Marga Faulstich

written on 27/07/2020
by Jutta Thielen-del Pozo


Did you know …

that sun glasses and anti-reflecting glasses today still benefit from the research on thin-filmed optics by Marga Faulstich, a German scientist born 1915 in Weimar?

When Marga was six years old her family moved to Jena, the seat of the leading manufacturer for optical and industrial lenses in Europe – Schott AG. After she finished school she started working for Schott as one of its first female assistants.

It quickly became apparent that she was more than just an assistant and she advanced to technician. While continuing to work for Schott she started studying chemistry and although the studies were interrupted by WWII, she pursued her research. Marga’s inventions have given rise to 40 registered patents.

In 1973 her invention of the lightweight lens Schwerflint 64 (SF64) paved the way for the lighter modern glasses we know today and was awarded the IR-100-Medal of the Industrial Research Incorporation for one of the 100 most important technical innovations of the year.

Like for many Germans, Marga’s life was also influenced by the second world war and the subsequent division of Germany into sectors: when her fiancee died during the war, she fully devoted her life to research and her career.

And when the allied forces recognised the importance of the know-how in optical lens manufacturing, part of the Schott company was moved from the Russian occupation zone to the western sector.

Marga soon benefitted from the newly built research laboratories and facilities of  Schott AG. She became its first woman executive and worked 44 years for the company.

When she died in 1998 she left a legacy that influenced the manufacture of sunglasses, anti-reflective lenses, and glass facades. She will be remembered as an excellent scientist and for her courage to build a successful scientific career at a time when women in science or technical jobs were rare.

Click here to have a look  at Marga Faulstichs patents 

Photo 1: © Schott AG