encountered a production problem because the selenium
sensors used in the exposure meter was so expensive, so a competitive price for a exposure meter was not
really possible. After negotiations with the
manufacturer of these sensors, Electro cell Berlin, he came to
an agreement. He solved this problem by giving a guarantee of a
purchase of more than 100.000 of these selenium sensors. By this
solution, he was able to buy the sensor for an price of RM 7.50
and he was now able to sell this instrument at a price of RM 26.50.
Shortly after the presentation of the Photolux this meter is
renamed to Ombrux. In the period from 1933 to 1949 further
development of the Ombrux has lead to the release of improved
or dedicated meters like the Ombrux 2, Blendux, Cimbrux and
Parvux. The Sixtus is the last model in line based on the
further development of Ombrux. The Parvux is actually a
light meter instead of an exposure meter and the Cimbrux dedicated for cine purposes.
Note: Remarkable is the fact that about the same
time the Photolux / Ombrux was introduced, there was a company called "Photolux",
founded in 1928 with the
manufacturing of exposure meters in the Jordanstrasse 6, Industiegelande
Albertstadt Dresden. From this company, as far as known, there was
never seen a exposure meter produced. On 23 February 1935 this company
not longer exist. Could there
be a connection between Photolux and Gossen?
1934 The company moved to the factory building located in the Sedanstrasse 20. The number of employees is now 253
and two years later in 1936 the number of employees is now 333. In 1937 a
branch office is opened in a rented location 'Unter den Linden'
In 1939 A new factory building is bought in the Gluckstrasse this is a former brush factory 'Kranzlein' and this
building will become in the future the 'Tippa-werk' the factory
for the Tippa typewriter.
The political climate is changing and
the Nazi's are preparing for war. This means that a lot of German
companies are forced to work for the government and function as
a part of the war machine to produce products for the navy, the
air force and the army. Also Gossen is a part of this and from
1939 to 1945 Gossen is producing measuring equipment to be used
war. Gossen becomes a military company. A part of the production is moved to a bomb free shelter 'bierkeller'
(beer cellar) n the 'Erlanger Burgberg'.
1. Von links Hans Gossen Willi Bachmann Fritz Pfaffenberger Betriebsrat
Malz Karl Götz Dr. Karl Klarner
2. Von links Georg Pecher (Personalleiter), Georg Götz (Werksleiter),
Herr Raum (Kaufm. Leiter), Berthold Schwarz (Prüfwesen) und der Jubilar
Bernhard Grünewald beim Sektfrühstück am Jubiläum
A number of patents were
filed at the US patent office. By these patents, now
available, we can distill an number of inventors working
for Gossen GMBH.
Erwin Pfaffenberger, Herbert Poppa Karl Goetz, Helmut
Dreyer, Leonhard Burkhard,
Hans Gossen, Wolf Kroger, Walter Illing, Werner Schultze
and many others. Erwin Pfaffenberger (04-04-1906) was
the head designer and inventor of Gossen & Co. He came
at the company in 1924 as a trainee draughtsman and
trough private study he gained his position. Several
important patents are written on his name.
Exposure meters were also exported to the USA but not
always with the same name and finish. Because the USA
was not custom to the DIN assignment, a number of meters
for the USA market were modified to only have the ASA assignment, sometimes even with a double ASA assignment. Also the French
market received the meters with a French instruction on the scale
instead of the standard German text (on the older meters). Not only we
see differences in the country versions but also versions made for
special companies as Leitz Wetzlar and Kodak. Also we see different
version from one type of meter like the Sixtomat in white, black and
dark blue and rarely in dark red.
Except used for Photography we see the use of for instance the Ombrux
used for the forestry. With a little formula, the Ombrux also could be
used as a light meter to measure the amount of lux. (See Ombrux page). A
more detailed timeline can be found on the special
De official papers about the history of the
Some pictures of the Gossen company found on several different sites at
The Gossen heritage is now
owned by the museum and archive of the city Erlangen, A part of the
Erlanger industrie historie.
Because of the initiative of the former Gossen-Engineer Uwe Hitz a big
collection of equipment is saved as a history of the former company.
At the Gossen company
a museum and an archive was planned to preserve and exposure the history of the
company, products and used equipment. After the merger with Metrawatt
Nürnberg, there was in no way any interest for this and the employees
for clearing and moving to Nürnberg were ordered to destroy al these valuable
equipment and information. So due to this collectors are left with
little information. This has happened with more companies in those days.
In that time, an employee in the person of
Dipl. Ing Uwe Hitz was responsible for technical documentation and
company magazine saved a lot of products, prototypes, manuals and other
documentation from being destroyed. Due to his personal imitative and
negotiations with a number of museums he was able to transfer a lot of
these industrial monuments to several museums.
Stadmuseum Erlangen has adopted an extensive collection of exposure
meters including production items, prototypes specials like the
Sixtoflash that never came into production, the Hugy meter, a underwater
housing for the Sixtomat and the development sample of the
Lunasix together with a lot of advertisement material, brochures and
Other documentation material went to the City Archive of Erlangen, "Stadtarchiv
Erlangen". On September 7th 1995 the "Erlanger Nachrichten" a local
newspaper has placed an article about the transfer from the saved
collection to the Erlanger Stadtmuseum. ( Nov. 2010, I am waiting for
permission to place this article here.)
Many thanks to the
Stadtmuseum Erlangen for this information.
Some samples of Gossen
equipment Stadtmuseum Erlangen (© Stadtmuseum Erlangen)
fotomuseum Zeil, Zeil am
With the aid of contacts of
the magazine "Photographica Cabinett"
I came in contact with Dr. Gerhard Binder, initiator of the "Zeiler
Photomuseum" , Zeil am Main Germany. After some email contacts, I
received documentation about the preservation of a graphic camera, used
at the Gossen company and now on exposure at the Zeiler Photomuseum.
During a visit of Gunter Salomon At Gossen GMBH in Erlangen, Gunter was
informed about a huge graphic camera available. First 2 people
interested in this camera, decided not to take this camera due to the
physical dimensions and eight. Knowing this, Mr. Salomon informed the
Zeiler Photomuseum about this.
The museum was very interested and with combined help from technicians,
the fire brigade and others the camera was disassembled, transported
and assembled again in the museum. In the mean time the camera got a
name "Photo-Dinosaurus" because it was big, green and old. With a weight
of 1500 Kg and a length of 5 meter this really was enormous. The camera
was used at Gossen for photographical process of meter scales and
company brochures. The camera is a product of Hohlux GMBH the camera was
sold to Gossen at April 21st 1955 with a total cost of 22.815 DM
including a 12% special discount.
The camera can be viewed at the museum together with an enormous
collection of camera's, accessories and other photographic equipment. I
like to express my thanks to Dr. Gerhard Binder for his contribution to
this website and the preservation of a part of the Gossen history.
the museum in a very nice surrounding and enjoy the "Frankenwein"