroskopies in 1879. From Bachmann’s “Leitfaden zur Anfertigung mikroskopischer Dauerpräparate”

 


Figure 7. A microtome that was developed by Kaiser and/or Ponge. Described in “Bericht über die Wissenschaftlichen Instrumente auf der Berliner Gewerbeausstellung im Jahre 1879”.

 


Figure 8. 1884 advertisement from “Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftliche Mikroskopie und für Mikroskopische Technik”.

 


Figure 9. The 1893-94 transition of ownership from Charles Ponge to Graziano Sartori, and expansion of the business’ scope, as documented in the “Berliner Adressbuch”.

 


Figure 10. 1896 advertisement from “Botanist’s Directory”.

 


Figure 11. 1898 advertisement from “Zeitschrift für Angewandte Mikroskopie”

 


Figure 12. Image from a 1903 advertisement for “Doctor Eduard Kaiser’s Viberon” massage device.

 

Resources

Botanist’s Directory (1896) Advertisement from Dr. Eduard Kaiser’s Institut für Mikroskopie, J. Dörfler, Vienna, page 248

Bachmann, Otto (1879) Leitfaden zur Anfertigung Mikroskopischer Dauerpräparate, R. Oldenbourg, Munich, pages 184-185

Berliner Adressbuch, accessed though https://digital.zlb.de

Bracegirdle, Brian (1998) Microscopical Mounts and Mounters, Quekett Microscopical Club, London (note: misread “E. Kaiser” as “B. Kaiser”)

Departure and arrival records of Eduard Kaiser and family on the ship “Westphalia”, November 9-22, 1884, accessed through ancestry.com

Index Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General's Office, United States Army (1895) “Zeitschrift für Mikroskopie. Organ der Gesellschaft für Mikroskopie zu Berlin red. von Eduard Kaiser. [Monthly.] v. 1-2, Oct., 1877-80. 8°. Berlin. v. 1, Oct., 1877. to Dec. 1878; v. 2, "1879-80". In no. 4, v. 2, Otto Brandt became editor”, Vol. 16, page 762

Journal de Micrographie (1879) Vol. 3, page 309

Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society (1879) Report of the meeting of June 11: “The following Objects, Apparatus, &c, were exhibited: Mr. A. de Souza Guimaraens - Diorite (Napoleonite); Diorite (quartz); Hauyne; Lava (Vesuvius); Liparite (Sphaerulitic). (Prepared by Dr. Eduard Kaiser, of Berlin.)”, Vol. 2, page 649

Kaiser, Eduard (1879) Die mikroskopie auf der Berliner gewerbe ausstellung im jahre 1879, Zeitschrift für Mikroskopie, Vol. 2, pages 69-70

Loewenherz, Leopold (1880) Bericht über die Wissenschaftlichen Instrumente auf der Berliner Gewerbeausstellung im Jahre 1879, J. Springer, Berlin, pages 306-308

Die Natur (1877) Advertisement from Dr. Eduard Kaiser’s Institut für Mikroskopie, Vol. 26

Naturalization record of “John Charles Edward Kaiser” (1892) accessed through ancestry.com

Nature (1880) “On April 1 a ‘Society for Zoology’ was formed at Berlin, with a view of furthering zoological science and zoological research in all its branches. The president is Dr. Eduard Kaiser (27, Friedrich Strasse), who will furnish all particulars to intending members”, Vol. 22, page 65

The Sanitarian (1904) Recent sanitary patents: “Apparatus for Massaging; Graziano Sartori, Berlin, Germany”, Vol. 52, page 56

U.S. census and other records, accessed through ancestry.com

Zeitschrift für Angewandte Chemie (1898) Proposed members of the German Association of Chemists: “Graziano Sartori, Apotheker, Inhaber von Dr. Ed. Kaiser's Institut für Mikroskopie u. chemisches Laboratorium, Berlin SW. 47, Kreuzbergstr.’, page 1188

Zeitschrift für Angewandte Mikroskopie (1898) Advertisements from Dr. Eduard Kaiser’s Institut für Mikroskopie, Vol. 3

Zeitschrift für Mikrobiologie (1877) Vol. 1

Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftliche Mikroskopie und für Mikroskopische Technik (1884) Advertisement from Dr. Eduard Kaiser’s Institut für Mikroskopie, Vol. 1

Zoologischer Anzeiger (1880), Vol. 3, page 192