Georg Friedrich Brander

Georg Friedrich Brander (* 28. November 1713 in Regensburg; † 1. April 1783 in Augsburg) was an important maker of scientific instruments.

Early years

Brander was born 1713 to Georg Brandner, an apothecary with roots in Nuremberg, and Sibylla Katharina Brandner (widowed Pfaffreuter, 1678–1756) from a Regensburg goldsmith family.[1] He studied in Altdorf bei Nürnberg from 1731 to 1734 mathematics and physics under the supervision of Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr.

Professional work

In 1734 he moved to Augsburg (Germany), where he founded a workshop for fine mechanics. He was supported by local financier Josef von Halder with capital and in establishing a business network. Brander was the first one in Germany to build a mirror telescope in 1737. Since 1754 the workshop has produced also microscopes, and the high-resolution micrometer glass rulers were its speciality. A telescope, coupled in 1776 with a map of the starry sky, is named "starfinder".[2] In 1778 he invented the coincidence telemeter, a device used to measure distances to remote objects. In those years, surveying was an important task and Brander delivered a substantial number of optical instruments, e.g. sextant, goniometer, leveling instrument and a predecessor of today's theodolite.

He also published several writings on mechanics.[3] He gave a precise description and manual with each of his instruments, which was unusual at that time.

Brander won moderate fame by building precision machines for many European courts and academies. A collection of his instruments can be found at Deutsches Museum, München.[4] In today's Augsburg, a street bears his name (Branderstraße).

Family life

He married Sabina Barbara Thennin ( 1754-02-14) and had a daughter Barbara Eurphrosina who married his business partner Christoph Caspar Hoeschel (1744-1820). After Brander's death, Hoeschel continued the fine mechanics business and could keep the high reputation for quality instruments. After Hoeschel died, his son took over and the workshop soon lost his relevance.



  1. ^ Zinner, Ernst: "Brander, Georg Friedrich" in: Neue Deutsche Biographie 2 (1955), S. 518
  2. ^ Georg Friedrich Brandner: Sternfinder, Inventory #2049, Deutsches Museum
  3. ^ Verzeichniß sowohl der von Herrn Georg Friederich Brander, selbst herausgegebenen kleinen Schriften, als auch solcher die von Gelehrten über einige seiner Instrumente geschrieben worden, und bei Eberhard Kletts sel. Wittwe und Frank, in Augsburg zu haben sind [Index of both by Mr. Georg Friederich Brander himself issued small scripts, and those which have been written by scholars about some of his instruments, and which are available at Eberhard Klett's widow and Frank in Augsburg.] (in German). Augsburg: Klett & Frank. 1781.
  4. ^ Alto Brachner: Georg Friedrich Brandner, ein fast vergessener süddeutscher Mechanicus, Kultur & Technik, 1980 (in German)