Emanuel Goldberg

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Emanuel Goldberg (left) as head of the reproduction technology department at the Royal Academy for Graphic Arts and Book Trade Leipzig , around 1911

Emanuel Goldberg (born 19 jul. / 31 August  1881 greg. In Moscow ; † 13. September 1970 in Tel Aviv ) was a Russian-German-Israeli chemists , engineers and inventors .

Goldberg performed his greatest scientific and engineering achievements in Germany during the German Empire and the Weimar Republic , later he fled to Israel via Paris . As one of the founders of Zeiss Ikon, he worked in Dresden for a long time . His inventions and achievements in the field of photography include the microdot , the Kinamo film camera , the Contax 35mm camera, an early search engine and sensitometric devices.


Emanuel Goldberg was born on August 19, 1881 according to the Julian calendar to Grigori Ignatjewitsch Goldberg and Olga Moisejewna Grodsenka. According to the Gregorian calendar , September 1st is often mistakenly given as his date of birth . From 1900 to 1904 he studied chemistry at Moscow University and then at various German universities. In 1906 he received his doctorate at the University of Leipzig on the kinetics of photochemical reactions under Robert Luther at the Physico-Chemical Institute, which was headed by Wilhelm Ostwald . Of anti-Semitism in Russia because he came not back to his home. After a year as Adolf Miethe's assistant at the Royal Technical University of Berlin , he succeeded Georg Aarland as professor at the Royal Academy of Graphic Arts and Book Trade in Leipzig in 1907 , where he expanded the teaching of reproduction photography to a separate department and until 1917 stayed.

Goldberg married Sophie Posniak on June 28, 1907 (August 28, 1886 - December 10, 1968). Her son Herbert Goldberg was born on November 20, 1914, their daughter Renate Eva (now Chava Gichon ) on September 19, 1922.

In 1917 Goldberg became director of the International Camera Actiengesellschaft in Dresden , where he developed the Kinamo film camera with a spring mechanism, among other things . At Zeiss Ikon, which was created in 1926 through a merger of four companies, he was general director. After being kidnapped by SA men in 1933, he left Germany and initially worked for a Zeiss subsidiary in France until 1937. He then emigrated to Palestine . There he founded a laboratory later called Goldberg Instruments , from which the company Electro-Optical Industries ("El-Op") developed in Rechowot . A photograph by John Phillips for Life magazine shows Goldberg in his workshop in Palestine in 1943.

In 1960 Emanuel Goldberg retired, but continued to do his research. In 1968 he was awarded the Israel Prize . He died in Tel Aviv on September 13, 1970 .

In 1990, daughter Chava Gichon, who lives in Tel Aviv, applied for the restitution of the property at Oeserstraße 5 in Dresden, which Goldberg had bought in 1927 as director of the Zeiss-Ikon works. An amicable solution involving the owners of the property failed in August 1995 at the property office responsible. A stumbling block was laid in front of this property on March 15, 2018 .


Early inventions

Goldberg patented improved methods for electroplating with zinc and iron in 1902 and published numerous papers on improved printing techniques, the reduction of moiré effects in printing screens , photographic reproduction techniques and other topics. In 1910 he was known for an improved method of producing neutral gray wedges from gelatin (Goldberg wedge), which was widely used in sensitometry , and for the densograph , an instrument for measuring the blackening of photographic plates.

More inventions

At the Internationale Camera Actiengesellschaft (ICA) in 1921 he developed the Kinamo , a compact 35mm film camera suitable for the growing needs of amateurs and semi-professionals. In 1923 he added a spring drive that made filming free hand possible. Goldberg made films with himself and his family that served as short commercials, and in 1927 released the ski film “A Leap. . . A dream ” . The Kinamo was used by Joris Ivens and other documentary filmmakers in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

In 1925 Goldberg introduced the micropoint technique (Mikrat after Goldberg). This invention was later often falsely attributed to an alleged "Professor Zapp" because this was alleged by J. Edgar Hoover in an April 1946 article in Reader's Digest . This probably arose from a mix-up with Kurt Zapp , who trained German agents in microdot photography during World War II .

At the ICA and Zeiss Ikon , Goldberg was involved in many inventions and the development of the Contax 35 mm camera.

Goldberg was best known for his extensive research on sensitometry , as summarized in his book The Structure of the Photographic Image (1922), and the Goldberg condition for optimal reproduction of gray levels in photographic reproduction. He and his former teacher and colleague Robert Luther helped in 1931 on the “VIII. International Congress for Scientific and Applied Photography ”in Dresden the German standard DIN 4512 for film sensitivity for recognition. At the same congress Goldberg presented his statistical machine , in which the metadata on rolls of microfilm could be searched with the help of photo cells and pattern recognition (US Patent 1,838,389 of December 29, 1931). This technology was slightly modified and used by Vannevar Bush for his Microfilm rapid selector in 1938 and was the basis for the fictional memex in Bush's influential essay As we may think from 1945.

Teaching and other activities

In Germany, Goldberg was a consultant for aerial photography during the First World War and for Carl Zeiss in Jena. In Palestine and later Israel he worked as a consultant in both the civil and military fields. In Tel Aviv, he introduced an education system that taught advanced technical knowledge and skills to later professionals in Israeli high technology.

For his services he was awarded an honorary doctorate in Science in Technology from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in 1957 .


Publications (selection)

Title of the publication Color Printing and Color Photography , published in 1908 by the publishing house of the German Book Trade Association in Leipzig
  • Contributions to the kinetics of photochemical reactions , dissertation, University of Leipzig 1906
  • Color photography and color printing , Verlag des Deutschen Buchgewerbevereins, Leipzig 1908
  • Densograph, a recording device for measuring the blackening of photographic plates , in: Josef Maria Eder (Ed.): Yearbook for Photography and Reproduction Technology , Knapp, Halle a. P. 1910, pp. 226-233
  • The Densograph , in: British Journal of Photography 57 (Aug. 26, 1910), pp. 649-651
  • The production of neutral gray wedges and running filters for photometry and photography , in: Josef Maria Eder (Ed.): Yearbook for Photography and Reproduction Technology , Knapp, Halle a. Pp. 1911, pp. 149-155
  • The basics of reproduction technology in a commonly understood presentation , Knapp, Halle a. P. 1912
  • Guide through the Scientific Photography Group: International Exhibition for Book Trade and Graphics Leipzig 1914 , Knapp. Hall a. P. 1914.
  • Scientific photography , in: International Exhibition for Book Trade and Graphics Leipzig 1914 , Official Catalog, Leipzig 1914, pp. 160–165.
  • Group VIII Reproduction Technology , in: International Exhibition for Book Trade and Graphics Leipzig 1914 , Official Catalog, Leipzig 1914, pp. 185–187
  • The structure of the photographic image: Part 1 Brightness details , Knapp, Hall a. P. 1922
  • A new process of micro-photography , in: British Journal of Photography 73 (August 13, 1925), pp. 462-465
  • Cinematographic cloud recordings , in: Photo-Technik No. 7 , Zeiss Ikon AG, Dresden 1926, pp. 145–148
  • Kinamo S 10 , in: Photo-Technik No. 1 , Zeiss Ikon AG, Dresden 1929, pp. 18-19
  • The retrieval problem in photography , in: Journal of the American Society for Information Science 43 (4), 1932, pp. 295-298
  • German proposal for sensitometric standardization , in: J. Eggert, A. v. Biehler, (Ed.): Report on the 8th International Congress for Scientific and Applied Photography , Dresden 1931, Barth / Leipzig 1932. pp. 100–101
  • The basics of the sound film , in: J. Eggert, A. v. Biehler, (Ed.): Report on the VIII. International Congress for Scientific and Applied Photography , Dresden 1931, Barth / Leipzig 1932. pp. 213–214
  • The registration problem in photography , in: J. Eggert, A. v. Biehler, (Ed.): Report on the VIII. International Congress for Scientific and Applied Photography , Dresden 1931, Barth / Leipzig 1932. pp. 317-320
  • Precision instruments industry . In: JB Hobman, (Ed.): Palestine's economic future: A review of progress and prospects . Lund, Humphries and Co. London. 1946. pp. 238-243

Patents (selection)

  • 1903. GB. GB000190207923A. An Improvement in Electrolytically Coating Iron with Zinc
  • 1903. U.S. US000000733028A. Electrolytically Coating Iron with Zinc
  • with Martin Nowicki: 1926. US. US000001573314A. Enlarging camera
  • with Martin Nowicki: 1928. US. US000001667110A. Movie box
  • 1929. US. US000001704189A. Motion-picture camera driven by the alpha spring mechanism
  • with Otto Fischer: 1929. US. US000001713277A. Film spool construction
  • 1929. FR. FR000000657787A. Machine statistics
  • 1929. GB. GB000000288580A. Improvements in or relating to adding, sorting, statistical and like machines
  • 1930. U.S. US000001747705A. Film-feeding device
  • with Otto Fischer: 1930. US. US000001750401A. Cinematograph camera with clockwork driving mechanism
  • 1930. U.S. US000001772774A. Cinema camera
  • with Otto Fischer: 1930. US. US000001779468A. Cinematographic camera
  • 1931. US. US000001789679A. Cinematographic camera
  • 1931. US. US000001802598A. Film magazine
  • with Otto Fischer: 1931. US. US000001804500A. Movie box
  • 1931. US. US000001830602A. Distance releasing device for moving picture cameras driven by a spring mechanism
  • 1931. US. US000001838389A. Statistical machine
  • 1934. US. US000001973203A. Nipkow disk for television
  • 1939. DE. DE000000670190A. Device for searching statistical and accounting information
  • 1940. DE. DE000000691162A. Statistical machine
  • 1940. DE. DE000000697265A. Device for searching for statistical information
  • 1940. US. US000002225433A. Photographic camera for flexible materials sensitive to light
  • 1953. GB. GB000000690268A. Improvements in or relating to refractometers
  • 1953. US. US000002652744A. Photographic copying apparatus
  • 1955. DE. DE000001706938U. Anti-glare device for motor vehicles
  • with Herbert Goldberg: 1956. US. US000002768553A. Refractometers
  • with Herbert Goldberg: 1961. US. US000002972926A. Refractometers


  • Literature by and about Emanuel Goldberg in the catalog of the German National Library
  • Emanuel Goldberg in WorldCat
  • Michael Buckland: Emanuel Goldberg, Electronic Document Retrieval, and Vannevar Bush's Memex. In: Journal of the American Society for Information Science 43, May 1992, 4, ISSN  0002-8231 , pp. 284-294
  • Michael Buckland: From microfilm to knowledge machine: Emanuel Goldberg between media technology and politics . Avinus-Verlag, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86938-015-5 , ( Research on visual culture ; Vol. 1); German translation by: Emanuel Goldberg and his Knowledge Machine. Information, Invention, and Political Forces . Libraries Unlimited, Westport CT, etc. a. 2006, ISBN 0-313-31332-6 , ( New directions in information management ), review: Markus Krajeweski: The migration history of a workbench and its master . In: Research: Newspaper for Science 1/2011
  • Michael Buckland: The Kinamo camera, Emanuel Goldberg, and Joris Ivens. In: Film History 20. 2008, 1, ISSN  0892-2160 , S 49–58, muse.jhu.edu (PDF)
  • Michael Buckland: From microfilm to knowledge machine. Emanuel Goldberg between media technology and politics . Avinus, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86938-015-5
  • Colin Burke: Information and Secrecy. Vannevar Bush, Ultra and the other Memex , Scarecrow Press, Lanham MD, et al. a. 1994, ISBN 0-8108-2783-2
  • Ralf Forster: The Kinamo. Emanuel Goldberg's camera unleashed . In: Filmblatt, Volume 16, No. 46/47, Winter 2011/12, ISSN  1433-2051 , pp. 3-14
  • J. Edgar Hoover : The Enemy's Masterpiece of Espionage. In: Reader's Digest 48, April 1946, ISSN  0034-0375 , pp. 1-6
  • Klaus Mauersberger: From photography to photophysics. 100 years of the Scientific and Photographic Institute 1908–2008. Illustrated historical outline of the history of the WPI / IAPP with selected bibliography . Technical University of Dresden - Institute for Applied Photophysics, Dresden 2008, ISBN 978-3-86780-086-0
  • S. Neumann: Prof. Emanuel Goldberg. In: Bulletin of the Research Council of Israel Section C: Technology 5, 1957, 4 = Special issue in honor of Goldberg , ISSN  0578-9036 , pp. I, III-V
  • Ralph R. Shaw: The Rapid Selector. In: Journal of Documentation 5, 1949, ISSN  0022-0418 , pp. 164-171
  • William White: The Microdot. History and Application . Phillips Publications, Williamstown NJ 1992, ISBN 0-932572-20-0

Web links

Commons : Emanuel Goldberg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

References and comments

  1. This is probably due to the fact that in 1900 the difference between the two calendar systems increased by one day, which was not taken into account in later date calculations.
  2. ^ University of Graphic and Book Art Leipzig, University History
  3. ^ Emanuel Goldberg in his work shop (Palestine, 1943). In: gettyimages. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  4. ^ Official site of the Israel Prize for 1968. Hebrew עמנואל גולדברג. Retrieved October 5, 2011 .
  5. Peter Bölke: Certificate of inheritance from the concentration camp . In: Der Spiegel . No. 21 , 1997, pp. 64-82, 74 f . ( online ).
  6. Technion Honors. Technion , accessed July 11, 2017 .