Dittmer Friedrich Möller, 1851 - after 1905

by Brian Stevenson
last updated March, 2021

With his name printed as "D.M. Fried. Möller" on ornately-designed labels, this professional slide-maker was a younger brother of the celebrated diatom mounter Johann D. Möller (1844-1907).

J.D. Möller established his workshop in Wedel, Holstein (Germany) in 1864, producing optical lenses, polarizing apparatus, magic lantern slides, and a variety of microscope slides. By the end of that decade, he had become internationally renowned for his slides of arranged diatoms.

A history of J.D. Möller states, "Das Geschäft lief so gut, dass bald seine Brüder Dittmer und Simon, sowie zeitweise auch sein Stiefbruder Albert mitgearbeitet haben" ("The business went so well that his brothers Dittmer and Simon, and briefly his step-brother Albert, worked together").

Microscope slides by Dittmer Möller are relatively scarce, and his arranged diatoms slides are even more so (Figures 1 and 2). An 1883 advertisement has been identified, which appeared in the German nature magazine Isis (Figure 3). It is not known how much longer Dittmer Möller continued with his slide-making business, or what other professions he pursued. He was included in a 1905 family photograph that was taken at a nephew's wedding (that being Hugo Möller, one of J.D. Möller's sons) (Figure 4).

Figure 1. Circa 1870s - 80s microscope slide by Dittmer Friedrich Möller, of intestinal worms (female).


Figure 2. Circa 1870s - 80s "Probe-Platte" of arranged diatoms, by D.F. Möller. Adapted for nonprofit, educational purposes from an internet auction site.


Figure 3. An 1883 advertisement from "Isis".


Figure 4. Dittmer and Johann Möller in 1905, at the wedding of Johann's son, Hugo. Dittmer's wife, Berta Helene Woltmann Möller, is standing in front of Johann, to his left (in a dark dress with a white front). Johann's wife, Johanna Heinsohn Möller, is on the far left, at the edge of this image, behind the woman in white. Adapted for nonprofit, educational purposes from Teßmer, 2021.



de Wall, Rudolf (accessed March, 2021) Johann Diedrich Möller - der Begründer des Industriezeitalters in Wedel, https://www.wedel.de/wirtschaft-branchen/branchenbuch/alle-branchen/unternehmensportraits/moeller-wedel/jd-moeller-historische-serie-teil-1.html and other, linked pages

Isis (1883) Advertisement from D.F. Möller, page 88

Möller family tree (accessed March, 2021) https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/171713954/person/242225765269/

Teßmer, Gisa (2021) Die Familien Körner und Heinsohn, https://www.wedel.de/kultur-bildung/wedel-historisch/personen-in-wedel/familiengeschichten-aus-wedel-und-schulau