Julius Emil Adolf Klönne, 1844 - 1880
Gustav Müller, ca. 1850 - ca. 1925

Klönne and Müller, 1876 - ca. 1921

by Brian Stevenson
last updated November, 2018

The Klönne and Müller microscopical business operated in Berlin, Germany, for nearly 50 years. Between 1876 and approximately 1921, the firm produced microscope slides, microscopes, and related equipment (Figures 1-5). Until ca. 1887, they also published books. Slides by Klönne and Müller are not particularly common, and their microscopes are even less frequently seen. They produced a wide variety of specimens, many of which are still in very good condition (Figures 1 and 2).

Before the partnership formed, Julius Klönne operated a book publishing and retailing business. In 1876, Gustav Müller joined him, and the partners began to also sell microscopes, slides, and supplies. This implies that Müller possessed microscope-making skills, perhaps having recently left one of the high-quality manufacturers of Berlin. The business initially retailed slides that were prepared by H.C.J. Duncker - it is not known whether they continued to bring in slides from outside makers, or produced them in-house. Klönne died in 1880. A few years later, Müller sold the publishing/bookselling business while retaining the microscopy side. He maintained the name “Klönne und Müller” through at least 1921, the date of the last known reference to the company. Figures 7 onward trace Klönne’s and Müller’s businesses through advertisements and other publications, many of which illustrate the microscopes that they produced.

Little is known about the personal lives of Julius Klönne and Gustav Müller. The mixing of book publishing and selling with microscope manufacture is not an obvious combination. Perhaps they were relatives, merging business experiences for a common benefit? Noting that Klönne died 4 years after the partnership formed, when only 37 years old, he may have suffered from a chronic disease, in which case it is logical that a relative might have helped to take care of him. Speculation aside, Julius Klönne died on January 5, 1880 (Figure 6). His age at death indicates that he was born in 1844. The record also gives his birthplace as Wesel. Gustav Müller was clearly a skilled maker of microscopes in 1876, suggesting that he was then, at least, in his mid-twenties. The firm was listed in the 1921 Berlin telephone book, but not in later editions, suggesting that Müller retired shortly afterward and, considering his probable age, died a few years later.

Klönne and Müller operated from four addresses in Berlin, which can serve to date slides and other objects:

Prinzenstrasse 56, 1876 - 1880
Prinzenstrasse 69, 1880 - 1884
Prinzenstrasse 71, 1885 - 1887
Luisenstrasse 49, 1888 - 1921


Figure 1. Microscope slides from Klönne and Müller. The two on the left bear addresses, dating their production (Prinzenstrasse 71: 1885-1887, Prinzenstrasse 69: 1880-1884). The slides on the right, without addresses, appear to have been issued simultaneously with those on the left: Bracegirdle’s ‘Microscopical Mounts and Mounters’ includes such a slide, on which an owner wrote the date ‘1885’. From the authors collection, or adapted for educational, nonprofit use from an internet auction site.


Figure 2. Young, ephyra stage of a Pelagia noctiluca jellyfish, by Klönne and Müller (see Figure 1).


Figure 3. Klönne and Müller “Stand 1” microscope, circa 1883 (see Figure 18, below). Adapted for educational, nonprofit purposes from http://www.schatzwert.de/news-schaetzung/article/antikes-mikroskop-aus-messing.html


Figure 4. A Klönne and Müller “Apothecary” microscope, circa 1880 (see Figure 17, below). Note the hinge connecting the limb to the foot. Adapted for nonprofit, educational purposes from http://www.igm.cnr.it/pagine-personali/maga/maga-microscopes/klonne/


Figure 5. A Klönne and Müller microscope, of uncertain age. It bears serial number 2009. Adapted for nonprofit, educational purposes from an internet auction site.


Figure 6. Record of the death of Julius Klönne, dated January 5, 1880.


Figure 7. A brief history of the Klönne and Müller publishing business, from Gesammt-Verlags-Katalog des Deutschen Buchhandels, 1880. The firm was started on September, 1865, by C.A. Eduard Meyer. A partnership was formed with Julius Klönne in February, 1869, as Klönne and Meyer. In April, 1870, Klönne became the sole owner. He formed the partnership with Gustav Müller in April, 1876. Klönne had died by the time this was published, and Müller was the sole owner. He retained the business name ‘Klönne and Müller’ into the 1920s.


Figure 8. An 1875 advertisement from Julius Klönne, from ‘Börsenblatt für den Deutschen Buchhandel’.


Figure 9. Title page of Klönne and Müller’s publication of ‘Die Verkehrsstrassen in Beziehungen zur Volkswirthschaft und Verwaltung’ (‘The Roads in Relations to Economics and Administration’).


Figure 10. An 1878 announcement that the “Instituts für Mikroskopie” of J. Klönne and G. Müller had produced a catalogue of microscopes, microscope-related books, and slides prepared by H.C.J. Duncker. A very large variety of mounted specimens was available. From Pharmazeutische Zentralhalle für Deutschland.


Figure 11. An 1878 advertisement, from ‘Der Naturforscher’.


Figure 12. An 1879 announcement of Klönne and Müller’s new microscope, from ‘Der Naturforscher’.


Figure 13. An 1880 advertisement for the Demonstration microscope, which featured a revolving stage that could hold 8 slides. This permits easy sequential viewing of different specimens. From ‘Botanisches Centralblatt’.


Figure 14. An 1880 advertisement for Klönne and Müller’s Salon microscope, a hand-held instrument designed to facilitate sharing among a group of viewers. From ‘Botanisches Centralblatt’.


Figure 15. Friedrich Nobert’s test slides were available from Klönne and Müller in 1880. From ‘Botanisches Centralblatt’.


Figure 16. A mechanical stage was introduced in 1880. This illustration, from ‘Isis’, shows the stage mounted on Klönne and Müller’s Apothecary microscope (see Figure 16).


Figure 17. An 1881 advertisement from ‘Pharmazeutische Zentralhalle für Deutschland’.


Figure 18. Another rendition of the Demonstration microscope, from Leopold Dippel’s 1882 ‘Das Mikroskop und Seine Anwendung’. Dippel also endorsed Klönne and Müller’s microscope slides.


Figure 19. Four Klönne and Müller models: The Student, Stand 5, Stand 2, and Stand 1. From Otto Bachmann’ 1883 ‘Unsere Modernen Mikroskope’. A surviving example of their Stand 1 is shown in Figure 2, above.


Figure 20. The 1883 version of the Salon microscope, from ‘The Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society’.


Figure 21. 1884 advertisement from ‘Der Naturforscher’.


Figure 22. 1884, ‘Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftliche Mikroskopie und für Mikroskipische Technik’.


Figure 23. 1885, from ‘Botanisches Centralblatt’.


Figure 24. Klönne and Müller were awarded a patent for this mechanical stage in 1885. Adapted for nonprofit, educational purposes from an internet auction site.


Figure 25. This microscope diaphragm was also patented in 1885. From ‘The Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society’.


Figure 26. The book-selling segment of Klönne and Müller was acquired by Otto Berling ca. 1886. It was acquired by Gustav Vetter in 1888. This advertisement is from ‘Pharmazeutische Zentralhalle für Deutschland’, 1886.


Figure 27. A 4-page mini-catalogue was included in Richard Neuhauss’ 1887 ‘Anleitung zur Mikrophotographie für Aerzte, Botaniker, etc.’ The booklet was published by Klönne and Müller, indicating that Müller had not yet fully divested of the publishing arm. But, having sold the bookshop at Prinzenstrasse 69, the microscope maker had moved to an adjacent site at Prinzenstrasse 71.


Figure 28. An 1889 advertisement. It appeared in a catalogue of microscopy and bacteriology books that were published by Luisenstädttische Buchhandlung, their former business at Prinzenstrasse 69. Müller had moved the microscope business to Luisenstrasse 49. This was 4.5 km away from their former site, but adjacent to Charité Hospital, which would probably have been an ideal site to attract medical customers.


Figure 29. An 1896 dissecting loupe. The height/focus is adjusted by a rack-and-pinion in the upright, and the limb both pivots and extends freely. From Richard Petri’s ‘Das Mikroskop’.


Figure 30. An 1896 advertisement, illustrating that Klönne and Müller sold microscopes, slides, and a wide variety of other scientific instruments and supplies. From Richard Petri’s ‘Das Mikroskop’.


Figure 31. The last identified record of the Klönne and Müller business, their entry in the 1921 Berlin telephone directory. Assuming that Gustav Müller was in his mid-twenties when he formed the partnership in 1876, he would have been in his early 70s in 1921. Presumably, he retired around this time. It is also possible that another person(s) acquired the business from him at some earlier time point, then ended it ca. 1921.



Bachmann, Otto (1883) Unsere Modernen Mikroskope, R. Oldebourg, Munich, pages 162, 172-173, 187, 250, and 258-259

Berlin Telephone Directory (1921) accessed through ancestry.com

Börsenblatt für den Deutschen Buchhandel (1875) Advertisement from Julius Klönne, Vol. 4, page 4160

Botanisches Centralblatt (1880) Advertisements from Klönne and Müller, issues 4/5 and 7/8

Botanisches Centralblatt (1885) Advertisement from Klönne and Müller, Vol. 23, advertiser sections of several issues

Bracegirdle, Brian (1998) Microscopical Mounts and Mounters, Quekett Microscopical Club, London, pages 60, 150, and 156, and plates 23-O and 26-A

Death record of Julius Klönne (1880) accessed through ancestry.com

Dippel, Leopold (1882) Das Mikroskop und Seine Anwendung, F. Vieweg and Son, Braunschweig, page 692

Gesammt-Verlags-Katalog des Deutschen Buchhandels (1880) Klönne and Müller, Vol. 2, pages 1099-1100

Isis (1880) Neuer pendel objecttisch, Vol. 5, page 392

Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society (1883) Klönne and Müller's and Seibert's demonstration microscopes, pages 417-418

Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society (1886) Klönne and Müller's diaphragm, pages 680-681

Luisenstädtische Buchhandler Katalog 2: Mikroskopie u. Bakteriologie (1889)

Der Naturforscher (1878) Advertisement from Klönne and Müller, Vol. 11, page 208

Der Naturforscher (1879) Advertisement from Klönne and Müller, Vol. 12, page 472

Der Naturforscher (1874) Advertisement from Klönne and Müller, Vol. 17, page 474

Neuhauss, Richard (1887) Anleitung zur Mikrophotographie für Aerzte, Botaniker, etc., Klönne and Müller, Berlin

Petri, Richard J. (1896) Das Mikroskop, R. Schoetz, Berlin, page 90 and advertisement in rear of book

Pharmazeutische Zentralhalle für Deutschland (1878) Note on catalogue issued by from Klönne and Müller, Vol. 19, page 206

Pharmazeutische Zentralhalle für Deutschland (1881) Advertisement from Klönne and Müller, Vol. 22

Pharmazeutische Zentralhalle für Deutschland (1886) Advertisement from Otto Berling, Vol. 27

Die Verkehrsstraßen in Beziehungen zur Volkswirthschaft und Verwaltung (1876) Klönne and Müller, Berlin

Verzeichniss der Sammlungen des Börsenvereins der Deutschen Buchhandler (1888) Note on Gustav Vetter that states he took over from Otto Berling in 1888, Vol. 2, page 728

Zeitschrift für Vermessungswesen (1885) Notice of patent by Klönne and Müller, Vol. 14, page 457

Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftliche Mikroskopie und für Mikroskipische Technik (1884) Advertisement from Klönne and Müller, Vol. 1, advertiser section