Eppendorf History

Eppendorf Milestones 1945 – present

After 70 years the mission of the company is just as valid and up-to-date as it ever was: our goal is to improve the living conditions of man. Since 1945 we have succeeded in continually producing high-quality products and technology, integrated as systems which solve problems in a holistic way. We invite you to follow the successful path of our group of companies over the decades.

1945 - Company set up

Hamburg, 1945. On the grounds of the University Hospital Eppendorf Dr. Heinrich Netheler and Dr. Hans Hinz pay a visit to Eppendorf University Hospital, where they introduce themselves and their twenty employees as physicists and engineers eager to do what the country needs most: assist in the reconstruction process and help improve people's living conditions. With this goal in mind begins the story of the current world market leader Eppendorf.

1946 - Muscle stimulator

The muscle stimulator meant a great step forward, not only for neurophysiological and pharmacological research, but also for medical diagnostics and treatment.

1950 - Photometer Eppendorf

In conjunction with Professor Bücher, the Eppendorf photometer was developed for clinical requirements. It used the principle of spectral lines and thus enabled photometry to be used for routine laboratory applications. Above all in the UV range, it smoothed the path for enzyme diagnostics.

1961 - Eppendorf develops the microliter system

Scientists used to suck their samples up laboriously into glass tubes with their mouths – until Eppendorf launched a revolutionary invention in 1961: the first piston-stroke pipette. From then on, this work could be performed much more precisely and rapidly with the micro-liter pipette, with a fraction of the previously required sample volume. In the years that followed, Eppendorf developed a complete micro-liter system, encompassing reaction tubes, mixers, centrifuges, and pipettes.

1965 - Building the headquarter

Eppendorf begins with the construction of its headquarters at Barkhausenweg, Hamburg, Germany. Today you can find on the site seven manufacturing facilities and offices, a training center and a day care center.

1969 - Automated analyzer

Increasingly rapid analysis of a growing number of samples: with its first automated Analyzer 5010, Eppendorf succeeded in fulfilling this demand in medical diagnostics from 1969 onwards. Chan links were used to feed samples into this device, which was used for rapid and precise measuring of enzyme activity and could handle as many as seven times the number of samples processed by laboratory workers in manual tests.

1974 - „We“ at Eppendorf

Behind each Eppendorf technology stand competent and motivated employees. In a holistic approach Eppendorf-teams work together interdisciplinary, creative and application-oriented. In 1974, the 500th Employee was appointed. The quality of Eppendorf products speaks for itself: 1976 the export reached 30% of the turnover.

1975 - New plant for the production of consumables

A new plant is inaugurated in Oldenburg, Germany. Here, high quality comsumables are manufactured in a clean room production. Today, more than two billion plastic disposable products leave the plant, annually.

1977 - Photometer, microprocessor-controlled

Eppendorf was one of the first equipment manufacturers to integrate microprocessor technology in its analysis systems. 
(Picture shows the PCP 6121, a programmable photometer.)

1978 - Manual dispenser

Eppendorf launched the first Multipette® 4780. This manual dispenser is still one of Eppendorf's most successful products ever. The dispenser can discharge liquid not just once, but repeatedy in predefined doses. The Multipette with Combitips system is one of the leading manual dispensing systems in the world.

1984 - Quality wins out

The premium quality of Eppendorf products paid off: In 1984, the brand Eppendorf is registered worldwide; over a million pipettes were sold until 1984; the Eppendorf group achieved a turnover of 100 million DM.

1985 - Cell injection

With the injection of fluids into individual cells, the cell itself becomes a test tube. To this end, Eppendorf developed the Microinjector. (Nobel Prize winner Prof. Georges Köhler at his Eppendorf cell injection workstation.)

1991 - Contamination-free pipetting

Using the Eppendorf Biomaster® in conjunction with Mastertips® completely prevents the formation of aerosol, a frequent cause of contamination (e.g. in the amplification of nucleic acids).

1993 - Electronic dispensing system

With the EDOS® 5222 metering system, Eppendorf created an extremely versatile and high-performance device for all fluid dispensing tasks in the lab.

1994 - Manual multi-channel pipettes

The Titerman variable multi-channel pipette which can be calibrated and is for a high sample throughput. In a single maneuver, it can be converted from an 8-channel to a 12-channel pipette.

1995 - Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators

The Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators which comes with a cash prize of €15,000, has been awarded every year since 1995. This award honors outstanding achievements and new analytical approaches in the field of biomedical research that apply molecular biology methods.

1996 - Microinjectors

The CellTram Air and Oil microinjectors for controlling pressure, for manual microinjection and for dispensing fluids were designed for optimum ergonomics, easy operation and maximum precision.

1997 - International Relations

Cooperation and progress are essential features of the company. In 1997 a holding company in Japan is established. Marketing offices in England and Austria were founded.

1998 - Photometer

The Eppendorf BioPhotometer is a handy measuring device for the rapid and reliable quantitative analysis of ds/ssDNA, RNA, oligonucleotides, proteins and bacterial cell density (turbidity measurements).

1999 - Temperature control

ThermoStat plus: Eppendorf has made convenient temperature control of all common laboratory test tubes a concept with the ThermoStat plus - the result is a compact bench-top thermostat using Peltier technology.

2000 - Stock company Eppendorf

Eppendorf becomes a stock company and gains extended control functions as a holding. The turnover exceeds DM 258 million.

2001 - Nucleic acid purification

The Perfectprep Gel Cleanup Kit was developed for the purification of dsDNA fragments from a wide variety of agarose gels and reaction batches.

2002 - PCR plates

One-piece design: Combining polycarbonate and polypropylene for optimum performance.

2003 - PhysioCare

The mission of Eppendorf has always been to improve the living conditions of their customers. Nowadays where people spend a lot of their time at work the ergonomics of their tools and the whole work environment is becoming more important for their well-being. Thus the development of each Eppendorf pipette is based on three spheres that support the health of their customers.

2004 - Eppendorf Tubes

LoBind Tubes: With this new type of tube developed by Eppendorf, Eppendorf for the first time offers the user carefree work with the smallest quantities / concentrations of DNA or a number of proteins.

2006 - Electronic dispensing

The Multipette® stream and Xstream are the first electronic hand dispensers to combine simple handling with a broad range of functions.

2007 - New Brunswick

New Brunswick Scientific joined the Eppendorf group in 2007, enriching our portfolio with a broad spectrum of innovative equipment for culture growth, detection and storage, and expanding our support team to continue our commitment to outstanding customer service. New Brunswick Scientific manufactures high-quality shakers, CO2 incubators, ultra-low temperature freezers, fermentors and bioreactors. Known for dependable operation, year after year, New Brunswick equipment is used in a wide range of research and commercial applications, spanning biomedical, environmental, food and cosmetics sciences.

2009 - epGreen: The Nature of the Company

Eppendorf launches its epGreen initiative in 2009. The objective is to further reduce the burdens placed on the environment by the manufacture and use of Eppendorf products. These efforts are directed toward the entire product life cycle, from development, production, and shipping to use, maintenance, and disposal of old equipment.

2012 - DASGIP

Eppendorf acquires DASGIP Group in early 2012. DASGIP’s high quality parallel bioreactors and software solutions nicely complement the current New Brunswick product lines.

2013 – Eppendorf Tubes 5.0 mL

The Eppendorf Tubes 5.0 mL are with its matching system of adapters, rotors, racks and accessories are launched on the market.

1945 - 2017 - Expert and Advisor

Since its founding Eppendorf is known as a premium brand. Today, the contribution of 3,000 employees in 25 countries helps to ensure that Eppendorf is recognized as expert partner in life science laboratories worldwide. Our vision: We strive to make our customers feel confident and proud when they use our products and services.


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