Foundation of the «Mechanical Workshop Jacob Kern» in Aarau, Switzerland.
In his workshop Jakob Kern initially produces instruments for technical drawings, for example compasses. Until 1900 they remain the main production branch of Kern and become the worldwide standard for technology and quality.
Delivery of a Borda circle, a twelve inch theodolite, to General Dufour. It was an essential tool in the creation of the Dufour map of Switzerland.
Jakob Kern is awarded at the world exhibition in London for the quality of his products.
Move into the newly built factory building on Ziegelrain in Aarau.
Foundation of a company health insurance fund joined by all 115 employees.
A surveying tool revised and improved by Kern is used in the construction of the Gotthard tunnel.
Surveying work for the Simplon Tunnel is carried out using a specially built Kern theodolite
The 1904 model precision level was built based on a report by engineer Heinrich Wild from the department of topography.
The First World War rages – orders from the Swiss army improve a stagnating business trend.
Kern moves into a newly built factory in Schachen in Aarau. Among other things, it houses the newly established production of optical systems.
Company «Heinrich Wild, Werkstätte für Feinmechanik und Optik, Heerbrugg» is founded on 26 April 1921.
The production of photographic cameras starts, to be later expanded to include amateur film cameras and stereo cameras.
Heinrich Wild revolutionises surveying with the first second theodolite T2.
The «Heerbrugg factory school» for precision engineers, machine fitters and related professions is founded.
The newly launched binoculars are a great success.
The first two A2 autographs are delivered to the Amt für Landestopografie along with WILD phototheodolites.
The rapid development of aeroplanes means that aerial cameras can be used. A lens developed by Heinrich Wild himself is used in the new C2 aerial camera.
The company WILD generates profits for the first time.
Surveying instruments can now be mass-produced. A welfare foundation and insurance is set up for employees.
An early autograph is exhibited at the international photogrammetry congress in Zurich.
The Wild C12 stereometric camera is launched. It is used for photogrammetric surveying. Countless police organisations around the world used such an instrument for decades.
Heinrich Wild leaves the company.
The first WILD A4 autograph is commissioned by the Zurich municipal police in 1933. Devices of this sort are still used in many countries to this day.
Heinrich Wild signs a contract with Kern & Co. Aarau to develop and manufacture a new range of theodolites.
The new surveying instruments are displayed at the Swiss national exhibition in Zurich.
The new surveying instruments are displayed at the Swiss national exhibition in Zurich.
An insurance fund, a precursor to the later pension fund, is set up. A housing office is set up to create low-cost housing for employees.
Manufacture of drawing sets starts. This was in direct competition with a product range that Kern had been producing since its foundation in 1819.
Two residential sites comprising 18 family homes are ready for occupation.
The universal astronomic instrument T4, enabling readings of up to 0.1” (angular seconds) is the pinnacle of mechanical optical precision. The T4 was produced for over four decades and cost 70,000 francs.
WILD also undertakes pioneering work in the area of microscopy. The first mass-produced research microscopes in Switzerland, types M9 and M10, are launched.
The new double-circle self-reducing tachymeter DK-RT is a standard instrument for land register surveys in Switzerland for decades.
Hans A. Traber managed the development of microscopy from 1948 –1956. He was famous for his nature programmes on Swiss radio and television, broadcast from 1955 onwards.
The optical calculation office for scientific tasks receives its first electronic computer, a «Zuse Z22». The first real «computer» owned by an industrial company in Switzerland.
Kern launches the Switar-Objective 1:1,6,f=10 mm with the world's fastest light transmission. This is an important milestone in optics and the stepping stone for the NASA order for the Apollo mission.
The positive company development continues. On 2 October the 3000th employee joins WILD Heerbrugg AG.
The hundred thousandth WILD theodolite is calibrated in Heerbrugg and shipped off to be used anywhere on planet Earth.
The PG2 plotter marked the breakthrough into modern photogrammetry.
The first infrared distance measurement instrument DISTOMAT DI10 (developed by WILD and French company Sercel) revolutionised surveying technology as the first close range meter. It can measure distances of up to 1000 m with centimetre accuracy.
«Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed». The first moon landing was filmed with a camera that contained a lens developed and manufactured by Kern.
Kern revolutionises inclination survey from 1970 wih the «geniale Dose» (eng.: genius box). Today, the liquid compensators are standard with most manufacturers of geodetic industruments.
At the start of this anniversary year, WILD Heerbrugg employs 4200 employees around the world in manufacturing and sales. A WILD subsidiary is established in the Far East city state of Singapore.
Launch of the first own electronic distance meter DM1000 based on the phase difference method for distances up to 1000 meters. Transmitting and receiving optics are located behind a common lens.
In September, as part of a capital increase process at Leitz, WILD acquires 25 percent of the share capital in Ernst Leitz GmbH.
The Kern ME5000 Mekometer is to this day the most accurate laser distance meter. When combined with special software the ME5000 can also be used in close range (> 2 m). Distances of up to 12 km can be surveyed by using special precision reflectors. In 1973 the first generation of mekometers, the ME3000, came onto the market.
Launch of the then smallest electronic distance meter DM500, which can be plugged onto Theodolite. The DM500 series, consisting of several variants, sold more than 10,000 units in the following years. The transmitting and receiving optics are located behind two separate lenses.
The introduction of electronic theodolites, starting with the Kern E2, is a major step towards digitisation and automation. The in-built liquid compensator formed the basis for the inclination sensors used today.
The recording electronic self-reducing tachymeter WILD Tachymat TC1 can take care of both measuring the angles and logging the measured values.
For precision levelling, the geodesy department launches the WILD N3 with an integrated parallel plate micrometer and automatic plummet for both zenith (ZL) and nadir (NL) useful for both high-rise and shaft construction.
Kern has a breakthrough in analytical photogrammetry with the DSR1 stereoplotter and the GP1 plotter.
Kern launches the ECDS1 (Electronic Coordinate Determination System) in 1982. The introduction of this electronic theodolite revolutionised traditional industrial surveying and greatly expanded its use.
Digitisation starts: 4 March 1983 saw the world premiere of the computerised theodolite, the Theomat WILD T2000, the start of the computer age in surveying technology.
In partnership with American company Magnavox Corporation, the first GPS receiver for surveying applications, the WILD WM101, is launched.
The forming of the WILD-Leitz Group is announced on 17 December 1986.
The first prototype of what later became the SMART 310, the first mobile 3D interferometer, is put into service in Detroit. This is the start of the Leica laser tracker success story.
Kern & Co. AG is taken over by the WILD-Leitz Group.
The history of the Kern Study Collection starts in August 1988 with the handover of an extensive collection of historic instruments, documents, films and drawings to the then City Museum Alt-Aarau.
On 1 January the company WILD Heerbrugg AG is renamed to WILD-Leitz AG, Heerbrugg.
WILD-Leitz merges with Cambridge Instruments to become the Leica Group.
Digitisation continues apace: in March the WILD NA2000, the world’s first digital level, causes a sensation at the USA’s most important surveying congress in Denver. It is awarded the photonics innovation prize.
SMART 310, the world's first industrial laser tracker is launched.
Takeover of the civil GPS division of Magnavox and the introduction of System 200 – the first Leica GPS product.
The world's first hand-held laser distance meter, the Leica DISTO, attracts great attention.
The Leica Group splits into Leica Microsystems, Leica Geosystems and Leica Camera.
American company Cyra Technologies Inc. is taken over and thus the age of high-definition 3D scanning starts.
Leica Geosystems (LGSN) is listed on the Swiss stock exchange.
The first digital airborne sensor, ADS40, is presented. A major innovation for the world of photogrammetry.
Takeover by Hexagon AB, Sweden, and start of a new era. The innovative power of Kern, Wild and Leica Geosystems still shape Hexagon's world today.
A disused civil defence facility at the Aarau City Museum was renovated in 2009 and equipped with the necessary facilities for the reception of visitors. Since May 2011, the Kern Study Collection has been housed in the Aarau City Museum.
We celebrate the 200 years anniversary of the founding year of Kern & Co. AG in Aarau as part of «200yrs Swiss Geo x».
We celebrate the 100 years anniversary of the founding year of WILD Heerbrugg AG in Heerbrugg as part of «200yrs Swiss Geo x».